Separation Anxiety - Health Center

Separation Anxiety

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Separation Anxiety: Basic Overview

Separation Anxiety is something which parents are encountering all over the world these days. Children are no longer pacified with a peck on the cheek or a quick goodbye. Instead of the happy smiles which you’d gotten used to; now all you get is screams and tears! Separation Anxiety happens to parents all over the world.

Children between the ages of 8 and 12 years often go through a period of Separation Anxiety. Though it may be difficult for the parents to cope up with, separation anxiety is one of the major stages of attaining an emotional milestone. During this period, the child begins to experience and understand the importance of the parents in their lives. Therefore, whenever the parents start going out of their sight, it can trigger the tears and a clingy behaviour amongst the children.

By the time the child is two years of age, the separation anxiety fades away. This condition rarely requires any medical treatment. 

Causes of Separation Anxiety:

Though Separation Anxiety is one of the normal stages during the development of infants and toddlers, there could be some trigger factors which could increase the chances of developing Separation Anxiety. During Separation Anxiety, the child does not allow you to get out of his sight and when you do, it is followed up with tantrums and crying. Some of the trigger factors for Separation Anxiety include the following:

  •       A new child care solution
  •       Arrival of a new sibling
  •       Relocation to a new home
  •       Stress or tension in the family

Signs and Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Crying or fussing over something is one of the major signs of Separation Anxiety. Apart from that, screaming or throwing tantrums are some of the other ones as well. In the daytime, the child refuses to go out of the sight of the parent. During night time, they tend to wake up and cry out for the parents. During the age of 10 to 18 months of age, the anxiety peaks up to a high level. However, by the time a child is of 24 months of age, the symptoms of this condition fade away.

If a child’s separation anxiety intensifies or prolongs with the passage of time, it is recommended to seek the help of a mental health professional. In some of the rarer cases, this anxiety could point to a deeper and more serious condition known as separation anxiety disorder. 

Home Remedies or Treatments for Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety can be easily managed with the help of certain lifestyle choices as well as home treatments. The following tips can be used in order to ease down the separation anxiety amongst the toddlers:

  1. Getting used to Goodbyes: It is very important to leave your baby with a trusted babysitter for small intervals. This is going to give your child a chance to learn to live without you and wait for your arrival.
  2. Timing Your Departure: Time your departure in such a way that you baby does not feel left out. Do not leave your child when he is tired, hungry or restless. Leave him, when he is rested and fed.
  3. Don’t prolong your goodbyes: When leaving your child, give him a gentle goodbye. When you are leaving your child in a new environment, do not prolong your goodbye. Also, avoid giving definite timelines as to when you will be back.
  4. Leave a comforter: When you are gone, make sure that you leave something comforting behind. It could be a blanket, a stuffed animal or any other comforting object.

Separation Anxiety is just a phase which tends to pass by on its own. However, be patient with your child during this time and make him learn that it is okay to spend time away from you on his own and with others. 


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