Is your little one too clingy? Do they start to cry if you try and walk out the door? Chances are, your child might have separation anxiety.
Toddler separation anxiety is when your child starts to become super clingy whenever you're out of their sight. It can seem like sweet or cute behavior at first since your little one starts becoming attached to you, however, it can quickly become a problem after a while.
Why does it happen, and what can parents do?
Separation anxiety is pretty common among children, especially with toddlers. It's pretty normal, so moms and dads shouldn't be too worried if it starts happening to their kids. Usually, separation anxiety goes away by the time your teacher reaches their 2nd birthday.
Here are some simple tips to help you deal with separation anxiety:
- Make sure to follow the same routine every time you leave.
- Don't sneak out. Let them know you're leaving, and let them know that you'll be coming back.
- If you have a babysitter, you can ask them to distract your child while you go out.
- Once you return, let your child know that you're back and tell them that you missed your child.
When is separation anxiety a serious concern?
For the most part, separation anxiety is normal among children. However, there can be cases wherein it starts to turn into anxiety disorder. In this case, it's no longer a normal part of your child's development, since it's already a full-blown problem.
Children with separation anxiety disorder can easily become frustrated or angry simply by the thought that their parents will leave them. This can lead to problems such as them acting out in school so that they can be with their mom or dad, or avoiding playing with other kids entirely.
Here are some common symptoms:
- Fear that something terrible might happen to their parents.
- Fear that a sudden event might cause them to be permanently separated from their parents.
- Nightmares about being separated.
If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, it would be best to take them to a specialist in order for their condition to be diagnosed, and for treatment to be started. It's important to address this problem early on, since it does cause long-term problems if left untreated.