Monday, March 15, 2010

Attachment, separation anxiety?

From: Sunbol

Subject: Attachment to mother

Question: Hi!

We have a one year old daughter. Both of us have been home with her (my wife works from home and I have paternity leave). Everything has being going great but now, for the past couple of days, our daughter has started to show signs of great attachment to her mom. It just started very suddenly, when she wakes up, if I take her, as soon as I start walking away from her mom, she starts crying and stretching her arms towards her mother.
Yesterday morning, I went up earlier and her mom slept in as it ha been a long night. Our daughter did not want to leave the bedroom, she wanted to be close to her mother. After a while when we were playing in the living room, she suddenly went towards the entrance door, stood there and yelled after mom as if she had left the house. When I showed her that mom is still in bed sleeping, she calmed down and continued playing. After every nap, she wants only to be with mom. What is worrying me is that this started a couple of days ago suddenly. Is this natural, what is happening and should we do anything particular?
Thanks for the help

Answer: Dear Sunbol:

Attachment is a great thing for a child. It means she is healthy. Children often show preferences for one parent over the other and your daughter is at an age where separation anxiety is often common.

I suggest to parent that they maintain consistent routines with their children. Children do not have a sense of time (schedules) until they are about 7 or 8 years of age. Their sense of time is also much slower than an adults. We are busy during the day and time gets away from us whereas for them separation for even short amounts of time can be stressful.

Providing consistent routines provides a sense of security for children.

Thank you for writing.

M Kay Keller

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