Children with separation anxiety demonstrate panic when a parent or caretaker leaves them, even if it is only for a brief period of time to get something from another room. Anxiety around separation is a normal emotion for infants and toddlers and usually remits around 2 years of age. The intensity and duration of the separation anxiety is usually dependent on the quality of attachment between the infant and the caregiver.
Anxiety around separation that lasts beyond 2 years of age can be a problem if the anxiety begins to interfere with the child’s normal development. For example, anxiety related to separating from a caretaker when being dropped off at preschool or kindergarten can be normal. However, if the anxiety is so intense that the child is not able to engage with their peers or participate in class, this is problematic and is a sign that normal development is being disrupted. If this is the case, it is important to intervene with the services of a qualified mental health professional that has expertise in working with very young children and their families.
At Equilibria Kids, we have expert clinicians trained in working with young children having trouble separating appropriately from their parents. We work with the children to help them develop adaptive coping skills related to separation and work closely with the parents to develop the necessary skills to help their child separate in a healthy way.
If your child is struggling with separation anxiety, we can help.