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How To Prepare Your Toddler For Daycare If They Have Attachment Issues

by on 22/08/2022 298

As parents, you want the best for your child. This means making sure they’re properly cared for, even when you have to step away from them. After all, some parents have to focus on work so that they can afford to raise their child, to begin with.

Because of this, many parents such as yourself are opting for daycare in Malaysia. However, you may find yourself facing challenges where your child is having severe attachment issues. They cry the moment you step away, even if it’s just to go to the kitchen. They throw a fit when you step out of the house without them.

If this is what you’re facing, you will need to look into your parenting techniques to determine the best way to help your child if they’re having attachment issues.

Knowing The Best Parenting Technique

There are many parenting techniques and approaches available for us to read about online. Some of them match our preferences, background, and experiences while others don’t feel quite right or are unfamiliar. This might make you wonder how they can fit into your daily life.

One parenting theory that has received support from the public is attachment parenting. You may have seen it referenced on TV or the internet because celebrities are doing it. But when deciding whether to combine childcare with attachment parenting, there seems to be a dilemma.

As we know that all children function differently so it is important to understand the different types of parenting methods work and whether it is suitable to raise your child with. By understanding the different parenting techniques, you will be able to pick and adopt certain styles from different methods that will make the transition and preparation to daycare easier for you and your toddler.

How does Attachment Parenting Work?

The term "attachment parenting" refers to a parenting style in which parents develop a close relationship with their children. While some have referred to it as "spoiling," others think it is simply the natural way humans raise children.

Attachment parenting has some specific features, which have been dubbed "The 7 Baby Bs", and it includes:

  1. Birth bonding: As soon as the baby is born, cuddling and attunement begin, continuing for days or weeks.
  2. Breastfeeding: Especially if it includes the toddler years
  3. Baby wearing: Keeping your infant close to you, sometimes literally, at all times! To do this, mothers utilise slings, wraps, or baby carriers. To put it another way, leaving a child in a playpen is the polar opposite of attachment parenting.
  4. Bedding close to your baby: Co-sleeping with your child in this manner is safe.
  5. Believing that your baby's cries have meaning: In other words, pay attention to your baby's cries and don't ignore them. Attachment parenting discourages the use of the "cry it out" technique. It is thought to lead to stress, which in turn affects your baby's growth.
  6. Beware of baby trainers: To put it another way, let life "flow" rather than forcing your baby to follow a fixed routine. This also includes avoiding sleep training.
  7. Balance: The 24/7 nature of attachment parenting will have a negative impact on you as a parent. So, the objective is to also pay attention to your own intuitive cues for when "enough" is enough.

Challenges of Attachment Parenting

Aside from the issue of bed-sharing and the risks of SIDS, another negative of attachment parenting is the stress it can cause you as parents. Being the primary caretaker for a child's demands round-the-clock can be very physically and emotionally taxing.

Getting back to work and establishing restful sleeping habits might be challenging. It may also have an effect on your mental health as a parent. According to some, your child may become overly dependent on you as a result of attachment parenting. Separation problems later in life may result from this.

Attachment parenting may also instil fear due to "insecure attachment". But this only occurs in rare instances, such as when children in foster care have experienced neglect or abuse or when the mother is suffering from postpartum depression and is consequently aloof and uncommunicative with her child.

Attachment Parenting vs Secure Attachment

The unique connection and relationship you share with your child are known as attachment. This instils trust and communication skills in your child. Attachment promotes emotional regulation, social skills, and empathy development. For a child's overall growth and educational success, attachment is important.

The Searses' attachment parenting theory, which is supported by an organisation called Attachment Parenting International, is based on eight key concepts, including nursing, co-sleeping, continual physical contact such as baby-wearing, and emotional responsiveness. The method is a well-intended response to previous, more direct parenting counsel, and the advice tends to be given in an encouraging, caring, and baby-centred manner.

