A few Sundays ago Amanda was dropping Kayleigh off in the two year old class at church. I stood in the hallway and watched as Kayleigh’s Separation Anxiety slowly consumed her. She wanted her mommy. Nobody or anything was going to satisfy her.
As I watched…This Mimi’s heart ached for her… and Amanda. I remembered when my kids were that young. It always hurt to leave them. They didnt understand that I’d never put them in harm’s way and that I’d always return. But we have to teach THEM to trust US and it’s a very important stage in their development. When they became older, WE have to learn to trust THEM when we are separated. This is just as important!
Babies start going through the “Separation Anxiety Stage” around 7 months and it last each child different amounts of time. It can be triggered for many different things and is VERY VERY REAL!!
In a way, it’s good news for your “little baby!” They are becoming aware of strangers when you leave them. Being worried about stranger’s is a sign that your baby has made a big leap in thinking and understanding. Develop a calm, short goodbye routine. (Hugs, quick kisses, and leave the room….May Work….Or Not!) Make it a big deal when you return. Tell them how proud you are that they did it and express a big….Yippee!! This Crazy Hard stage for your baby will pass over time, so you can rest assured, because ALL babies have to go through it!
The Crazy Thing is…. later it’s the PARENT who goes through the “Separation Anxiety Stage.” But this stage begins when your BABY is around 17! So, don’t be alarmed when YOU start going through a very similar experience that your baby once did. Only this time it is when THEY are leaving YOU! Hang in there…..You can make it through It! And it can still be great news!
The first time my oldest son took the car alone was the onset of my first full blown “Separation Anxiety Attack!” I prayed and prayed…and I (and him) made it! Over the years, I have experienced a lot more “attacks!” (OK maybe they’re not “real attacks” but they are episodes where I have become “real frantic”) And….despite my own disbelief at times…I have made it through ALL of them thus far! I have endured the separation of having three drivers, each of them exploring life and different jobs, going away to college, taking trips with friends and just this weekend having my first child move out on their own! You can too with Gods help and a whole lot of prayers! They always know where home is! After all…..Home Is Where The Heart is! Even with knowing that, my heart strings still get pulled often and I am pretty sure yours will too.
I realized this weekend that my goodbye routine is very similar to when they were babies. Calm and short works best for me. Making it a Big Deal when I see them again. I still always express a big…Yippee!!! It doesn’t lessen the heart ache of them being away, but it sure helps to celebrate the moments you are together. Learning how to watch them grow and become independent from you is Crazy Hard!! But you can rest assured, because ALL parents have to go through it!
What a calming thought it is to know How Jesus feels towards us when we separate from Him! There are times we make choices that can bring us into many unknowns, or far away from Him. I can only imagine the Separation Anxiety that He has for his children when ONE becomes separated. I’m thankful that my feelings for my children are nothing like the heart ache Jesus has for them. His heart ache is soooooo much greater for them than ours. It gives me amazing peace and comfort knowing His Love for His (our) Children is far beyond comprehension or measure.
Every child and parent will go through the “Separation Anxiety Stage” in raising their children. Continue to pray your child never chooses to separate from God. But we can all rest assured, that every time one of His children takes a step away from Him, He never leaves them or says goodbye! He waits patiently for their return home to Him. And He is so proud of them when He sees them again. He wants each of us to understand what a big deal it is when we are no longer separated from Him. I just know He has to celebrate to an extreme we can’t imagine….I bet He jumps up and down and expresses a big….Yippee!!!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.