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Difficulty leaving his caregiver's side

  • Depending on the age of the child, this may indicate the beginning of the assertion stage. During this transitional period, the child may become confused. Two desires manifest each other at the same time: to be dependant and to be independent. The child cries to express his disagreement regarding the presence of certain people. Beyond his cries, he is telling you he wishes to be close to you.
  • At times, the child is showing great insecurity. He is worried when people he is very attached to are absent. Be sure to reassure the child frequently, verbally and non-verbally.

  • Speak calmly. Inform the child of activities to come and use visual reference points.

  • Exercise progressive detachment. Gently help the child approach others. Recognize his feelings and accept his reactions. To desensitize him, tie a long scarf to his waist. This will allow him to remain in contact with you without being in your arms.

  • Play "peek-a-boo" games with him to familiarize him with disappearing and reappearing.

  • Be constant in your interventions. Suggest an alternative to holding him in your arms. Explain that there are moments when you may hold him and others when it isn't possible.

  • Create several "one on one" moments. Shower him with affection. If his need is fulfilled, he will be less likely to demand your attention.

  • When people he is less comfortable with are present (like your husband or daughter), remain in the same room to reassure him by your presence.

  • Use a transitional object he likes to ease sad moments. Create a cozy corner, a quiet area he may use to be alone with his transitional object.

  • Craft an object which represents the child's universe: a photo album, laminated pictures, etc.

  • Let the child carry a kiss his mother left on a piece of paper throughout the day.

  • Have a conversation with the child, inviting him to verbalize his emotions.

  • Invent a secret code with the child. Make room for privileged moments.

  • Meet with the child's parents to see how he reacts elsewhere and to gain knowledge of his temperament.

  • Observe the child's arrival in the morning. Is the mother insecure when she leaves him? Create a routine.



Sonia Leclerc

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