Best pediatricians can help with separation anxiety. Separation anxiety varies considerably among children. Some babies become hysterical when the mother is out of sight for a very short time, while other children seem to have constant anxiety over separations during infancy, early years, and preschool age.

A message to all working fathers and mothers

The trick to surviving separation anxiety requires preparation, quick transitions, and the passage of time. I dare say that parents suffer as much as children during separation. Although we are often told that children stop crying within minutes of saying goodbye, how many of you have not thought that “they don’t know how to handle things well” when between sobs your child clings to your legs, begs you to stay, and it hurts your game?

For many working mothers, separation anxiety creates many questions. Although it is totally normal behavior and a beautiful demonstration of a deep bond, separation anxiety can create many concerns in both child and parents.  Here are some facts about separation anxiety and suggestions for improving transitions.

Facts about separation anxiety from pediatricians

Babies: Separation anxiety develops after a child gains an understanding of the permanence of an object. Once the child realizes that you are really gone (when you do), this can make him uneasy. Although some infants show an understanding of object permanence and separation anxiety from 4 to 5 months of age, most develop more specific separation anxiety around 9 months. This coming and going can be worse if your baby is hungry, tired, or not feeling well. Make transitions short and routine if it’s a tough day.

Young children: Many young children who do not feel separation anxiety in infancy begin to have problems at 15 or 18 months of age. Separations are more difficult when children are hungry, tired, or sick — which is almost always the case! As children develop independence during infancy, they are often even more aware of separations. Their behavior during separations will be boisterous, loud with tears, and difficult to control.

Preschoolers: By the time children are 3 years old, they understand more clearly the effect their anxiety or pleas for separation have on us. This doesn’t mean they aren’t stressed, but they certainly want your attention. Be consistent; Do not return to the room because the child is asking you to do so and above all do not cancel your plans due to separation anxiety.

How to cope with separation anxiety

  • Opt for quick, routine goodbyes. Even if you always have to wave like baseball players, give him three kisses in the doorway, or his special blanket or toy before leaving, the goodbye should always be short and simple. If the parting is prolonged, so is the transition. And anxiety is also prolonged.
  • Be consistent. Try to establish the same routine by doing the same things at the same time each day that you come to leave to avoid unexpected factors as much as possible. Having a routine can help your child feel less distress while allowing the child to gain confidence in his independence and trust you more.
  • Practice separation. Take the children to a relative’s house, make time for him to play with their friends, let family and friends take care of the child (even for an hour) on the weekend. Before starting day-care or preschool, practice or rehearse going to school and your goodbye routine long before you have to break up. Give your child a chance to prepare, live, and thrive in your absence!

Contact Pediatricians in Gastonia NC

It’s not common for separation anxiety to persist every day after the preschool years. If you are concerned that your child is not adjusting to being without you, see your pediatrician. Your pediatrician has undoubtedly helped other families in the same situation and can calm your concerns and come up with a plan that will help both of you!

Feel free to reach out to pediatricians at Gastonia Pediatrics Association. Our experts are more than happy to help provide guidance, and medical assistance when needed, to help you and your child cope better with separations.  Contact  Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offers top-quality pediatric care.