Helping With Separation Anxiety

Even today, when I am walking out the door and heading to work, my youngest boy will sometimes say’s to me “Don’t Go.” Oh man, I love my job but it is hard to say goodbye to your child when they are so lovable. I just want to call off sick and spend the entire time with him. But, I know I will see him at lunch, so I kiss him on the forehead and tell him, I will be back in a little bit. Clinginess and wanting you to be around is a healthy reaction to separation. Our children want to be with us, and we want to be with them. That is a normal and something that we want to cherish, because, hopefully, as they get older, when you leave for work or whatever, they won’t care too much of you leaving. Do they like that you are leaving? No, but they know you are going to come back. In the meantime, how do we handle our children having separation issues right now? Though we cannot be with our child every minute of every day, there is someone who is with us always. And that is God. God is always with us, and there is nothing that can separate us from His love and affection. Romans 8:38- 39 say’s

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can rest in the fact that God is always present with our children, and is constantly loving them. So when we leave every morning, we can hug our children, feel their sadness and remind them that God is always there and is always loving on them.

Extra Tips

1. Develop a good-bye ritual. Do not leave without your children knowing. Instead, seek them out and say your good-byes.

2. Be Consistent. If at all possible, come back home roughly around the same time every day. Being consistent will not only help your child’s anxiety, but also score major points with the spouse.

3. Leave With Certainty And Only Come Back When Needed. If you leave and come back often, it does nothing more than reinforce anxiety. If your child knows, if they throw a fit and you will be there, reinforces bad behavior. A recent example of this happened at Junior High camp. An 8th grade student pretended to be sick so his parents would pick him up from camp. This trick worked when they were young and still works when they are older.

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