Easing Separation Anxiety
Although fear of separation tends to peak at about 18 months, it can resurface much later, often triggered by an event such as new childcare arrangements or staying overnight for the first time at a friend's house.
Here are some tips for making separations easier for your toddler, and for you.
Acknowledge her fears
Your child's worries are entirely normal, and telling her this may ease her anxiety. At the same time, remind her that when you leave her with grandma, at preschool or daycare, you always pick her up again.
Have her put it in words
Toddlers have limited vocabularies, so yours may find it difficult to describe what frightens her. Help her by asking questions. Is she sad, angry or scared? Finding words to describe what she’s feeling may help calm her.
Be gentle and confident
Be prepared for clingy behaviour whenever you have to leave her. But if you stay calm, loving, and confident, this will be conveyed to your toddler and she’ll learn to let you go more easily.
Give her warning
If possible, let her know about a coming separation several days in advance. She’ll have time to adjust to the idea, and to ask questions. And you’ll have time to give her plenty of re-assurance.