How to deal with separation anxiety in children – How To Guide by Dr Prem

How to deal with separation anxiety in children

A matter of concern for most working parents, separation anxiety can often turn into a more serious kind of psychological disorder if not attended to on time. A separation anxiety disorder, that generally roots in extreme cases, is characterized by severe symptoms like nightmares, bed wetting, fear of losing a loved one and many more. Here are some methods to effectively deal with the problem.

Involve the teacher

Most fears regarding separating from parents roots up from the fact that a school has seemingly a much sterner and disciplined environment than home. It is the fear of the teacher, the fear of peers and sometimes, even a hidden sense of inferiority that gives rise to the feeling of discomfort while letting parents say goodbye. The teacher is the one who keeps a vigil eye on your child till you get back to pick him up. Discuss this problem with her. She would be able to help. A child requires a smiling face to greet him at school.

Invite friends and classmates

Make the mingling up of your kid with his classmates a not-so-difficult experience. Invite his classmates on the smallest of occasions. This practice facilitates a quick acquaintance of your kid with them and you never know, he might find out a true friend for his lifetime amongst these kids! This would increase the sense of self confidence in your kid as well! The best thing which your child would feel about this would be the fact that you are actively involved in his life. This gives him an air of security and goes a long way to reduce the anxiety factor.

Invent a goodbye ritual

Involve your child in whacking your brains to invent a goodbye norm. Goodbye norms are often taken as a very positive way of saying goodbye. In fact, you would find your kid taking pride in repeating the goodbye gesture with you in front of his peers. It is taken as a public display of love by children and they feel their parents’ trust pinned on themselves. Apart from goodbye gestures, grasp every situation to show that you love him and will always be at his side, no matter what happens. Many parents have this habit of cuddling their kids in private, but avoiding to do so in public. Please do not show such kind of behavior, since it is taken negatively by a child’s inquisitive mind.

Don’t give up

Children tend to throw tantrums, shed tears, stamp feet and howl at the top of voices. It is absolutely doubtless that it is a pitiable sight to look at, especially for working parents, who are often pressed under the guilt of not being able to give ample time to their kids. But you will have to be stern and yet gentle. Let him fuss around and cry, don’t try to bribe him with material things. Just express that you trust him and love him. Your child will slowly reduce the expression of anxiety. Make sure that your child receives clear signals pertaining to the fact that how much ever he cries and howls, his mum or dad are not going to surrender in front of his fusses.

Drop your kid to and receive him from school

Make this an infallible habit. When you see off your child and pick him up from school, he develops the feeling that he is wanted and loved, and that the school or the teacher, does not conspire to detach him from you. This practice is sure to calm down a lot of separation anxiety. An other complementary way of attending to the anxiety cause would be to pick up a classmate or a close friend on the way to school. This would increase you child’s involvement in his school dynamics while still making the parent attachment feeling at the back of his mind.

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