Most children go through some amount of separation anxiety, but how can you help your child through those fears? Here are some ways you can help your child with separation anxiety cope and work through it!
1. Know what to look for
Your child’s separation anxiety will take slightly different forms at different stages from babyhood to school age. Some separation anxiety is normal, but it is important to know what to look for at different stages, what is healthy and can be worked through, and what may qualify as a disorder that your child may need more help to work through. Knowing what to keep an eye out for will help you provide your child with the support they need!
2. Have a ritual for when you say goodbye
Another way to help your child work through their separation anxiety is having a ritual for when you have to leave, and consider including some transitional tools like stress stones for them to rub or a little note reminding them you will come back! Even a special handshake or wave can make a big difference!
3. Make sure your child knows when you will be back
When you are leaving your child, let them know when you will be back in terms they understand. If they can read the clock, tell them where the long and short hands will be when you get back. If they can’t yet, use marks in their day, like “I will be home before you get up from your nap, and before dinner.” When they know when you will be back, they can feel secure in that you will return and they know about when to expect you.
Now you are ready to work with your child to help them overcome their separation anxiety so that you can both thrive, together and apart.