Does your child suffer with separation anxiety? Are they due to start day care, move rooms or change settings?
As a parent you may notice that dropping your child off has become more difficult than usual. Although not all children experience separation anxiety, it is very common for children to become upset when they are saying goodbye to their families. This can also be very difficult and unsettling for the parents but you should always remember that going through this separation anxiety is a typical development stage. In order to help your child, families need to understand what drives separation anxiety and how identify coping tools that works best for their family.
What is Separation anxiety?
Children's separation anxiety can be triggered by many different factors, but at the end of the day, children experience separation anxiety when they are being separated by their primary caregivers. You may experience this when you leave for work, drop your child at nursery or sometimes even when you just leave a room.
Separation anxiety can begin as early as infancy and last through preschool years, while some children may never experience it at. Children will also experience various degrees of separation anxiety, for example, some children may be distress when a parent or care giver just leaves a room or children may only experience it when big changes happen, like starting a new school.
How to battle Separation Anxiety:
It may be very upsetting watching your child get upset by you leaving but there are a few ways to help ease your child's separation anxiety:
Prepare them for a change in advance - if your child is starting a new setting then arrange visits for them to settle, giving them time to adjust.
Create quick goodbye routines - This could be something simple as a little goodbye phrase, creating a special handshake or a quick goodbye hug, but make sure its short and sweet. The longer you stay, the more it will upset your child when it is then time to leave.
Be consistent - Once you've establish a drop-off routine, do your best to stay on track each day so your child will know and expect what is coming.
Keep your promises - If you tell your child if they be good you may get a special treat, make sure your always following this through, this will also build your child's trust and confidence when your apart.
It is important for families to remember that experiencing separation anxiety is a normal part of development, if you do have any further concerns then you can always talk to your child's pediatrician who can provide additional support or resources.