Health Tips: Separation anxiety |

Health Tips: Separation anxiety

The Washington Post

Nobody likes goodbyes, but for young children, they can be particularly upsetting. Episodes of separation anxiety – crying, clinging to you and refusing others’ attention – are not uncommon in toddlers between 8 months and 2-years-old. There may be some things you can do to make goodbyes easier:

• If possible, try to time your goodbyes for after snack or nap times. When kids are hungry or tired, they tend to be more emotional when it is time for you to leave.

• Introduce your child to new places and people gradually. Before sending him or her off to a new school, visit it a couple times together to build a familiarity. If you have a new babysitter, invite that person over to visit while you’re still around.

• Be positive in your goodbyes. Though you may be upset to see your child cry, don’t let it show. Instead, say a firm and loving goodbye and tell them when you will be back. But don’t linger – that can make the situation worse. Most children will calm down after a few minutes.

• It may be tempting, but don’t sneak away when your child isn’t looking. That could only increase their anxiety.