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Overcoming the "Separation Anxiety" Illusion

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Overcoming the "Separation Anxiety" Illusion

Overcoming the “Separation Anxiety” Illusion


Starting your little one into any activity can be an overwhelming experience for many parents.  Watching your child cry; feeling their defiance or resistance to the wonderful activity you have planned for them can take all the fun out of starting your child on their first learning venture and extra curricular activity .  Some parents find it very easy to just give in, give up or feel that it is not the right time for their child.  Don't worry! This is more common than you think and there is a solution.  There will be a light at the end of that tunnel.  We setup an interview with Professor Igor Almeida, 4th degree black belt at PBGMA with over 20 years experience working with children to help answer some of these questions and better guide the parents who are experiencing this part of the journey with their toddlers or preschoolers beginning their first extra curricular.


What if my child cries or throws a tantrum because they don’t want to do it:

The child will do what works at home; if they get away with crying or yelling, then they are going to try what works in other places.  At our academy we kindly ask the parent to trust the process and step out of the facility temporarily until they calm down.  So you understand, the child is entering a new environment with new people.  It is only natural for them to feel some discomfort and display some kind of resistance.  This is not the case with all children; however there are cases of children who experience this.  


Is there anything me (the parent) can say to my child to make this easier? 

The kids that cry more often carry more anxiety.  In over two decades of working with hundreds of families, a trend I have seen amongst the younger ones, between 2-5 years old is a link between higher anxiety and parents having conversations with the children.  This is especially so with the toddler group (two and three year olds).  At that age, the children are still learning how to talk and their vocabulary is very limited.  When a parent conversates with a toddler, they are often confused and express that confusion when they are in uncomfortable environments or situations. A good example of this is a parent telling the child at the arrival of class “Sweety, why are you upset right now, you said you loved it in the car, tell me what are you feeling right now?”  Rather than asking your child what they want – show them what they need instead by giving it to them.  Would you ask your child if they want to go school? 


How can I make this easier on myself?

Keep your eye on the goal.  If you maintain your focus on the benefits your child is receiving, it will make the process a lot smoother. Once they have the habit of only receiving what is good and what you want for them -without being asked, it will eliminate that anxiety. In our case, we teach martial arts.  This activity is chosen because the parent wants to instill discipline, respect and structure in their child's life.  They will obviously also learn martial arts, how to defend themselves, have fun and make friends; but the ultimate goal of the parent is to give their child a valuable tool for their growth and life.  


Will my child eventually stop crying?

Absolutely! 100% of the kids whose parent followed the directions, along with some patience stopped crying.  The parents have seen the results.  Once the child understands that the behavior does not work, they move on to observe the other children have fun and want to participate as well.


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