Parents and children end up being separated for many reasons. Parents die, go away to war for extended times, and have work responsibilities far from home.
Sometimes parents are separated from their children because the parents have broken a law resulting in extended detention in a correctional facility or even deportation if they are an illegal immigrant. Of course, some parent-child bonds are severed by death during natural disasters, wars, and acts of violence.
Sometimes a child is left without a biological parent but is highly attached to a loving family member or other caregiver thus, their separation experience may not be as traumatic as if they had no loving family or other caregiver following the separation.
Children who felt close to the parent they lost may display a range of anxious behavior patterns and sometimes express anger in words and actions. Separation anxiety is common in young children who cling to their parent or other caregiver for security when around strangers or other perceived threats (e.g., barking dogs, loud noises).
But after age three, healthy children usually appear more confident at some distance from their parents. They learn to enjoy friends and adapt to school knowing their parents will be there at the end of the day.
|Discipline with Respect
Symptoms of Distress
|Discipline with Respect
We should state the obvious that children need loving care to develop into secure and healthy adults. Children can survive unpleasant and even dangerous surroundings when they are loved and nurtured by a trusted adult who either is, or functions as, a parent. The warm embrace of a loving parent serves as a psychological shield during times of stress.
Keep in mind that spirituality is very important to many families. For example, most Americans are Christian. And most people in the affiliate with a religion. Parenting and discipline ought to consider the child's family values--including those values linked to their faith.
Caregivers should make notes of the trauma triggers they observe and seek help as needed to help children learn ways to manage their response to such triggers. Some triggers may result in anger and aggression, which can make parenting difficult. Consulting a professional may help parents brainstorm ways to keep the distressed child and others safe while helping the child find safe ways to express their distress and anger.
Anxiety in Children (APA)