Separation anxiety is
common in toddlers. However, with the passage of time they outgrow it. Read on
to find tips for dealing with separation anxiety in toddlers.
Does your toddler who is barely eight months
old throw tantrums each time you are out of his sight for a few minutes? Does
your baby get anxious even when you go to the bathroom? Are you aware that
these are all signs of separation anxiety which usually hits small children
when they are around 7- 8 months of age?
Understanding Separation Anxiety
At 7-8 months of age, the child is able to
understand that the parent can leave her alone and go away. However, what she
does not realise is the fact that her parent will definitely come back. A
feeling of abandonment makes most children of this age suffer from separation
Separation anxiety can last for a few weeks
or months depending upon when your child is able to gain confidence. The fear
associated with being away from parents can cause a child to become anxious
without any prior indication. This can pose challenges for the parents who will
need to handle the situation maturely and skilfully.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Toddlers
Let us have a look at how you can deal with
separation anxiety in children.
Once your baby is 6 months old, start
leaving her for short period of time with caregivers like a babysitter,
relative or a friend. It is essential that the child is used to being away from
parents before she starts school. When left with others she will slowly, over a
period of time get confident about staying alone and not get anxious each time
her parent is not around.
While leaving your house and infant in the
care of others say a quick goodbye to your baby. Do not let her tears and tantrums
hold you back. Never make the mistake of coming back to check on your child
immediately after you leave. This will only make her cry more and harder so as
to make you reappear again.
Another trick which many parents use is to
rush off when the child is not looking. This is completely wrong. This will
reduce the amount of trust a child has in her parents. Hence, do make it a
point to bid farewell to your child. Children get distracted easily. When you
are about to leave encourage your baby and caregiver to engage is some
interesting activity which fascinates the child to keep her distracted.
Your Child When you Will Return
Always tell your child when you will be
back. A small child will never understand in terms of hours. Hence, you may
have to refer to things like after lunch, after a nap or in the evening. Most
importantly keep your promise and return at the appointed time. It always helps
to reassure a child that the parent will come back.
Some children start having separation
anxiety from the time they are 7-10 months old. Such children get over their
anxiety before they start
school. In others separation anxiety starts when they are between 12 and 24
months old. Children at this age fully understand that the parents will come
back. However, they try to cling to the parents and throw tantrums when faced
with the prospect of being separated from them. Parents must not give in to the
tears of the little one. The child must be taught slowly and made to understand
that it may not always be possible for her parents to be around her all the
At what age do
children cope with separation anxiety? What are the causes of separation
anxiety in toddlers? How can parents deal with separation anxiety in toddlers? Discuss