Sunday, 9 February 2014

Separation anxiety; object permanence

For a while now we have had a little trouble when Ophelia spends time with anyone other than her Mum and Dad, so you can imagine the fun the poor nursery staff are having!

Since Ophelia was a few weeks old she has regulaly spent time with a variety of family and friends, both with and without us. About once a month my mum usually has Ophelia for a few hours whilst we go to the cinema but just before Christmas Ophelia began crying when with her. At first I thought it was one of the many normal baby issues,  but it has become apparent that it is when she is not with us.  As soon as I worked this out, I was keen to find a way to reduce this happening, I've always wanted to encourage confidence in her so tried praising her when she didn't cry/positive reinforcement etc but it didn't seem to make a difference.   I was keen to encourage people to carry on holding her when she cried because she was getting into a pattern of crying and only stopping if I held her.  I then tried to help increase her trust with people by sitting her near me but get others to interact and play with her-so she knew I was still there but that those people could be trusted.   The biggest improvement I have seen is this weekend, where she has displayed no such displays and instead showed a normal level of comfort.  I attribute most of this improvement to a combinationof things; reassurance using above techniques, playing peekaboo, and attending nursery.  Don't get me wrong, she has cried whilst settling into nursery but she is now hopefully starting to realise that when I leave her, I'm not going away forever!

I had a discussion with both Ophelia's Aunt (nursery staff) and the nursery staff in regard to all this and apparently it's quite normal and is a sign of object permanence (understanding objects etc exist even when they can't be seen).  Interestingly this doesn't usually happen for a few months.  This really put my mind at ease and I think it's a much more positive way to look at it. Fingers crossed she ll grow up tobe a confident, independent lady-i think nursery will help massively with that.

Did you have any similar issues? 

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