Questions Personal and Family

How to deal with separation anxiety?


Manish Agarwal

Live passionately

Separation anxiety is a common symptom in children. It is a state of anxiety when a child feels anxious and roll out in tears and tantrums when the child's close persons especially parents or very close relatives or caretakers depart from them for a while or bid goodbye. This is very common during the age group ranging from 1 year to 3 years of age and gradually fades away with the increasing age. The reason for which your child faces separation anxiety is the feeling of fear to get separated as if the child will be unsafe. Your child is seeking for close attachment and highly needs nurture. But a separation anxiety disorder may lead your child too long term dependency and affect him/her from getting independent in the future. Thus, if your child is suffering from this kind of disorder, you need to manage this. Here are some tips for you.

 1. It is said that a baby acquires everything which is made to be acquired. Thus, be patient and firm while dealing with the separation anxiety disorder of your child. Let the baby get practiced to some separations for a while. For example, go out for shopping by keeping the child with your grandparents or someone whom you trust and come back after sometimes. Your child may cry and make tantrums, but this does not mean you will get emotional. This will make him stronger and adjusted to remain separated for sometimes. 

2. It has been found that children create tantrums more when they are hungry or exhausted. Thus, try to observe your child after feeding or when he wakes up in a fresh mood. This is the time when you can let him stay separated and deal with the separation anxiety. 

3. Sometimes parents create a lot of scenes while they are just leaving out for only an hour or two by bidding long goodbyes. Such actions create more anxiety inside the child as if his or her parents will not return at all. Don’t make such farewells a big deal but make it casual. Go out if you have to go for some work for some hours. Your child will not feel anxious and get adjusted.

4. Make your child learn about goodbyes. Let them know that it is a common practice to bid farewell. If someone is coming home, he/she may have to go out. Try to communicate with him about this and make him feel sure that the particular person will come again.

5. Don’t cheat your child by promising something, i.e., if you are leaving for two days, tell your child the exact thing. If you assure that you will come back within one day and then go for two days, it creates trust issues which give rise to separation anxiety. Children have more capacities to follow how other persons are keeping promises. 

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