Part Two: Separation Anxiety in Children

August 22, 2023

Kids experiencing separation anxiety might become clingy and reluctant to be alone, but there are ways to help. Establishing routines, offering comfort, and practicing short separations are a few strategies you can try. Read on to hear how you can support your child at home and in therapy.

Tiffaney Knight, Resident in Counseling

When working with children with separation anxiety, I believe there’s a team effort between the therapist, client, and parent(s). As the therapist, we provide tools and support for the client, ensuring we are validating their very real feelings while also giving them the confidence to tackle the scary thing in front of them. In regards to working with parents, we are also providing the confidence and support to push their children despite how scary and hard it may seem. Moving past separation anxiety requires exposing yourself to the idea of being away from parents and it doesn’t look pretty. There may be tears and tantrums but the more clients build the muscle, the easier it becomes over time. In therapy, we provide both the client and parents the tools to push past the anxiety.

Katie Thompson, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work

Therapy is a great resource for kids experiencing separation anxiety. When a kid has the space to learn strategies to confront fears and worries, they grow in confidence. I believe confidence to be a major factor in healing separation anxiety as a kid learns they can navigate the world and their emotions independently. Through games and conversations in a therapeutic environment, kids have the opportunity to show themselves they can handle anything that comes their way! Additionally, loved ones can play a big role in healing separation anxiety by consistently showing up with love and support. It takes a village and I’m so glad The Wise Family has the team and resources to help your family work through it all!

Cleo Chalk, Resident in Counseling

As a parent or caregiver, witnessing your child struggle with separation anxiety can be difficult. The tears, distress, and refusal to let go when you say goodbye can leave you feeling powerless. Despite the feeling, please know that there is hope! Separation anxiety is a common developmental phase that many kids go through.

There are several strategies that can be used to help your child cope. Utilizing role-playing scenarios where you leave and come back can help normalize the idea of separation. Additionally, positive reinforcement has been shown to be beneficial in encouraging positive behavior and boosting self-assurance. And arranging playdates and social interactions can help your child become more comfortable around other children and adults. There are many strategies that can be used to help your child cope.

If you would like more information please reach out to any member of The Wise Family. You got this!

Until next time, Be Wise!