Other than attachment, some of the practices are beneficial. But the suggestion is frequently taken literally and in severe cases. Some suggestions include:

  • Nurturing touch
  • Positive discipline
  • Engaging in nighttime parenting

As described by Sears, attachment parenting has not been scientifically connected to a secure attachment outcome. And for parents who are unaware of the distinction, this misperception can create guilt, concern, and misdirection.

Your securely attached child typically shows signs of distress when you as a parent leave, and they are happy when you return. When your child is scared, they will seek comfort from you.

Aside from that, your child who is securely attached to you will also be open to parental contact, and they behave positively when you return from being away. While your child can be consoled to some extent by others when you as a parent are not around, they will still prefer your comfort.

When your child is securely attached to you, you are likely to respond to their needs more promptly and are generally more sensitive to them compared to children who are insecurely attached to their parents.

How to Prepare Your Toddler for Daycare

It is typical for your securely attached child to object to what they believe to be a life-threatening separation from you. Gradually, your toddler will come to grasp that you do come back when you go, but they are not yet able to fully comprehend this.

Your child is made to interact with the people they are attached to. They will not feel entirely protected until they are attached to their caregiver and know they can rely on the caregiver to meet their requirements. So your responsibility is to develop ways to help your child bond with the caregiver while also assisting the caregiver in understanding your child so that they can meet your child's requirements.

Practice secure attachment parenting style at home

Your child doesn't "get used to" being without you. They start to feel secure around someone else. A strong relationship between your child and their caregiver is the only way to help them overcome their sadness when you leave.

They will still be upset when you leave, but the caregiver should be able to make them feel better. The protest from your child should be brief. If they continue to cry for another fifteen minutes, it indicates that they are not open to receiving consolation from this new individual.

Play role-playing games with your toddler - e.g. Play "school"

Your child might learn that you are about to leave but will return by engaging in pretend to play with toy animals. Encourage them to understand that people come back and that things can appear again after disappearing. Play games like "Peek a Boo," "Hide and Seek," or "Hiding and Trying to Find a Loved Object."

Introduce your child to other children

Encourage your child's socialisation with the other children, especially with the babysitter. As soon as they become involved in something, attempt to go to the side and be visible but uninvolved.

Before putting your child in a daycare centre, arrange playdates because having familiar faces in their class would make them feel more at ease.

Have a goodbye routine

A goodbye routine gives your child comfort and familiarity, so they are prepared for what's to come. It can be a unique embrace or handshake that you and your child agree upon. When you've finished saying goodbye, it's better to leave quickly to avoid distracting your child.

Maintain your daily routine and refrain from the urge to either lengthen it or shorten it. Your child will benefit from knowing what to expect. A lengthy farewell sequence may simply serve to confirm a child's perception of preschool as a hostile place.

Fight the urge to sneak away

While it may seem tempting to leave the room immediately, your child will be more terrified if you do so. In the long run, it will worsen their separation anxiety. The ideal method to begin the separation process is for you to accompany your child to daycare and sit next to them.

Rather than interacting with their games and toys, you should just be there as a safety net. While it can take them a few days to begin waving to you, you should continue to do so. By being calm, you can communicate your trust that your child will be able to endure the separation.

Your Toddler Deserves To Enjoy Themselves In A Daycare Centre

The key to developing a healthy relationship with children is to create an environment that fosters positive behaviours, encourages trust, and establishes a connection between the child and the adult. Healthy attachments are encouraged during the early years when adults develop relationships with children.

While it will be difficult for attachment parents to leave their children in daycare, they do not have to do so alone or all at once. An excellent daycare centre will allow you to spend as much time as you need with your child. Additionally, while you are away, they will also guarantee that your child feels included and is given the attention they deserve.

This might assist in relieving any concerns you may have about mixing attachment parenting and daycare.

Have more questions about daycare centres for your toddler? Kiddy123 is Malaysia’s No.1 Early Childhood Directory where we help parents to find preschools, enrichment programs, and more! Contact us today or call us at +603-74981203.


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