How to Eliminate the Separation Anxiety Tantrum

Does your child erupt in an earth shattering tantrum when she is going to be separated from you?

For some parents dealing their child’s tantrums at separation can be so intense that they consider altering family plans and even work arrangements to avoid their child having a fit.

It’s common for younger children to suddenly be fearful of leaving mom or dad. If your child has never been away from you for extended periods of time, then many things can trigger separation anxiety. Family changes such as starting school or even going to a new day care can trigger separation anxiety. Even children who have gone to daycare from the time they were little can experience separation anxiety upon family changes.

Here are a few tips for parents who are dealing with their children having separation anxiety:

  1. Send a picture of the family with your child when they are going to be separated from you. If your child is having separation anxiety at school, ask the teacher if your child can keep the picture at her desk. This way if your child is starting to feel homesick, she can take a quick peek at mom or dad.
  2. Reassure your child that you will see her again soon. When dropping off your child, remind her of the schedule. Let her know who will be picking her up and when she will see you again. For example, “Have a great day at school today. Dad will be at the bus stop to pick you up when school is over. And I will see you at dinner time after I get off work.” Keep your sentences short and simple to understand.
  3. Keep a routine. Children often develop anxiety when there is instability in their schedules. Keeping a routine with a consistent daily and weekly schedule will give your child a feeling of security and thereby reduce her anxiety.
  4. Don’t dwell at drop off. Keep drop offs as brief as possible. Give your child a goodbye hug and kiss. Remind them when you will see her again, and say goodbye. Overly long, drawn out goodbyes when your child is clinging to you and you’re both crying will not help reduce your child’s separation anxiety.

Try out these tips if your child is struggling with separation anxiety and erupts in a tantrum when she’s going to be separated from you.

For more support in handling every type of tantrum, check out our Temper Tantrums Workshop.