Saturday, 14 January 2012

I'm reading through a book called, "The Emotional Life of a Toddler." It's a great read. It's reminding me of reading papers for Outdoor Rec assignments, but interesting to see what a Ph. D. mind thinks about the way toddlers emotions work. Of particular note is this passage, "Temperamental differences play an important role in the toddler's ability to adjust to separations. A two-hour separation may represent a mild stress for one toddler but a major source of anxiety for a more sensitive less adaptable toddler. Similarly, children differ in their ability to be comforted by somebody they do not know well. Individual differences in response to separations are vast, and parents need to learn their toddlers personal style in order to anticipate when a separation will be overly taxing."
I have long contended that my darling Eli was unique in his make-up and that his stress at being separated was real and intense. It was wonderful to see this suspicion confirmed by someone who has done a lot of research in the field. What frustrates me though is that this is the first book I've read that reported this type of finding. The infant books told me he was fine and that it was harder on me then it was on him. Why then are they now telling that it is different depending on the child and that some children are more seriously affected by separation than others? The book, "Emotional Life of a Toddler" goes on to say that it is possible to cause long-term anxiety if the parent is not attentive to the toddlers individual needs. It doesn't say not to ever leave them, it just suggests ways to help prepare the child for the separation and ways to reassure the child that you will be coming back.
Anywho, as I type the boys both have fevers and terrible coughs, so it doesn't look like they will be separated from me anytime soon!


  1. I feel the same way. My Silas couldn't even handle being left with my husband until he was over a year old. Everyone would tell me just to leave him and let him cry it out at church. But I always figured that he decide when he's ready to stay with people and relax when he's ready. It took until he was 2 1/2 y.o. Now he is pretty easy going about things and has no problem staying in Child Care at church or with a babysitter.

  2. Alexandra was (and to some extent still is) like that. She was just over 18 months before I could leave her with anyone else while she was awake. Now it is easier to talk to her and let her know that I will be back and if it is something she has done before then we talk about how much fun it was. She's great for the moast part now but it took a long time.

  3. Thanks ladies. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one!