Helping Separation Anxiety In Children

Many Children Face Separation Anxiety

You have probably seen the stress and emotional tears experienced with separation anxiety in children. From the moment your baby is born, you are there for them as the primary carer. Unfortunately for every child there comes a time in their life when they have to leave your side…which may not appear to pleasant to them. These are the times when anxiety in children will rear its ugly head.

It is during these times that a child is brought to the daycare center for the first time, or is left alone with the babysitter while mom goes back to work.

It is also during these times that symptoms of separation anxiety in children may begin.

If children are not helped at the first signs of a problem, this is when there is the possibility of it developing into their teenage years and later it can lead to adult separation anxiety disorder.

Either way, any form of anxiety exhibited in children needs to be addressed immediately before any long term trauma or effects develop.

A Typical Scenario of Separation Anxiety In Children

The child is about to start daycare and is actually very excited, but when the time comes for the parent to leave, he refuses to let them go and breaks down in tears when he realizes that he is really going to be left behind.

Separation anxiety in children can be quite tough to deal with, not only for the child but also for the parents. It may give you some consolation to know, however, that this is an ordinary situation that millions of parents go through, and that it can easily be overcome.

  • There are self-help programs available too, that will show you how to help your child. If it isn’t an ‘ordinary’ situation you will soon begin to know. If the problem continues longer than the other children you may want to seek professional advice.

If it is a temporary situation, the best way to deal with it, is to simply talk to your child and reassure them that you will be back.

  • This is actually what triggers separation anxiety in children in the first place — the fear that you are going to leave them for good and that you won’t be coming back.

Just say a quick goodbye and don’t linger around too long. While some children feel better when they see you outside the room waving at them every time they look out, others may feel more agitated with seeing you outside, knowing that you are about to leave, so you may have to try different approaches to see which will work better for your child.

Most of the time, the child separation anxiety dissipates after a few days, when the child finally gets used to his new surroundings and routine. If you see no signs of improvement after a couple of weeks, you may want to bring your child to a therapist who can work with you in helping your child deal with their anxiety. Just make sure you stay with them all throughout the sessions to give them support.

With patience and determination, your child will surely be able to overcome this problem and thankfully not have to face adult separation anxiety disorder later.

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About Jennifer Johnson

I suffered with social anxiety and stress for years. I discovered what my triggers were and learned to control them. Hopefully some of the natural anxiety relief techniques I have tried, will also be your solution.


  1. I had horrible separation anxiety when I was a kid, however I don’t remember it. I was just told this by my mother. My mother must have handled it well with me because I don’t have any kind of separation anxiety now. However I have to say I have not heard of adults having this issue.

    • Hi Heather,

      You are extremely lucky it did not stay with you into your adult years.

      There are many adults that suffer with separation anxiety, including those people that suffer with agoraphobia and many adults that have their partners leave them and/or pets or family members that die.

      There are many reasons that someone may suffer from with this disorder.

  2. i am going to be a mom soon, this will be something i have to face in a few years time. Thanks for getting me prepared.

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