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How To Deal With Separation Anxiety

22/12/2017

 

 

What is separation anxiety, really? It refers to “excessive fear or anxiety about separation from home or an attachment figure.” It is normal in very young children (those between 8 and 14 months old). Kids often go through a phase when they are "clingy" and afraid of unfamiliar people and places. Tearful, tantrum-filled goodbyes are common during a child's earliest years.

 

Around the first birthday, many kids develop separation anxiety, getting upset when a parent tries to leave them with someone else, just like leaving them with their teachers when in school. While separation anxiety is a normal part of your child's development, this should not be left unchecked, especially when your child is already starting his education.

 

Here are tips on how to deal with your child’s (and maybe your own) separation anxiety:

 

 

 

 

1. TEACH YOUR KID TO BE INDEPENDENT

 

 

This should be your priority among others. There are parents that still treat their children like babies even when they are fully capable of doing things on their own. In turn, their children became more dependent and are less likely to make important life decisions on their own. While it is given that you should give utmost care for your children while they are still young and small, it doesn’t it hurt if you teach them how to be independent.

 

Let your child decide what to eat, what toys to play, what to wear etc. Don’t let your child be dependent on you especially on the little things. Teaching your child independence will give them the preparation they need for adulthood.

 

 

2. BE PRESENT WHILE BEING ABSENT

 

 

This tip will help in both your anxieties. Let your child participate in activities where you could be present while not participating yourself. Try to distance yourself in a gradual manner until your child’s confidence builds up and encourages him to do things on his own without your presence. Try asking him to buy food at a coffee shop or interact with other children at the playground on his own. Always ensure your child’s safety all the time!

 

 

3. REWARD HIM FOR HIS FREEDOM!

 

 

Rewarding your kid with something that he likes will boost your child’s assurance that he is doing good and will make your child display a better mood or behavior and will have less tantrums every time you need to leave your kid temporarily.

 

 

4. TELL YOUR CHILD IT’S OKAY TO FEEL NERVOUS

 

 

For parents, separation anxiety in their child’s preschool years may very exhausting. Just when you think your child developed a little independence, the tantrums and tears can come roaring back, usually thanks to a new stress such as a new sibling, new teachers or a change in living environment. Give your child a hug and say something like "I know that you're nervous. Let's think of another time you were scared but it was okay. Remember the first time in the slide?"

 

 

5. RESIST YOUR CHILD’S REGRESSION

 

 

A preschooler who is experiencing separation anxiety may also regress in other ways, such as asking for her pacifier back or insisting on sleeping with you. When you're exhausted or fed up, it's only natural to take the path of least resistance and ease up on the rules you've established. Instead of altering the routine, give your child extra hugs and kisses. Plus, by maintaining the consistency, you're sending the message that there's nothing wrong. Of course, we all give in sometimes. So, if you find yourself being more flexible than you planned, cut yourself some slack and try again.

 

 

6. LET YOUR CHILD BRING A COMFORT OBJECT

 

 

I bet we all had one of these when we were kids. These objects are the kind that make us feel relieved or calm us down whenever we are somewhere or some people that we do not know. They are our coping mechanisms to help us adjust to the surrounding. It helps your child ease anxiety and discomfort.

 

It may comfort your baby to have something they identify with you – like a scarf with your scent on or a favorite toy – close by. This may reassure them while you are away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Rise & Shine is established to provide our children with a better opportunities for their upcoming future. Our founding vision was to help and educate parents to nurture healthier, happier and brighter children. As part of what we do, we organise parenting workshops, carnivals and the largest play and educational festival in Asia. We also organise a series of children events throughout the year where families can bond, learn and have fun.

 

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