You are in a rush this morning, with no time to even put his breakfast plate in the sink. As your regular routine, you hustle him out to the car and buckle him in. You start the car and ponder on the day’s big meeting with the Chairman as you steer through morning rush-hour traffic. Thirty minutes later, you arrived at the front of the preschool, and the new drama begins. You know what comes next, but to curb all that, at least for the day (since you are 10 minutes behind schedule), you begged and bribed your nice and adorable boy to move out of the car. But, despite your sincere efforts, he refused to comply. Now, the whole thing is becoming, annoying and tiring, perhaps a couple of preschool staff would come out to help you evacuate your little prince out of his seat and set him straight. Unfortunately, none of your imagination is realised; your clothes are now a mess, and you’re so upset that you probably don’t know how to go about it.
Generally speaking, it’s nice to feel loved, accepted, supported, and cared for. However, our kids sometimes take it to extremes that make you start wondering what that is all about? It turns out that the cause of the disturbance is Separation Anxiety. This is a stage in a child’s development where they start to fear being separated from their parents or someone very close to them. Most often, the ruckus began when they are under a year-old, and all through toddler-hood.
At the end of the tiring and hectic day, you left for the preschool to pick up your cute son. As you alighted from your car, you knew another drama is about to unfold. Immediately you walk into the room; your cutie bursts into tears and makes a dash for you. You felt pity for him and wonder if he cried all day and if the preschool is going to make a report or start charging you an extra fee for the stress they have gone through. You could feel the pressure as he is clinging so tightly to the front of you even until you get into the car. At midnight, you heard a rusty movement in your room and making its way to your bed, and to your surprise, it’s your baby! In the morning, he tells you that he’s not feeling fine and that he can’t go to the preschool today.
All aforementioned is the good description or major signs of Separation Anxiety in children. Although there are severe kinds of this concept known as Separation Anxiety Disorder (this is further discussed below). But, as for your lovely boy, the act isn’t out of ordinary. The behaviour occurred has a result of changes in his mental and emotional development, and the overprotective is his responses to his understanding of the world in which he dwells.
Generally, The Following Are The Triggers Behind Separation Anxiety.
— The loss of a loved one.
— Uncontrolled concern about being lost or kidnapped.
— Consistent nightmares about the loss of beloved ones.
— Being neglected or maltreated at school or daycare.
— When parents become over-protective.
— and genetics problems.
However, as time goes by, he will get over it; but before then, the distress caused by the regular display of emotion can be draining for both sides. This, therefore, necessitated the ways to curb and reduce its effect at least to a minimal point. Below are some tips for dealing with separation anxiety in young children as parents or guidance.
Dealing With Separation Anxiety in Young Children
Be attentive: Be readily available when your kids need you and respectfully listen to their fears. Toying with their emotions or simply asking the child to ignore their nightmare is a bad idea and can further worsen their anxiety.
Be aware of the real enemy: Separation anxiety may not necessarily be the center of attention but the effects. You have seen the fear in his or her face, and that should be what you must challenge. Let them know you understand what they are passing through and remind the child of successfully getting through times of separation, especially from you or loved ones.
Promise to reward them if they behave well: This part is based on a level of trust between you and the child. Once you have the green light, you can make a promise to reward them with their favourites when you return.
Introduce mind captivating activities: If you are his guidance or teacher, you can motivate the child in activities of interest away from the parent.
Be appreciative: They don’t have to labor for you before being grateful to them. Sometimes, their genuine efforts such as going to bed, visiting friends, and preschool must be deeply appreciated; it’s a sign they are moving on.
Your kids won’t have problems getting over it the sooner. But, if situations persist after passing through childhood age, a therapist or counsellor can provide helping hand and support for both, you and the child. The latest report shows that Psychotherapist has been proven to be an effective measure in managing anxiety. Furthermore, you can give family counselling a trier as they are of benefits for kids suffering as well. Taking medications is often considered the last measure of treatment, but if that’s the case, your support as the parent is an absolute, and earlier the better.