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my 19 month old has bad separation anxiety, any suggestions on how to break it?

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Asked by bella021 at 12:43 PM on May. 21, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • When does it seem to happen the most ? I tried checking your profile but you don't have any information. Are you a stay at home and are you having trouble with babysitters? Family?

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:47 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • Mine is in this stage too! It's rough. It's a normal developmental part of growing independence; breaking it isn't necessary or desirable. Meet the need, give your child the security that s/he is looking for. Here is an article, with steps to helping your child deal with separation. It's not necessarily what I would do as my parenting philosophy is a bit different, but I think it might be what you are looking for.


    Answer by Collinsky at 12:49 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • I am a stay at home mom, I try not to stay in the same room, but when I leave she starts

    Answer by bella021 at 12:49 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • my year-old daughter has the same problem when i drop her off at daycare or sometimes even at home. usually when i am around, i try to be patient and tell her in a calm voice that i will be with her in a moment. it melts my heart to hear her cry, but i tell myself that she's okay and im right here. and as far as day care, she just screams as soon as i even think about walking out the door. But they tell me that she's uasually fine about 10 min. after i leave. Im not sure where it takes place in your case. Is it all the time or at a certain place?

    Answer by Mommy5.23.08 at 12:55 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • "I am a stay at home mom, I try not to stay in the same room, but when I leave she starts"

    Oh, this is much simpler than if separation is a necessity. If you cuddle your daughter when she's upset, speak to her calmly if you have to put her down or leave the room, include her in your daily tasks, and respond to her right away, then that helps her to know that even though she is growing in independence, you are still right there for her. The increasing independence that they experience at this age sometimes actually scares them, it can be overwhelming, and extra "babying" from you when they need it (and lots of space to explore and learn when they need that) is ideal.
    Some suggestions: Include her in your tasks, minimize separation for now, get a carrier (one that puts weight on both shoulders, like a mei tai or wrap) may be helpful, or sit with her on the couch or floor until she feels comforted. It does pass, I promise!

    Answer by Collinsky at 1:28 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • First, don't think of it as "breaking it"... think of it as "easing her fear".

    When you walk into another room for a glass of water, state that you are going to the kitchen and will be right back. Then talk to her the entire time - shouting so she can hear you if needed. Just narrate what you are doing while you are out of her sight.

    If you ever have to leave her somewhere or with a sitter, do not EVER sneak out. Yes, you won't see her screaming and crying. But she will and it will be worse since as far as she is concerned you just disappeared. If you sneak out to spare yourself her screams, be prepared for her to cling all the tighter from that point on. Instead, when you leave, make it short. Say "I am going to the store. I will be back soon. Grandma is going to play with you while I'm gone. What toy are you going to play with first?" Get the two of them playing, say goodbye and leave. Do not look back.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:12 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • Oh - and take a deep breath.... her seperation anxeity is peaking right now. It will begin easing all on it's own in the coming months. But it does come and go for years. Even college kids get it though we call it homesickness at that point.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:13 PM on May. 21, 2009

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