Child Separation Anxiety: Coping Successfully With It

By | November 2, 2013

The emotions associated with child separation anxiety are quite intense both for parents and the child experiencing separation anxiety. However, learning to cope with this is not only challenging but also extremely important. Here are a few important things to remember about child separation anxiety and ways to cope with it.


When Does Separation Anxiety In Children Surface?

Child separation anxiety begins when the child is about nine months of age and reaches a high mark between 12-24 months of the child. This is the vulnerable stage when children become acutely aware of the presence and absence of people. The latter triggers off separation anxiety in children. While some children experience this separation anxiety at this or a slightly later stage, others may not feel it at all, depending on their temperament.

How To Cope Up With Parent Child Separation?

The following should make separation anxiety easier to deal with.

  • Talk to your child about the necessity of spending time away from them so that child separation anxiety does not develop.
  • Try to spend some time with your child before leaving so that they may feel secure about your return soon.
  • Any favorite stuffed toy that your child feels comfortable holding can help a child cope with children separation anxiety and should be with them at this time.
  • Leaving your child with the same babysitter or caregiver can also reduce children separation anxiety as they get familiar with that person and learn to trust them.
  • Do not ever try to leave without saying goodbye to your child. Separation anxiety cannot be avoided by choosing to escape from it.

A Parental Approach To Childhood Separation Anxiety

While parent child separation anxiety indicates the strong bond between parent and child, the disturbed feelings associated with childhood separation anxietyshould not be allowed to develop as they are detrimental to the healthy development of your child. Also, do not feel overtly guilty in going away from your child. Instead, try to leave your child while he/she is engaged in a fun activity and can return to it comparatively easily after goodbyes.

How Long Does Childhood Separation Anxiety Usually Last?

Separation anxiety in children can last right up to a child’s elementary school years. In severe cases it might develop into a wider anxiety disorder. A lot depends on how the child copes with parent child separation and what steps are taken by the parent to curb separation anxiety in children. In older children childhood separation anxiety arising suddenly is usually the effect of some other problem like ragging or abuse.

Children separation anxiety is becoming a greater problem day by day as parents are getting increasingly busier and often have to spend great amounts of time away from their child. Therefore, sometimes it is also important to consider if changes can be made to the way of life to keep down long periods of separation and cure parent child separation anxiety before it reaches an acute stage.


  1. Child Care Challenges – Separation Anxiety –
  2. Separation Anxiety – Kids Health

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