Does Your Child Have Separation Anxiety? Here Is How To Know
Do you have a screeching toddler every time you are out of sight? It could be possible that your child is developing separation anxiety. It usually goes away with time but it is a good idea to identify it and work on it. If not, simple things like dropping your child off at school could become a nightmare.
You can tell that your child has separation anxiety if you see the following behavior:
Clinging to mom and dad
Severe crying when parents leave
Refusing to participate in activities that keep the parents away
Physical symptoms like vomiting
Violent temper tantrums
Easily comforted when one of the parent returns
Poor performance in school
Refusing to go to school
Inability to interacting with peers
Not sleeping alone
Having frequent nightmares
What can you do to reduce it?
Separation anxiety shows that your child is attached to you and feels safe with you. However, it can deprive your child of several experiences. You can use these simple tips to make it easier for your child to stay away from you:
Leave your child with familiar people for short spans of time.
Reinforce the concept of object permanence. This tells the child that objects or people exist even when they are out of sight.
Explain to your child why you need to go and when to expect you back.
Keep the goodbyes short so that it is easier on you and your little one.
Spend as much quality time with your child as possible to make them feel secure.
Never sneak out. Your child needs to know when you will be back and when you are going to leave as well. If not, he or she will become clingier because the trust diminishes.
Let the person you are leaving the child with distract him or her with a toy or with play as you say goodbye.
Make sure that you are back on time to establish the trust.
Whenever you leave, stay calm and positive so that your baby feels it too.
In extreme cases when separation anxiety does not diminish, therapy may be recommended to the child.
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