Separation Anxiety


The most common problem for young children is separation anxiety. While it is common for children to exhibit some separation anxiety during the transition into the structured environment at preschool, some children show more significant emotional problems that may indicate that the child is not yet ready to be at preschool and may have or may be at risk of developing a separation anxiety disorder. Normal separation anxiety can be eased by parents staying patient and consistent, and by gently but firmly setting limits.  However, some kids experience separation anxiety that does not go away despite the parents’ and teacher’s best efforts. These children experience a continuation or reoccurrence of intense separation anxiety during their preschool or even elementary school years. Some symptoms of separation anxiety disorder include a phobia of going to school, resistance to going to bed at night, and physical complaints in reaction to actual or anticipated separation from primary caretakers. In the case of separation anxiety disorder, crying, tantrums and resistance to separation is excessive enough to interfere with normal activities of preschool and typically lasts for months rather than days. If a child experiences these symptoms, it is best to address them with a professional without delay.
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