Memorial for Bill Kenwright from The RYTC

The RYTC team was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and patron Bill Kenwright CBE. 

Bill was a partner, father, grandfather, great friend and patron. He will be missed by many and this is testament to his giving nature and impact on the theatre and creative arts space. The team wanted to honour his legacy and influence with this memorial page.

The RYTC’s Artistic Director started her career in Bill Kenwright’s work family. Bill told her to go and open her own youth theatre, because ‘being creative is so important for our kids!’ His mantra… “go and do it”!! And if “it” is right – then you can’t fail.”

To name only a fraction of the awards and achievements Bill received are the notable honour of a CBE in 2002, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Theatrical Management Association in 2008, and an honourary BBC Radio 2 special episode of Friday Night in 2017 broadcast from the London Palladium itself. Bill was nominated for a London Theatre Critics’ Award for West Side Story and a Tony Award for Blood Brothers.

This multi-award winning career saw Bill’s West End productions constantly in notable venues such as the RSC, Dominion, Palladium, Apollo and many others. Ensuring his legacy as one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers.

Bill embodied the spirit of empowering young people through creative opportunities. His legacy will be felt and continued through the many groups and communities he supported with the mission of providing opportunities to local young people. Bill made his community and generations of people richer through experiences such as finding like minds, getting creative and fostering confidence in young people.

The RYTC in memory of Bill will continue to “go and do it” as his legacy will continue to empower our team, kids and encourage everyone to be creative.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s family at this difficult time and also with the many people we know he impacted for the better.

Separation anxiety is a common and natural part of a child’s development, but it can be challenging for both parents and children to navigate. Whether it’s the first day of preschool, leaving for a playdate, or saying goodbye at daycare, separation can trigger feelings of anxiety and distress.

In this week’s guide, we’ll provide practical advice for parents on how to help their children cope with separation anxiety, understand its underlying causes, and promote a sense of security and independence.

Understanding Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety typically surfaces in infants around 6-8 months and may continue into toddlerhood. It usually peaks at around 18 months but gradually subsides as children grow and become more accustomed to separations.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

  • Developmental Milestones

Separation anxiety often coincides with important developmental milestones, such as object permanence. Children begin to understand that when someone leaves, they still exist, but they miss them.

  • Attachment

Strong parent-child attachments are healthy, but they can also lead to separation anxiety. Children become distressed when separated from their primary caregivers.

  • Fear of the Unknown

Young children thrive on routine and predictability. Anything new or unfamiliar can trigger anxiety, including new people, places, or experiences.

Tips for Parents

1. Gradual Transitions

Ease into separations gradually. Start with short periods of separation and gradually increase the time. This helps children become accustomed to the idea.

2. Consistency and Routine

Maintain a consistent routine as much as possible. Predictability provides a sense of security. Make drop-offs and pick-ups consistent and reassuring.

3. Positive Goodbyes

When saying goodbye, keep it short, sweet, and positive. Reassure your child that you’ll return and stick to your promise.

4. Comfort Items

Allow your child to bring a comfort item, like a stuffed toy or blanket, to provide familiarity and comfort during separations.

5. Stay Calm

Children can pick up on their parents’ emotions. Stay calm and composed during separations to convey a sense of confidence and security.

6. Goodbye Rituals

Create a special goodbye ritual or routine. It could be a secret handshake, a special phrase, or a kiss on a specific spot.

7. Acknowledge Feelings

It’s essential to validate your child’s feelings of anxiety. Let them know it’s okay to feel this way and that you understand.

8. Stay Informed

Stay informed about your child’s activities and experiences while separated. Knowing what they do can help alleviate your concerns.

9. Build Independence

Encourage independence by letting your child make choices within safe limits. This can boost their confidence.

10. Seek Professional Help

If separation anxiety persists or intensifies and disrupts daily life, consider consulting a pediatrician or child psychologist for guidance and support.

Conclusion

Separation anxiety is a normal part of a child’s development, but with patience, understanding, and supportive parenting, most children eventually outgrow it. Remember that every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. By providing a safe and loving environment, you can help your child navigate separation anxiety and build a foundation of security and independence for their future.

Join the weekly Thursday RYTC workshops for parents/guardians and children with separation anxiety in the Sydni Centre, Cottage Square Sydenham, Leamington Spa at 3:30 PM. Email jules@rytc.co.uk to book a place for you and your child.