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Session 1/13

Page 4/5: What do we know from our own life about separations and overcoming separations?

What do we know from our own lives about separations and overcoming separations?


2×20 minutes

In this task, you sit together with another staff member and conduct the interview.

The purpose of the interview is to find out what you both know about being attached and how you reacted to separations while you grew up. You should discuss how each staff member can use her or his childhood experiences when working as a professional child/youth caretaker.

One participant interviews another for 20 minutes. Then roles are reversed and the other person interviews. After the interviews, you will present your partner’s work in plenum for 5 minutes.
Simply ask the questions and listen to the answers.

Your start in life:

  1. What was the situation of your parents when your mother became pregnant – where did they live, how old were they, how many children did they have?
  2. Do you know how your pregnancy and birth went? (did your parents tell any stories about it?)
  3. Who looked after you from your birth and until you were 3 years old?
  4. What is the traditional way of taking care of babies in your culture?
  5. What was the best thing in the way your parents cared for you?
  6. What is the most safe and comforting situation you can remember from your childhood with a parent or caregiver?
  7. What is the first difficult separation you can remember, great or small?
  8. How did you react to this – what did you think, feel, do?
  9. How did you try to cope with this separation – what did you think, feel and do? (anger with the caretaker, “freezing inside”, try to forget or ignore and function anyway, feeling sad?)
  10. Have you seen any of the children in your institution react in the same way you did – who?

Your professional development:

  1. What made you choose childcare as your profession?
  2. What are the most important basic values for you as a professional? What is most important for you in childcare?

Your present work:

  1. Where do the children in your institution come from?
  2. What are their problems?
  3. What do you find most rewarding and most difficult in your daily work?
  4. Do you recognize any of the children’s problems from your own childhood? How can this understanding be used in the way you work with them?
  5. What do you think is most important for you to work with in order to become a better caregiver? What can your leader do to support this?

After interviews:
Present your thoughts for the whole group: 5 minutes each.
(If there are many staff members: 2 minutes each).


15 minutes

  • Discuss how all the caregivers’ childhood experiences give you understanding of children’s reactions and need for care. These life experiences and your thoughts about them are the most important part of your professional education.
  • Discuss how you can use this knowledge in your work. How can we observe the children´s reactions to comforting care and difficult separations in our daily practice?