Observe the child when the adult returns or comes to pick the child up after a several hour separation.
No elicitation needed.
The greeting the adult gets after a separation is partially dependent on how hard the separation was initially and if the child had a difficult time during the separation. Anger toward the adult may be seen if the experience was uncomfortable for the child. On the other hand, the child may also greet the adult with excitement.
Help parents understand that the child’s point of view: she was afraid the adult wouldn’t return and her anger stems from concern. Help parents know how to reflect the child’s feelings, reassure the child, and offer affection. Also, help the adult understand how to prepare the child when a separation is to occur. Be alert to disorders in attachment that may require more support and intervention.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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