Separation and resilience….

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Starting kindy can be much anticipated by some children and dreaded by a few. Some children (and parents) are not very experienced in saying good-bye to each other. This blog has you in mind. When children cry and are distressed when parents leave, their brains are in brown brain, a non-rational state of fight, flight or freeze. To move from this state, some children calm when cuddled and reassured while others need space and time to self-sooth. The red brain is the hub for emotions and building relationships.  Aside from calm sounds and acknowledging how they feel, talking is a waste of your breath as they won’t be able to hear until feeling calmer. This is when the blue brain kicks in, which supports their ability to listen, think, regulate emotions and plan.

Being at kindy and away from you is a process that children have to move through. As much as parents are absolutely THE most important people in a child’s like, children have to manage this process of calming themselves. Staying around for longer just builds the anticipation and delays the process of moving the dominance from one part of the brain to another.

As hard as it is to resist the temptation to sweep back in and take away the stress (separation from you), it is essential for your child’s developing resilience that they experience these BIG emotions and work out ways to calm. Resilience is related to moving dominance to the blue brain. When this happens the fast heartbeat and changes activated by stress can start to reverse, expanding capacity to recover from and adapt to challenges (separating from you).

As one parent a few years ago said,

 My purpose is to build my children’s resilience. I want them to experience mistakes and
situations where things don’t necessarily go how they thought they would.  I want my children to face adversity and make mistakes and be able to pick themselves up and try again. It’s hard for me to standby however I try to think of the long term benefits. I am hoping that by having these uncomfortable experiences, my children will feel that they have the ability to be brave when they feel scared, try when they feel like it might be too hard and keep going when things don’t go according to plan. 

Check out another MPC blog Saying Good-bye which provides great strategies for both children and parents.