‘Mommy, don’t go!’
Separation anxiety is no joke to a toddler. Here are the ins and outs.
There may be times when you just don’t have a choice. You have to leave. You have to do something or go somewhere and you just can’t take your toddler along.
All toddlers go through stages where they just can’t bear having mommy or daddy more than a few steps away from them at all times. Separation anxiety is a normal part of your toddler’s development and it’s nothing to be too concerned about. When?
Your toddler may start showing signs of separation anxiety anytime from the age of 9 months but it usually hits it’s peak between 10 and 18 months.Why?
Your toddler does not yet understand the concept of time and object permanence. Object permanence is when an object still exists but can no longer be seen. And that’s why your little one gets anxious when you leave the room.
What are the signs?
Here are some signs to look out for that could show that your toddler has separation anxiety.
But what can I do?
- Insistent crying when you leave the room.
- Clinging to you or crying - especially in new situations.
- Waking and crying in the middle of the night after previously sleeping through.
- Refusing to go to sleep without a parent nearby.
The best way to deal with your child’s anxiety is to comfort. Remember, they’re not doing this out of naughtiness but out of a real fear that you won’t come back.
Let your toddler know when you are going to another room and assure them that you’ll come back – then do so! Staying away for longer than necessary could just make matters worse.
Never prolong good-byes! If you’re leaving for an extended period of time, a quick kiss and a hug, a well planned distraction and quiet sneak away is going to be the best method for a stress free good-bye.Does your toddler suffer from separation anxiety? How do you deal with it?