Mom, Dad Don’t Leave Me

Children with Separation Anxiety

What actually happens to your child when your child shows that he or she has difficulty leaving you with expressions such as “mom, stay here, don’t go, don’t leave me” or just crying and tantrums on the way to school, at the door of the kindergarten, on the way to work?

When your child experiences this anxiety, what are your feelings and thoughts in these moments? How do you look at the event?

Here you come across a fork in the road. Do you see these behaviors of your child as a problem and situations that should not be, or if my child has this anxiety, what does my child need here, what is the main reason for his reaction? In fact, when you approach the subject with a second perspective, you start helping your child and yourself.

So what will I do?

∙ The reason for the separation should be openly discussed with this child.

The child should not face separation all at once. For example, if he is going to school, why he went to school, if the parent is going to go on a trip, why he will go and how long he will come, should be explained to the child in a way that he or she can understand. It must be said that the parent will always return.

∙ Standing in an empathetic place that can understand the child’s feelings is one of the greatest support you can give to your child with separation anxiety. You can help the child name and manage their emotions with mirroring such as “You feel sad”, “You don’t want me to go”.

∙ You can set a separation ritual between you. For example, you can make an object your private object. He can hug that object every time he misses you. If she goes to kindergarten or school, you can draw a heart on her hand and on your own, and say that you can look at that heart every time she misses you, and that you will think of her every time she looks at you.

∙ It is unrealistic to expect the child not to cry during the separation processes that will be experienced for the first time. Children may express their anxiety by crying and tantrums. Parents should allow their children to experience these feelings. In addition, the child should be made to feel that he will be safe when you go.

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