Separation anxiety

Aaron is a pretty well adjusted 2 year old.  He moved from his cot to a big boy bed without a hitch.  He started school with very few tantrums or clingy moments.

What he is not adjusting well to is the fact that daddy has moved out of the home office and into a new office.  He is teary and clingy, he makes me call daddy each morning so he can speak to him and then sobs and begs daddy to come home.

He is suddenly very clingy with me, he cries and wails when I leave him at school in the morning, which he really wasn’t doing that often before and he gets very upset when I leave to go back to work after lunch.

He has also been sick the last few weeks and Im sure that he is still feeling out of sorts from that as well.

It  just breaks my heart to see him sob when daddy goes off to work and when I go back to work after lunch.

What has your experience been with separation anxiety and with anxiety caused by big changes in your little ones life?  Do you have any tips to help us ease through this transition?

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Author

Gina Jacobson

Gina Jacobson

Gina Jacobson, a wife, a soon to be mom of 2 , a leo, a procrastinator, sushi lover and Kindle fanatic. Her blog is made up of A Bit of This a Bit of That.

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8 Responses

  1. We have dealt with TONS of insecurities last year – from baby brother arriving 5 weeks early, to both boys being in hospital, to Great-gran passing away, and us trying to sell our house, and Daddy travelling. All at the same time. When you step back, and see that they have not got the life experience to know that everything will be ok, it is then that one begins to realise how to use patience [a trait I was absolutely born without, and have had to grow – fast, over the last year!]
    Things to try:
    1. Create a set goodbye routine for Dad and Aaron – say it as you do it: big kiss, big hugs, shake the hand, wag the bum [always gets hysterics here] – and wave bye bye!
    2. Create a hello Dad routine as well….run, hugs, hello!! Then hello Mommy etc etc.
    3. I had to say things to Matti like “Mommy always come back”. But like this: MOMMY. ALWAYS. COMES. BACK. [big emphasised pauses and emphasis on words]. Then after a while it became ” Mommy always?” – and he finished it…knowing that Mommy would be back. This was when he was in school, which we had to take him out of cos he got so sick he and his baby brother nearly died. He got used to it, and we shook hos whole world upside down again – it became “when am I going to school?”….very sad.
    4. Also before Dad comes home, maybe do the same thing everyday. So Dad phones and says he is coming. Aaron and Mommy read a book, or sing songs or something. Same thing everyday. He will learn that that specific thing means Daddy is coming soon. [Pavlovian? yes, but it works, and helps settle them more]

    Hope it all works out for you!! Big *squidge*

  2. We also have dealt with seperation anxiety, so we also know what you’re talking about.

    In my opinion:

    1. I know its hard to see him cry, but why not cut out the visit to him in lunch time. It doesn’t help you and him in any way to deal with the seperation anxiety. Drop him off at school in the mornings and pick him up in the afternoons when you go home. This will help him adjust more easily. Now he expects you to visit in lunch time maybe in the hope that you will take him home in that hour. I know its hard, but give it a try.

    2. Ensure him that Daddy will be back in the evenings. Do not make the mistake by giving Daddy a call at the office. This also upsets him as well as you seeing your child cry.

    I know its hard but he will get over it and so will you and your husband. It does take time but it will be over in no time. Good luck.

  3. @blackhuff, He comes home at lunchtime, he only goes to school in the mornings, so I bring him home and stay with him until Aletta comes back from lunch, I have always come home at lunchtime so that she can go on lunch, so he is actually used to me being there 🙂

  4. Reassure,reassure reassure. Also maybe roll play a bit – I know he is still young but try to ask him what his worst fear is .i.e daddy doesn’t come back- and then unpack it for him.
    If daddy is late what happens etc
    Over and over and over again- that’s how 2 year olds roll.
    And look after yourself as well- we dont acknowledge our own anxieties in situations like this. Good luck!

  5. I like the routine suggestion. I started a little routine with Aaron in the mornings when I leave for work. He helps me pack my bag and then I take him with me to get my wallet, keys etc and tell him I am going to work and will be back soon. That seems to work for him and I think he is getting used to the idea of me working out of home.

  6. The routine thing is very important, but also reassure him. Talk to him about his fears. 2-3 is a very difficult age for separation anxiety. Don’t force him to separate from you, it makes everything worse. Be with him till he settles, love him and give him many hugs and kisses. He needs reassurance more than anything, he will be fine and so will you.

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