There is nothing more wrenching than watching a terrible separation between a parent and a child in the morning. Whether it's a mom putting a hysterical child on the school bus or having to seek the assistance of a guidance counselor to pry their child out of the car, separation anxiety is no way to start the day for anyone.
Why do children experience separation anxiety?
-Some children worry that something will happen to their parents when they are apart such as a car crash or a serious illness.
-Some children worry that something will happen to them when they are apart from their parents, like a kidnapping.
-In clinical practice, I find that the most common worry is that children fear that they will experience anxiety or possible illness (most typically tummy aches/vomiting) when apart from their parents and that they won't be able to cope. They doubt that other adults will assist them or "get" them as well as their parents do. More importantly, they doubt their own coping resources to help themselves if they feel worried or ill.
This week, I will post a tip each day to help re-build your mornings and make these daily separations easier. Stay tuned!
I am a licensed psychologist working with kids, teens, and adults with anxiety disorders.