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It is absolutely natural for your little ones to be anxious when you are separating from them. Though it can be difficult, but separation anxiety is one of the stages of development. It is supposed to fade away gradually by practicing some coping strategies. In case it intensifies and starts to interrupt with normal, daily activities, your child may have a separation anxiety disorder.
- Teach your child about separation anxiety: Regardless of the type of problem your child is struggling with, it is important for him or her to understand several things about anxiety. You should explain that anxiety is an adaptive system that signals the body that we are in danger. But it becomes a grave problem when the body tells that there is a danger even when there is no real danger. You should try to help your child identify his or her feelings and thoughts that he or she comes across when separating from you.
- Encourage your child not to seek help: Those kids who deal with separation anxiety seek excessive assurance from their parents. They keep on asking different questions in order to be cent percent sure that nothing would happen to them or their parents after they separate. You should tell your child that it is anxiety speaking for them and you can even make a plan with your child to beat anxiety.
- Create your child’s toolbox: One of the best ways to assist your child in dealing with separation anxiety is to create a toolbox for him or her that can be utilized if he feels scared. You should teach him or her to relax through calm breathing and relaxing his or her muscles.
- Teach your child to think realistically: Often it is found that kids with separation anxiety have thoughts that are quite unrealistic, but they don’t realize this when they feel anxious. For instance, if you and your husband are coming home late, your child may feel that both of his parents have had an accident. You may help him cope with it through a plan that would aid your child to detect the unhelpful thoughts and develop new thoughts that are realistic and helpful.
- Build your child’s bravery: In order to overcome separation anxiety, your kid has to practice some skills every time he faces such a situation. It is quite like an exercise that has to be turned into a habit so that your child feels better and gradually improves until he reaches his goals. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.