Children and Separation Anxiety

Children and Separation Anxiety

Children feel anxious every time you say goodbye. And yes, separation anxiety is indeed difficult to address, plus, it can also be annoying. But know that this is just a normal part of a toddler’s life. But when it is more than that, we know that something may be wrong.

Step One Academy LLC provides early childhood education in Plainfield NJ. Because we have been dealing with kids, we want to discuss to you one problem most parents have in common: separation anxiety.

How to tell if it is separation anxiety or not?

When a toddler cries, throws tantrums or expresses clinginess, it is just a normal and healthy reaction. This is especially common when the child is about to be separated from his or her parents for a short while.

Most toddlers before reaching the age of one experience this. And this can even resurface once the child is four years old.

What is uncommon though is when the child continues to exhibit the mentioned behaviors. And the problem about this is that even if the parents of the said child did everything they could, their little one’s separation anxiety persists and even intensifies. Once the said problem continues for months and interferes with schooling and activities, then we can say that it already is separation anxiety disorder.

What are the symptoms?

Separation anxiety disorder is not a normal stage of development. But because the normal separation anxiety and the disorder may look similar, you may be confused on which is which. Does your child just need time and understanding? Or is it worst than you thought?

Here are the common symptoms of separation anxiety disorder:

  • Worries and fears
    When a kid has separation, he or she is more likely to feel worried or fearful at the thought of separating from the parents or the people he or she trusts. They fear that:
  • Something bad might happen to their loved ones
  • A permanent separation will eventually happen
  • They will have the nightmare of being separated again
  • Denial and illness
    The problem of separation anxiety disorder is that it disrupts the activity of the child. Once this happens, he or she is not able to enjoy the things a normal child enjoys. And missing out on activities will become a daily occurrence. These episodes or denial and illness include:
  • Going to school
  • Unwillingness to go to sleep
  • Constant complains about being sick
  • Clinginess to parent or caregiver

So why does separation anxiety happen in the first place?

They say that the right medicine to a certain problem is to know the cause of the problem in the first place and treat it from there. Separation anxiety happens for a reason and these include one or more of the following:

  • Change

    People respond differently to change. Some may be happy and excited about it while others may feel reluctant and afraid. And because the changes happening will involve a child, these feelings will be observed in extreme state.

    Moving to a new house, school or any environment can be a cause for a trigger of the anxiety. So when there is indeed a change in their environment, let the child slowly get accustomed to it.

  • Stress

    There are many things that can cause stress to a child. One particular stress is to have to move schools. A school is a place of learning and discovery, a place to make friends. But when a child moves schools, he or she may lose and miss the fun times, memories and people they like to be with.

    Another cause of stress is a loss of a loved one or a pet. The concept of death is extremely daunting towards an unsuspecting child.

  • Over-protective parents

    A child reflects the people around him or her. Your child’s anxiety may be the reflection of your own anxiety in the first place. Think about it.

If you want to learn how to help ease your child’s separation anxiety, read this blog:

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