Managing parents separation anxiety

It’s not uncommon for young children to suffer from separation anxiety, but parents separation anxiety is common too, especially when it comes to leaving their little one for the first few times. Check out these tips on how to manage separation anxiety and make leaving your child a little bit easier.
It’s common for young kids to suffer from separation anxiety, but parents separation anxiety is common too and a topic less frequently discussed. 

Find out how to manage your separation anxiety as a parent and make leaving your child a little bit easier.

Parents separation anxiety

“Parents separation anxiety is something we are confronted with regularly” says Lisa Bentley from KiwiOz Nannies.

“We have had mums calling off a nanny search at the last minute as they don’t feel ready to have someone else looking after their children.

We’ve also had parents call us several times before a one-off babysitting booking just to be reassured, or had dads assume that their children will struggle to settle down to sleep without them, while the children end up being fine. 

In rare extreme cases we have had mums getting ill before leaving their baby for the first time.
As professionals in the childcare industry we would never judge parents for these feelings as everyone has their own story and move at their own pace.

As parents ourselves we understand how difficult it can be to leave your child in someone else’s care.

We are here to inform parents and communicate with them as clearly and openly as possible in order to give them the reassurance they need”.

Managing parents separation anxiety

If you are a parent suffering from separation anxiety, or know someone who is, here are a few things that you could do to make the experience a little easier:


1. If you’re employing a professional carer

If you are looking at employing a professional carer, get to know the person who will take care of your children to help relieve some of your anxiety.
Organise at least two interviews with them before deciding to hire them.

Plan some time for the potential carer and your kids to interact with each other while you are present without being directly involved in the interaction.

For example, let them play in the living room while you stay in another room close by.

This way you can see what is going on and can be reassured to hear your kids having fun with someone else.


2. If your carer/babysitter is a relative

If your carer/babysitter is a relative you could ask them to follow a specific schedule so you feel more in control of the situation.

Make sure they know to call you when necessary, but to refrain from calling you excessively as this will only increase your anxiety.

Try to focus on the activity you are doing away from home and remind yourself that your kids are in good, safe hands and will love you all the same when you come back.


3. Start with babysitting

If you are anxious to leave your kids for an extended period of time, try having a babysitter for one evening.
This could be a professional who is first aid trained with a fully completed background check, or a relative you trust.
You could put your kids to bed before leaving - that way you will not feel like you are missing out on their experiences, and you know they are happy and safe.


4. Identify the reasons behind your anxiety

If leaving your kids makes you feel anxious, try to identify the reasons behind your anxiety. This will help you to eliminate or at least rationalise your fear.

For example, if you are worried that your baby will not stop crying, ask your carer to take videos of your happy child to show you when you return.
Or if you are worried about an accident happening, organise a carer who is first aid trained and safety conscious.

It is normal to feel a little anxious leaving your kids for the first few times, but this will pass.
View the time away as time FOR YOU as opposed to time without your child. Even going to work is something you do for you.

Remember, it does take a village to raise a child, so trust the village and just give them an extra-long hug when you come back,. Your kids will still love you all the same!

More kids articles to enjoy:
Source: This article was written by Helene Girard at KiwiOz Nannies - NZ’s most referred nanny & educator placement agency.
Image source: Verywellmind

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