Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Preventing Separation Anxiety
The first couple of times you leave your child with a sitter
or drop her off at a day-care center will probably be a very
emotional experience for you. If you can treat these
separations matter-of-factly, your child will learn to
separate rather easily, making the whole process much less
draining for both of you. Below are some additional
suggestions to help you and your child deal with separation.
- Do not discuss the separation before it occurs. Doing so
will not help and it may make separating more difficult.
- Plan ahead so that you can separate quickly. Have all
of your child's things together in one bag or her toys
out in one place so that you won't drag out the
- When it comes time to do so, leave as quickly and as
matter-of-factly as possible.
- If separating is hard for you, set up artificial
opportunities to practice separating. For example,
arrange to drop your child off at a friend's or
relative's house several additional times each week until
it becomes easier for you.
- When you pick your child up, don't be overly emotional.
It's OK to act glad to see her, but don't start crying
and hugging her excessively--to do so only shows your
child how hard the separation was for you.
- Generally the way children handle separation is a direct
reflection of how their parents handle it. Do well and
your child will do much better.