Separation is loaded for all of us. For some of us there is guilt. Am I hurting my child by spending time away from him or her? Will they feel abandoned? Being aware of the thoughts and feelings you are having as parents becomes a powerful tool. Just noticing what you’re feeling as you drop your child off at a playgroup, or leave your child with her or his nanny or babysitter will give you clues. Do you have a look of worry or sadness when you say goodbye? I’ve suggested at times that if your child is very anxious when you leave, try changing your expression – even if you’re not feeling it – to a look of confidence. You can assure them that you are happy that they are staying with people who really like them, that they’ll have fun, and that you will see them later. Try to leave at that point. It often makes children more and more anxious if you don’t leave when you said you would. It is very empowering for your child to feel safe and have fun with people outside of the family.
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