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  • Writer's pictureIlaria Galliano

The first detachment

Updated: May 29




One of the most significant milestones in a child's life is the separation from a primary caregiver. 


Detachment occurs on a physical and emotional level. The person with whom one spends most of their time during the day will have to separate for several hours from him.


Typically, this experience happens for the first time when the mother has to go back to work or because, due to various commitments, she has to entrust her baby to someone else.


Deciding on the right childcare arrangement can be challenging, especially if you need to go at work and can't stay at home with your child.


The nursery is the perfect environment for children to experience their first separation in a calm and supportive setting, allowing them to engage in new experiences outside of the family environment. Parents and children receive support from professionals, who are dedicated to welcoming children and their families, providing guidance, and accompanying them on this journey. 


As children grow, detachment becomes a necessary and integral part of their journey. For this reason, it must happen most serenely and respecting the emotional times of our children.


The arrival of that moment brings with it a multitude of thoughts that flood the minds of parents:


"He will be fine without me";

"How will he feel?" and "Will I miss them?".


When parents separate from their children, they experience a whirlwind of emotions. It's normal to feel scared at first. The child will stay with someone they don't know, who is a stranger to them. The parent takes an act of trust in entrusting their child.


The nursery provides an opportunity to form socio-emotional relationships. During the initial settling-in period, children can form a stable, transparent, and confidential relationship with their educators. This allows them to share and navigate their first experiences of separation together.


The Nursery provide children with the chance to become familiar with the environment gradually, showing positivity and curiosity towards the area where they will socialize, have fun, and learn. Attending nursery helps children start preschool with more calmness and security.


How do we cope with detachment?


Witnessing a child crying, can evoke intense emotions, especially when our responsibility is to say goodbye gently but decisively, leaving the child in a tender embrace that is not ours.


It's never easy to detach at first, but what we convey through words, our gaze, and the movements of our body is fundamental and can make a difference. Let's prepare together with our children for this moment. Let's talk about it and imagine the situation. We communicate with them even when they are very young; it will be the sound of our voice, our words, and the reassuring and loving tone that will help the child face the situation with charisma and interest, finding their way over time.


It will be the discovery of new possibilities of being, accompanied by our support and the professionals we turn to, that will allow the child to understand that the separation will not last forever. It will only be for a few hours, and we will return to them soon.


How can we prepare for detachment?


We, as adults, can regulate our emotions to make space for our children to express theirs. We will support their growth and development by informing them about what will happen and what they can expect. Let's consider the positive experiences they might have and the potential for a new routine until we return. We will reassure them that although we will say goodbye, we will be back soon.


It is important to be sincere so that the child is prepared for our greeting and knows that the place and the people who will be close to him will accompany him with care and love in this new adventure until our long-awaited return.


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