What is Separation Anxiety Disorder? 5 Tips to Deal With It

It’s normal to find children experiencing separation anxiety. However, separation anxiety disorder may be indicated if a child’s concerns become so intense that they start to interfere with their regular activities.

When do babies get separation anxiety?

You must have seen babies cry when their mothers give them to someone else and experienced separation anxiety in them. It’s actually rather common for infants and young children to experience fear when separated from an emotionally stable person.

Actually, it’s a step in the process of their evolution. Eventually, the baby will typically grow out of the anxiety completely and settle down.

Toddlers experiencing separation anxiety may exhibit clinginess, tantrums, or sobbing; these behaviors are typical responses to being apart from their parents and are part of growing up.

However, each child experiences separation anxiety to a very different degree and for a different amount of time.

How to deal with separation anxiety in toddlers

Preschoolers may have less separation anxiety if you remain composed and reliable. You might try to gently establish boundaries for your kids at the same time.

Even with their parents’ best efforts to address the issue, some children still struggle with separation anxiety.

In these situations, separation anxiety in older kids or teenagers might show up as a variety of other symptoms, such as exam anxiety or anxiety related to routine school or college activities, friendships, and other relationships.

What happens, then, if the breakup is far worse and lasts longer than anticipated? It may be getting close to what is known as separation anxiety disorder.

What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?

With this disease, the individual experiences extreme anxiety when they are away from certain people or even when they leave their house.

Anxiety and terror symptoms can manifest even in advance of the actual separation, during the handoff, and even for some time afterward.

Speak with your child’s pediatrician to ensure that your child receives the proper separation anxiety treatment if you notice symptoms of separation anxiety in them and you believe they may have separation anxiety disorder.

They’ll probably go over a checklist with you that covers the frequency of anxiety attacks, the circumstances in which they occur, the duration of the child’s suffering following your departure, and additional indicators of separation anxiety.

Your older child may be suffering from stomachaches, nightmares, and other physical symptoms of separation anxiety that are linked to the disease if they have separation anxiety disorder.

There are numerous things you can do to help ease your child’s symptoms if they struggle with being away from you. Naturally, you should always check with their pediatrician to make sure it’s suitable for your child.

Here are five suggestions for helping kids who are experiencing separation anxiety.

1. Go into practice mode

When your child is experiencing separation anxiety, you may find that you are unable to take your eyes off of them. That is simply a simpler method.

On the other hand, it might seem counterintuitive to forbid separation.

Separation is something that needs to be practiced in order for your child to learn that things will go smoothly in your absence.

Start by entrusting your child, even for a brief period of time, such as a few minutes, to a trusted adult or your grandparents.

Work your way up to spending more time gradually. Your child’s anxiety will decrease as they experience less achievement. Continue practicing and make this a habit.

2. Get your child comfortable before leaving

Firstly, your child has to get to know the person you will be leaving them with if you employ a babysitter or other form of child care.

Therefore, schedule some time for you and your child to sit down before you leave them with someone.

Encourage your child to warm up to them and become at ease in their presence. Engage in conversation with the individual, and then allow them to engage with your child.

There is a greater likelihood that your child will be okay with that individual after you leave if they make them feel at ease while you are there. This approach is a great technique to reduce kids’ separation anxiety.

3. Try not to make goodbyes a big deal

Your final farewell can make a big difference on your child. Making farewells a huge deal actually draws too much attention to the moment of separation, which only serves to heighten the tension.

If you are worried about how your child will overcome separation anxiety, keep in mind that being informal will work better. Act as though everything is OK, you’ll be back soon, and they’ll enjoy themselves without you.

How you handle this might greatly affect how your child feels about saying goodbye. It’s best if you can remain composed.

When faced with unfamiliar circumstances that scare them, children frequently mirror the feelings of their parents. When your child is sobbing or angry, it might be difficult to remain composed, but remember that this phase will pass.

4. Talk to them about the separation

Sit down with your child and discuss the separation, even if they don’t fully understand all you say just yet.

Describe how you still love each other and can sense each other in your heart, thus it’s okay that you are separated.

Discuss their specific anxieties with them; pay close attention to what they have to say and make an effort to allay them. Discuss with them what to do if they have such anxieties as well.

5. Plan something fun for them to do during the separation

What activities does your youngster enjoy? While you are away, what enjoyable activity would they enjoy doing?

Together, make plans and inform them that you will be spending time with their babysitter or another caregiver on something special.

Mention how exciting it will be and how they can tell you everything about it when they get back. With any luck, this will make them anticipate the moment rather than fear it.

Here are some recommendations for you to remember in the event that you identify the initial indications of separation anxiety or separation anxiety disorder. You parents can do your best to address the matter as soon as it arises.

However, do not ignore the separation anxiety condition and get medical attention as soon as possible if it is becoming worse over time. If you get your child medical attention right away, it might save their life.