The early school years – dealing with separations

Episode Description

This is the 2nd in the series: Parenting through stages of development ‘Today’s podcast discusses parenting in the early school years. In particular, how parent’s managed themselves with a shy child. The interactions presented highlight a child’s separation anxiety in the context of reluctance to attend school. The fist interaction reveals the familiar worry cycle parents easily find themselves in. The more the parents focus on her worry about the child not coping at school, the more she focuses on rescuing her son. The child participates in this worry cycle with increasingly dependent reactions. The second interaction presents a calmer parent who focuses on what they bring to the exchange. The podcast explores the topic of children’s temperament and the effect on parent protectiveness. Also explored is some fascinating research from animal and human studies on the value of regular exposure to stress.

The message for parents is that Parent separation anxiety can be just as natural as a child’s separation anxiety. The good news is that it is within the parent’s control to address their sensitivities to their child, to tolerate their child’s exposure to appropriate life stress and, in turn to promote their child’s stress management for life. 

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Research links

Kagans Inhibited and Uninhibited Temperaments

Exposure to frequent separations.

Lyons DM, Parker KJ, Schatzberg AF. Animal models of early life stress: implications for understanding resilience. Dev Psychobiol. 2010 Nov;52(7):616-24. doi: 10.1002/dev.20500. PMID: 20957724; PMCID: PMC6716163.