Acquaintances are suddenly suspiciously eyed or rejected, only dad and mom can comfort. What role does the foreigning play and how best to handle it? Sabine's grandmother bends over her grandchild playing peacefully on the carpet. But as soon as she gets closer, the calm is over. Sabine's eyes are timid, her face is distorted, and a mournful scream comes from her mouth. Only the approaching mother can reassure the child when Sabine is on her arm.
Sabine is now 8 months old and has launched her Fremdelphase, also referred to as eight-month anxiety, expressive. From now on, she will respond to many things that are not called mom or dad with restraint and also with suspicion. Parents make life easier when they understand that Sabine is undergoing a necessary development. For crawling children between the seventh and eighth month aware of differences between people aware.
So far, Sabine has extensively familiarized herself with the gestures, sounds, smells and facial expressions of her parents. When Grandma shows up, the little girl realizes: Oh, she's very different from my parents, so I better keep my distance. Since Sabine still can not put her feelings into words, she does not have much means of communication. But those she chooses speak a clear and actually unmistakable language: cry and scream, hide behind Mama's legs or turn her head away from the "stranger".
What relatives and friends quickly take personally and often even interpret as a childish distortion, is basically a security measure against new and foreign. Experts believe that caution and mistrust are even worthwhile to protect against negative experiences.
Unfortunately, one can not tell Sabine's parents and grandma when this phase passes, because every child has a different temperament. For example, the sudden onset of anxiety can last weeks or even months - with one baby being stronger, the other being less pronounced. The encounter with strange situations and people is a trigger, another is the separation of familiar people. Sabine's relationship with her parents has become so intense that she reacts with fear when separated. If mom or dad leaves the room, she feels insecure. When her parents come back, she shines all over her face. In these moments, Sabine needs - even more than usual - protection and understanding.
Her cautious behavior towards strangers is also a sign of devotion and trust in her parents. Therefore, Mom and Dad can enjoy with calm pride those moments when the little one seeks protection from them. For the comfort and safety Sabine experiences through her form the basis for the child's inquisitive and self-confident approach to his or her environment. And indeed, after a few minutes on her mother's arm, Sabine dares to look at the "strange" grandma and ... smiles.
Tips for parents
There are concrete aids that make it easier for the child and his or her environment.
- Gain understanding by telling friends and relatives about the child's childhood phase.
- Take the child and his fears seriously instead of fighting against it.
- Do not force contacts in foreign moments. Prefer something at a distance and calm the child.
- In a separation, for example, when the mother is working, or the parents go out, the child especially slowly get used to the caregiver.
- Break down the fear of separation or a stranger with small games. Peek-and-Go Game: hide your face behind a piece of cloth and then pull it away, gradually increasing the time you spend hiding. Important: When hiding in another room, never close the door between yourself and the child. To make contact is a ball that you can roll back without getting closer. Or give the "stranger" a cuddly toy of the baby in the hand, which arouses interest in the child.