Helping Our Kids Deal With Separation Anxiety
In the world of winning ball games, honor roll and weather related Facebook status’s many moms are not letting on that there is a deep and painful struggle going on in their homes. Children are dealing with anxiety at alarming rates and its affecting families, schools and the lives of good Moms everywhere.
At some level all kids deal with anxiety, but when it hinders our families from functioning in a healthy manner, we need to pay attention and help our kids through it.
I will be talking the next several weeks on my segments with Tommy and Brook on Star 105.7 about helping our kids through anxiety. Today I’m talking about separation anxiety. You might think that this is just a toddler issue, but it can affect children into their teens and honestly even adults.
Often parents think that if their child is dealing with separation anxiety then they just need more separation, but child psychologist feel that the opposite is true. Kids were not meant to be OK without us. They need us to be their anchor. Their safe place in a storm and comfort from the world around them.
Children, and all of us really, crave connection. Children are especially sensitive to the connection with their parents and in fact they’re entire well-being counts on the parent-child connection. But we can’t be with our children 24/7, so how can we help our kids deal with our leaving them?
There are going to be many age and stage appropriate helps, but one way to help them through the transition of separation is to focus on your next connection with them. Tell them, “I’ll see you again in just a little while.” This way, instead of them thinking about you leaving them, they are focusing on the next connection with you.
Think of it as building bridges with them. Take them (emotionally) to the next connection instead of leaving them at the end of a dead end road. Talk about what you’re going to do when you see them again. “We will be together for dinner.” If it’s night time, “I will see you in just a little bit when the sun comes up.”
Moms, the stronger the connection you have with your children, the easier it will be for them to deal with the temporary separation from you. Physical touch, eye contact and listening are excellent ways to strengthen the connection with our kids.
Build bridges and focus on the next connection.
Luke 18:15-17 NLT [ Jesus Blesses the Children ] One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
If you missed this segment you can listen to it and more on my Star 105.7 page.