How To Handle Separation Anxiety In Toddlers

By Harita Patil|3 - 4 mins read| March 24, 2023

If Your Child Keeps Crying In School, This Is Especially For You. My childhood friend Shivani and I enrolled both our daughters in the same school. We both go together to the school drop off point every day to see our daughters off. Every morning, Shivani’s daughter merrily waves her mother goodbye while my daughter cries and screams at the top of her lungs. Does that sound familiar?

So, I managed to learn a few very helpful tips to deal with separation anxiety in toddlers from Shivani. Surprisingly, my daughter has started calming down since I started taking Shivani’s advice. Hope these tips help you ,too!

1. Understanding Separation Anxiety

Toddlers develop separation anxiety in the first few years of their lives. They get upset and cry when their parents try to leave them with someone else. The causes for this include forced exposure to unfamiliar persons and the absence of a mother’s undivided attention. The fear of abandonment plays a major role in causing toddler separation anxiety. This tends to be at its worst on the first day of school and gradually wears off.

2. Practice Dry Runs

Anxiety is at its worst the first day because everything is unfamiliar and full of crying children. It’d help massively if your child knew the new classroom before their first day. Check with the school and take your child on a tour well before Day One, more than once if possible. Let them walk around and explore the classroom, sit in the chairs or play with the toys available. It will help your child to deal with separation anxiety by improving familiarity.

3. Parental Trust Building

A child experiencing bouts of intense anxiety at being separated from their parents will eventually calm down. Ideally, though, parents should help them cope because very often, children only become more anxious because of their parents. Take the time to communicate with the school authorities, meet the staff and do what it takes for you to feel confident about sending your child to them. Building your confidence is the best way to build your child’s confidence.

4. Credible Reassurance

Your children believe you. Your behaviour, body language, and other subtle forms of communication are all carefully noticed by them. On their first day of school, if you tell them they’re going to be okay, you need to back it up with more than words. It won’t work if you have tears in your eyes because that will tell your child that you’re worried. If you’re worried, the odds of them having an episode of severe separation anxiety are high. However, if you’ve made the dry runs and built your confidence as suggested, this should be easier. You will find that you are calmer and more confident than most mothers around. So, when you tell your little girl or boy that they’ll be okay, they can believe you.

5. Goodbye Ritual

The idea of a goodbye ritual has effects beyond helping your child to deal with separation anxiety. It adds to the long term bond between parents and children and gives the young ones a wonderful memory to cherish later in life. Moreover, rituals have a way of comforting nervous or anxious children. It alludes to a sense of safety by appealing to their sense of familiarity. It assures them that you’ll return and they’re not being abandoned. That helps like a charm in controlling your child’s separation anxiety.

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About The Author:

Harita Patil

Last Updated: Fri Mar 24 2023

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