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Toddler Separation Anxiety

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 26-02-2007

There is a new intellectual skill that toddlers develop at a
very early age – it’s called object permanence. They will
begin remembering specific objects and people and even search for certain things (like toys) which
have gone out of sight.

The acquisition of this skill almost simultaneously signals the
development of toddler separation anxiety- which is an anxiety for the loss of an object. This is a
common emotional and developmental phase that all toddlers will experience.

Here are some of
the symptoms:

  • An intense fear of harm to parents
  • An unwillingness to
    separate from parents
  • Increased anxiety at signs of parental departure
  • Crying at the time of separation

This condition is usually takes place in
the second half of the first year, and lasts for about 2 to 4 months. Here are some suggestions
which might help you and your children adjust the time spent away from each other:

  1. Don’t sneak away—children will get more worried when you do
    this.
  2. Get your children a transitional object—i.e. a
    security blanket to ease their anxiety.
  3. Get them involved
    in activities
    —keep your children occupied with fun when you leave.
  4. Leave on a bright note—don’t fret; respond with smiles, big hugs,
    and a happy good-bye.
  5. Time it right—don’t leave your
    children when they are likely to be tired, hungry, or restless.

 Understanding what
your child is going through and having a few coping strategies in reserve can go a long way toward
helping both of you get through it.