Separation anxiety, or the fear of being separated from one’s parents or guardians, manifests in a variety of ways and differs greatly from child to child. Some babies weep hysterically when their parents or guardians are gone for a brief period of time, while other children are distressed when they leave for a new environment, such as kindergarten.
Today, we’ll get a little further into separation anxiety and how you can help your child solve it.
Symptoms and facts
Separation anxiety is an entirely normal developmental stage and a beautiful sign of a meaningful attachment. Here are some common stages that your child will go through as he or she develops:
- From 8 to 14 months, children recognize their parents as familiar and safe. When separated from their parents, they feel threatened and unsafe
- Consistent separation anxiety usually ends when the child is around 2 years old
- After 2 years old, separation anxiety may return in times of stress such as when in unfamiliar situations, most often when separated from their parents
Each child may have different symptoms, but some common signs of separation anxiety are:
- Panic or temper tantrums at times of separation from parents or caregivers
- Refusing to go to sleep without the primary caregiver nearby
- Physical complaints such as stomach aches right before or during the timing of separation
- Clinging onto parents or primary caregiver during separation
Overcoming separation anxiety
Don’t lose hope if you know these signs and are worried about your child’s separation anxiety. There are some tried-and-true methods for helping you and your child cope with separation anxiety.
Practice makes perfect
At first, just leave your child with a caregiver for short periods of time. Gradually increase the length of time you abandon your child when he or she becomes used to separation.
Consistency is essential. Be sure you follow the rituals exactly. To develop your child’s faith and freedom, repeat the same ritual every day at the same time.
Have sweet goodbye routines
Simple routines may provide a sense of security. Before going, it could be a sweet farewell kiss or a cute gesture through the curtain. Keep it brief and to the point!
In any case, separation anxiety is stressful for both the adult and the infant. Follow these tips to help your child overcome separation anxiety so that you can better your relationship with him or her!