Separation anxiety often affects children initially at about the age of eight months old. Although a child was okay with a babysitter or at a day care center for the most part during their first year, they might suddenly start to show signs of separation anxiety. Children during most of the first year of life readily stay with a variety of people without showing signs of stress. The signs of separation anxiety can include crying or a tantrum when separated from his or her parents. When young children show signs of separation anxiety, parents often become upset as well. They see the distress in the actions of their baby, and it breaks their hearts.
Separation anxiety happens to most children, and it is part of normal child development. Most parents have many books to help them raise their children properly, and most of these books will provide some insight into the problem of separation anxiety. If parents understand that this is a normal part of growing up, they will usually cope with the problem more easily. The experts who explain child development can usually help parents cope with the outward manifestations of anxiety in their small children.
Children Feel Separation Anxiety Because Of Uncertainty
Separation anxiety last longer for some children, and many feel this anxiety even when enrolled in elementary school. Children show the signs of this anxiety because of uncertainty about the future. The child does not realize that the parent will certainly return. Children also have no idea how soon the parent will return. The child may suffer this anxiety even if the parent only leaves to go into another part of the same house. Although it can be very distressing, parents have to leave their children at times. If parents change their plans because of the tears or tantrums from the child, the child will soon learn that these are effective tools that can manipulate the actions of their parents. They will use the actions that work.
Children soon see that their parents return, and the separation anxiety diminishes. There are some strategies that can be used to minimize this anxiety. If possible, start daycare or babysitters before the child is eight months old. This might give the child the needed time to get used to others before separation anxiety appears. In order to minimize the effects of separation anxiety, parents should try to stay for a while in the day care center or with the babysitter before leaving the scene. This gives the child some time to adapt to the new environment and people with the support of the parents.
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