How To Teach Your Child To Handle Goodbyes

Some cry, some throw tantrums, and some bawl so hard, it makes your heart break. But family therapist and counsellor Charis Wong says it’s natural for young children to feel a bit nervous or upset when you leave. Your child will eventually grow out of it, but if he or she becomes extremely fearful at the mere thought of you leaving, then it’s advisable to seek professional help.

Don’t stall

Keep your goodbyes short and try not to be lured back by your child’s sobbing. Yes, it’s hard, but delaying your departure will only make things harder.

Develop a goodbye ritual

Create a fun way of saying goodbye, such as high fives or special goodbye kisses. Establishing a ritual gives children a sense of security as it’ll help them make sense of what’s happening.

Avoid sneaking off

Leaving without saying goodbye is not a solution. Do this too often, and it might break your child’s trust in you. Instead, quickly say goodbye and ask someone to distract your child while you leave.

Keep calm

If your child sees you getting worked up while leaving, he or she might take it as a cue to mirror your anxiety.

*This article first appeared in Her World May 2015 and was written by Carmen Chow

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