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Fear of separation from parents: the main reasons

Separation anxiety is a disorder that is expressed in the fear of separation of the child from his parents. It is often found among children at a certain stage of the child’s development. Most children outgrow separation anxiety by the age of three, but sometimes it occurs among older children. There may be different reasons for this.

If a child under the age of two and a half years shows excessive anxiety when forced for some time to part with one of the parents or close relatives, it can be a sign of separation anxiety. It is necessary to distinguish between anxiety disorder and the normal phase of development of the child, which he usually outgrows.

At the age of three, the child is sometimes overly worried about something bad that may happen to the caregiver or another person. The child is in a restless state about separation from another person, thinking that it will disturb his usual way of life.

What can lead to a separation alarm

Significant changes in life, such as moving to another house or city, moving to another school, etc., are often the causes of anxiety in the child. If a younger child is born in the family, the older one also often has anxiety.

The loss of a close relative, pet or close friend can also be a very traumatic experience for a child, capable of causing separation anxiety.

In addition, conflicts between parents leading to divorce, remarriage of parents, etc., may be of concern.

Symptoms of separation anxiety in older children

the child is afraid to fall asleep or stay alone in the room at night, he insists on sleeping with his parents or with a brother or sister;
he often has nightmares or other sleep disorders;
a child often exhibits bad behavior, becomes hysterical, or experiences stress during separation from a parent or other person to whom he or she is attached;
he excessively misses his parent, to whom he feels affection when he is not around;
the child is afraid that something terrible will happen to the parent who is not around, or with him (the child is afraid that he will get lost, get injured or be stolen);
sometimes a child may experience physical symptoms of anxiety: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches, and even heart pain;
the child can panic if the plans for the day change: when one of the parents is late from work and in other similar cases;
the child may experience a fear of being alone;
the child may attempt not to go to school, not to go to summer camp, and not to participate in other activities where he will be left alone.

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