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Whether you are heading to work or your child is heading to school, anytime parents and children are separated there is a potential for separation anxiety. Whether the anxiety comes from you or your children, the feelings are valid. Our readers had some advice for parents facing separation anxiety. Keep reading to see what they recommend.

Lisa Howe

Lisa Howe

Lisa Howe is an MSW and Certified Peaceful Parenting Coach at Becoming Peaceful.

Have a Moment Together

Separation anxiety is alive and well post-pandemic. As families begin to return to their typical lives, children are experiencing the fear that comes with being apart. As a parent, I am sure to connect ahead of time, being focused on silliness and laughter. Then, I am careful to leave my daughter with a comfort object, either a kiss on her hand so she can press it to her face while we are not together or a picture of the two of us.

Practice Separation, Make Goodbyes Short

As a parent, separation anxiety may come in the form of various mixed emotions when you leave your child with a caregiver. You may feel guilty leaving your child crying, but it is good to understand that it will be temporary. To overcome separation anxiety, you can try the following methods:

1. Practice separation
You can start by leaving your child in the company of the caregiver for shorter periods. Study how the child copes then adjust as time goes.

2. Make your goodbyes short
Goodbye can be a quick kiss or peck, or even a wave while you are outside the window. Assure your kid that you will be coming back and be sure to be back home as you promised.

3. If possible, leave them with one primary caregiver
Your kid will grow comfortable with one primary caregiver. Keep the caregiver on the job for longer periods to help them build a relationship with the kid.

Harriet Chan

Harriet Chan

Harriet Chan, Co-Founder of CocoFinder.

Jaya Aiyar

Jaya Aiyar

Jaya Aiyar, Founder, and CEO at Créatif.

Divert Your Attention

No matter how old your kids are, you will still feel separation anxiety when they need to be far away from you. As a parent myself, I must admit that the worst separation anxiety that is difficult to overcome is separation anxiety with your child.

However, we parents cannot control their whole life. Instead, we control our feelings and let them spread their wings and fly. From what I have experienced, here are the things that work in overcoming separation anxiety:

1. Divert your attention
Learn something new that will make you busy. Make sure that it is something you enjoy. By doing so, your focus will no longer be on your anxiety.

2. Call when you miss them
Calling them will lessen the feeling of longing you have for them. Express what you feel, and if they don’t feel the same way, it’s okay. Keeping everything to yourself will only make the feelings worse.

Speak to a Doctor

Separation anxiety is a challenging obstacle to overcome. The best way is to speak with your doctor about the appropriate form of medication that will help you feel less anxious and reassure you that there are good reasons for being separated from someone when necessary.

Separating involves the difficulty of living without the person and, in some cases, dealing with ongoing worry and guilt over having left them alone or abandoned. Chances are they’ll be okay without us, but none of us can stop caring forever; we might miss out on unforeseen joys by giving up hope prematurely.

Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla, Founder of Parental Questions.

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