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My Child Has Severe Separation Anxiety: Can You Help?

 My Child Has Severe Separation Anxiety: Can You Help?

Separation anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that causes a person excessive distress when they’re separated from familiar people and environments. It’s something that many children develop between about eight to 12 months old, and it peaks by 18 months. However, for some, it can persist much longer.

As a parent, witnessing your child's distress when you leave can make you feel helpless, worried, and even frustrated. No matter your feelings, it’s important to recognize that you’re not alone, and help is available.

Boston Neurobehavioral Associates specializes in telehealth therapy services for adults, and we can help you understand and navigate your child’s anxieties. Here’s a place to start.

Recognizing separation anxiety in children

First of all, it’s important to understand that separation anxiety is a normal developmental stage for babies and young toddlers. It typically begins around eight months of age and may continue until around 2-3 years old.

However, some children may experience unusually severe or prolonged symptoms, which can lead to significant distress for both the child and the parent. Recognizing the signs of separation anxiety can help you identify when your family may need additional support.

Your child could have separation anxiety disorder if they:

If these behaviors sound familiar, and if your child is no longer a baby or toddler, you don’t have to navigate it alone. At Boston Neurobehavioral Associates, we’re here to educate and support you, so you can better support your child.

How therapy for parents can help

Parenting isn’t easy, and parenting a child with separation anxiety often comes with additional challenges. Talk therapy at Boston Neurobehavioral Associates can offer a supportive space for you to express your concerns, frustrations, and fears without judgment.

Plus, your therapist is here to provide validation, encouragement, and guidance. Here are some ways we can help:

1. Education and understanding

Your therapist takes the time to learn about you, your child, and your family, and they can offer valuable education and insights into the nature of separation anxiety. Our goal here is to help you better understand your child's anxiety and how to respond to it more effectively.

By learning about the underlying causes and triggers of separation anxiety, you can develop strategies to support your child's emotional well-being and improve your family’s quality of life.

2. Coping strategies

In your therapy sessions, your therapist can teach you practical coping strategies to help manage your child's separation anxiety. From relaxation techniques to gradual exposure exercises, we can equip you with helpful tools and techniques to help your child feel more secure and comfortable with separation over time.

3. Communication skills

Effective communication is key to supporting a child with separation anxiety. Your therapist can help you improve your communication skills, both with your child and with other caregivers. Open and honest communication helps create a supportive environment that can ease your child's anxiety.

Separation anxiety is complex and stressful — both for children and their parents — but you don’t have to figure out how to deal with it on your own. Book a consultation at Boston Neurobehavioral Associates and start developing a plan to address your child’s anxiety in a safe and effective way.

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