Children who become anxious about being away from their parents or other important caregivers may be experiencing separation anxiety. These children often worry about their own safety or the safety of their parents when they are separated from them.
Separation anxiety is a normal part of a child's development that tends to be most intense during early toddlerhood and then gradually decline over time as children become more capable and start to explore their environment.
Children often experience separation anxiety when they first start to attend day care or prep, but usually adjust well and feel fine with a bit of time. Some children, however, may remain distressed whenever separated from their parents, they may start to throw tantrums or refuse to go to school or they may complain of feeling sick when a separation is coming.
If this sounds familiar, below are a number of things you can do to help your child to overcome separation anxiety.
If you continue to have concerns about your child's anxiety levels or if your child's distress is significantly impacting your life, consider contacting a mental health professional for assistance.