Now, what do we do when a child has separation anxiety? Parents need to understand that it is a normal, temporary phase of development. Not to be overly concerned, yet to be sensitive while handling this child. It is important to always let your child know when you are leaving and do not sneak away how much ever it might upset them. They need to believe that you will be gone only when you say you will be gone and eventually it will make them secure. Stay calm and in a reassuring tone, tell them that you will be back. Keep your child distracted with a toy, a bath or a favorite blanket, while letting them know that you have to leave. Try to keep your child well fed and rested before leaving them, as there is no other factor contributing to making this brief separation hard. Try to keep them with a familiar care taker and if this is not possible, hang around for a while to allow your child to familiarize with this new person. Most kids calm down in about 15-20 minutes after the parents leave.

Separation anxiety is a normal phenomenon seen in young children anywhere between 8 to 14 months and resolving at 2 years of age. It is caused when the child starts gaining knowledge of his or her surroundings or breeds familiarity with the care taker and any disruption in this routine, like a new place, or new people, can lead to anxiety. It is characterized by symptoms ranging from crying and clinging to throwing tantrums and night awakenings to be cuddled.

 

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