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While separation anxiety can affect both children and adults, the condition is usually more critical in children due to their more fragile and tender state. Separation anxiety is a condition in which a person, especially a baby, becomes excessively anxious due to the absence of their parents. Keep reading below on how to help a toddler with separation anxiety if you need assistance.
This condition usually begins when babies start becoming aware of their immediate surroundings and the world around them at large. Every child at some point will have separation anxiety and is a normal stage of emotional development but when it is severe it can have a negative effect on your child and the parents. Some of the symptoms of separation anxiety disorder in babies and toddlers include increased fear of being alone, excessive crying, depression, shock expression, and nausea.
5 Ways to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Children
Helping a child with a separation anxiety disorder is quite a difficult task but not impossible. It saddens the hearts of parents to see their babies or toddlers suffer this distress and some parents may often feel hopeless. Here are some tips on how to help a toddler with separation anxiety. However, please note that if it is severe you may need to seek professional help.
1. Talk therapy
Talk sessions can provide a safe atmosphere for children to express their true feelings. Listening to them with compassion and empathy can help them manage stress and struggles that may come with separation anxiety. Frequent communication creates a friendly atmosphere between parents/caregivers and children. It also builds trust and comfort for the child reducing anxiety when they are separated from their parents.
Babies and toddlers learn through familiarity. Therefore, getting acquainted with others and different surroundings at infancy is a great way for them to get used to others besides their parents. That way, they eventually get comfortable without you and trust your return when you leave briefly. If your toddler will be going to daycare try leaving them for a couple of hours at first and transition to longer stays.
3. Be blunt and make it a routine
The best way to master an act is to practice it often. You could tell your child you are leaving and that you would return, then go at once, don’t stall or make it a bigger deal than it is. A predictable routine helps your child build trust in you and in his own ability to get through the separation.
4. Time your separations
Babies and toddlers are more prone to separation anxiety when they are tired, hungry or sleepy. You won’t be helping matters if you have to leave your child, especially a toddler when they are in distress. So make sure they’re well-fed and not tired or sleepy before leaving them.
5. Reward your child’s efforts
Everyone certainly wants a reward or credit for what they have done well, likewise babies and toddlers. It is important to provide positive reinforcement to your toddler to show them that they have done well. Take your time to give them enough care or even a good treat after every separation. This tends to assure the toddler that you are always going to come back and being away from their parents is not a negative experience.
It is therefore important to understand the negative feelings that separation anxiety can cause and help your child go through those unavoidable moments without a cause for panic. On the brighter side, separation anxiety shows that a healthy attachment or bonding has been established between parents and their children.
I hope you enjoyed the post and I hope you gained useful tips on how to help a toddler with separation anxiety.
Until Next Time,
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