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Solution: Separation Anxiety

by Editorial Team | June 1st, 2012 | Parenting Predicament

My 18-month-old cries whenever I even leave the room. He once pushed his playpen in front of the door to keep me from going. I’m a SAHM and have never had a babysitter, but I want him to be able to separate from me.

Gordana, family support worker/ parenting class facilitator and mother of two, says the way to do this is gradually. First, of course, make arrangements with Dad or another adult helper. Then, start by leaving your child with that person for very short periods that get slightly longer each time.

“Don’t leave them for 15 minutes,” says Gordana. One minute is more like it. If your child is okay, try two minutes the next time, and so forth. Many kids will be all right by the time you’re up to five or six minutes. “They come to believe you’ll be back.”

Be sure to do this in a familiar place. And be aware that sometimes the emotional attachment is too strong to let a child be ready for separation — at least, just yet.


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