Tips for Helping Kids Cope with Separation Anxiety

Children have an innate fear of being separated from their parents. Children cannot grasp the abstract notion of time, and thus they do not understand that their parents will be returning to them later on in the day. This separation anxiety strikes a chord in every child, from infants to toddlers to preschoolers. This fear is very real, and can be detrimental to the psyche of the child.

Parents must instill in their children the fact that they are loved unconditionally, and that they will always come back. Moms and dads need to go to work, or to just go out, and children must learn this cold hard fact sooner rather than later. The anxiety will be present as long as the parents do not nip it in the bud.

Parents have some control over their children’s separation anxiety, provided they understand it and deal with it in a positive and healthy fashion.

Little children fear the unknown because they simply cannot fathom that which they do not understand. Children see mommy or daddy preparing to leave, and they instinctively want to be included in the equation. The fear that they feel is substantiated, and must be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

The attachment between a child and mother, or father, can be unbreakable. When there is the possibility that this attachment is about to be broken, separation anxiety sets in and causes instant panic in children. This is very hard to cope with, and parents need to learn how to prepare their children for any pending separation.

When a child is struggling through separation anxiety, it is best for the parents to just explain to their child why they are leaving, reassure them that they will return in a timely fashion, and that they will be all right in whichever setting they are being left in. Prior to separations, it may be wise for parents to begin preparing their child for this departure.

If your child will be staying with a babysitter, then the child needs to get to know the babysitter so that they can gain a rapport. If the child will be going to a preschool, then some visits need to occur. When you take your child to these places, stay with them for a moment or two until they seem to have warmed up to the notion, and then slip out undetected.

The anxiety felt by separation from parents may seem strong at the time, but that will fade in due time. With each and every passing day, the separation anxiety felt will begin to wane and ultimately diminish until it is gone. No matter what, this fear must never be set aside as unimportant or insignificant. Once it has been dealt with, the child will begin their journey towards security and comfort.