Tips to make goodbyes better for both parent and child

Tips to make goodbyes better for both parent and child

(BPT) – As a parent, you've probably experienced the clinging, clutching and crying that often accompany a goodbye when your child returns to day care or preschool after a long holiday break. Separation can be difficult for both children and their parents. Remember, separation anxiety is perfectly normal and can start at any time during the first three years.

The challenge of separation can vary greatly depending on your child's age, developmental stage, temperament and environment. But there is relief. Child development experts agree families can learn how to ease separation anxiety and manage transitions by developing a predictable routine between the parent and/or caregiver and child -- a consistent way to say goodbye.

Saying goodbye helps your child

You may be tempted to sneak out and avoid a scene, but that only tends to make your child more anxious. Creating a consistent and predictable routine will help ease separations that are painful for both of you. The repetition of a goodbye routine will help your child develop a sense of security and facilitate a smoother transition from your presence to your absence and back again.

"Neuroscience has shown that the consistency and predictability will help your child learn to anticipate your return," says Dr. Victoria Simms, child development specialist and president of the Simms/Mann Institute. "It's very important for young children to have experiences that promote security. Consistent routines leave a positive imprint on the brain that will help set the stage for easier transitions during times of separation."

Tips for easing separation anxiety

1. Bring a familiar object from home. Children often find comfort in familiar objects such as a cuddly lovie, toy or blanket. These special items are called transitional objects. By introducing a transitional object early on your child will begin associating it with you and what you represent to them: warmth, comfort, security and most of all, love.

2. Create your own consistent goodbye routines and rituals. Creating a consistent and predictable goodbye routine is key to making transitions easier. Designate a special place in your house where you can focus on each other for a few minutes before saying goodbye. Don't forget to confidently give your child a hug and a kiss and be on your way.

3. Comfort yourself. When you're comfortable and calm, your child will feel less anxious and more confident. Remember, thoughtful distress can help you and your child grow and spending the time to say goodbye will enable your child to manage the separation and help your child reconnect with you in a more positive way when you return.

To further help parents and caregivers understand the importance of creating consistent and predictable routines, the Simms/Mann Institute recently launched the CuddleBright(TM) Experience, a product that incorporates all the elements needed to get your goodbye routine off to a strong start.

By integrating the latest neuroscience research and years of child development theories, the CuddleBright(TM) Experience aims to connect and comfort both parents and children during times of separation. The product is specially designed for children ages 0-5 and their parents. It includes a cuddly lovie, a beautifully illustrated board book, "A Cuddle Before I Go," and a special keepsake heart that will serve as a transitional object for the parent. These items work together to create a loving goodbye routine for both parent and child. In addition, the CuddleBright(TM) Experience includes a parenting guide focused on 18 child development topics that provide tips and strategies for navigating parenthood.

For more information about the CuddleBright(TM) Experience visit www.cuddlebright.com.


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When it comes to potty training your toddlers, every child is completely different. Potty training can be a complete breeze and for others a total nightmare. This guide has been specifically tested and designed to make potty training toddlers as simple and stress free on both you and your child as possible. With that in mind it is completely crucial that you enter into potty training your toddler with an open mind. Know that accidents will happen and are a normal, guaranteed part of potty training. If you grow more and more frustrated with every clean up or dirty pair of big kid underpants, it is crucial you stick with the plan and remain positive in order to turn things around.

There is no such thing as the right age to begin potty training your toddlers. Children aged two and older typically grasp potty training much faster than a child who is younger but at one big disadvantage. Around the age of two a child will start seeking out their independence.
There are a few things we can do starting right now that will have our child showing enough signs their ready to be potty trained:
-Bring your Child favorite story and toy into the bathroom
-Have your child play with the toy in the bathroom and read them the story while you are sitting on the toilet
-After your bowel movement have them look in the bowl and flush the toilet for you waving goodbye to the poopy

This little exercise alone can be very powerful in preparing your child for potty training for a number of reasons.
-It lets them know that pooping is alright because mommy and daddy do it
-That by reading and playing, the bathroom can be a fun place and there is nothing scary about pooping or flushing
-Most importantly thats where you go when it is time to go potty!

I recommend starting to bring them into the washroom with you one week before potty training and continued right through the potty training process for best results. Skipping this step can lead to a child being afraid of using their potty and cause constipation.

Whether your wanting to start potty training your toddler now or want start later down the road, this is information every parents needs to know.

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Potty training is just that, training! Any and all visual aids such as this method or even children’s books/video can help them come to a better understanding about potty training. This method also makes things fun and has your child become even more involved in the potty training process as they are not practicing what they have learned not only on themselves but also on their stuffed animal. There have been many cases where if a child shows absolutely every single sign of being ready for potty training AND is close to three of older. Parents have had their child fully potty trained in less than one day! http://youtu.be/mUyMDsOfvkA

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