Separation Anxiety – not to be confused with Separation Anxiety Disorder which is characterized by a fear of losing loved ones or being forever separated from loved ones – is common amongst children ages 8 months through 3 years.
Normal separation anxiety shows itself as being upset when left at daycare or with a caregiver as well as being in unknown locations or meeting new people. This can range from crying to full blown temper tantrums and can be a very troublesome experience for parents.
Luckily, there are ways to cope with Separation Anxiety to make the process easier on children.
-Reassure your child that they will be okay, and you will be returning soon.
-Develop a “goodbye” routine and do your best to stay with your routine.
-Do not give in. Children are very perceptive.
-If your child is being left with someone new for the first time, leave them only for a brief time.
-As a parent, keep calm during the separation.
Remember that separation anxiety normally disappears around the age of 3, and is just another stop on the adventure of parenting.
For more ideas on how best to cope with Separation Anxiety
More Reading: WebMD Separation Anxiety Tips and Tricks
***Separation Anxiety Disorder can continue after the age of 3, this is true distress and not just a temper tantrum that will last only moments. Children may become stressed, unable to sleep and sick feeling especially when they know they will be away from their parents or other significant caregivers.
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