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How should I deal with daughter getting upset about me going to work?

Q: My 4-year-old daughter has these phases, when she is extremely upset about my going to work. She behaves in an extremely aggressive way with everyone at home and becomes unmanageable at times. The mood lasts for about a week and then she gets over it. But this is repeated after a couple of weeks. Earlier I could relate this behaviour to the periods when I spend more hours at work. But she goes through these separation pangs even though I have stopped working late hours and ensure that I give adequate attention to her everyday. What is the best way to handle these situations and to create a positive thinking in her mind about my going to work?

A:The memory of missing you is still vivid in your child's mind, even though you are more available to her. But since her tantrums had the effect she had hoped for, she may think that a little more show of temper on her part might bring you back for longer hours. When you give her attention, talk to her. Tell her that you love her, but you also have to be away at work. Let her talk to you. While you are cooking for example, she can be in the same space with a cup and spoon, making up a game. Use that time to listen to her. Everything is gradual. She will settle down to the changed routines after a while. A lot also depends on the arrangements you have made for her when you are not there. If you are leaving her with a domestic worker or paid care-giver, please ensure that the situation is comfortable for your child and that she is well looked after. In life, there are no formula solutions. Most of these problems require affection, patience and firmness on the part of parents. All the best.


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