Babies and toddlers often feel super distressed and anxious when they part with their parents, guardians or caretakers. A number of preschoolers develop a more serious form of this anxiety, which is commonly known as separation anxiety disorder.
Separation anxiety can start around the time when a child is eight-months old and can get worse in 14 and 18-month-old babies. But don’t freak out because this is a natural rite of passage in a child’s development. Parents need to understand that when children learn to crawl or walk around, they develop a fear of separating from their caretakers or being around strangers. However, children as old as seven-year-olds can also grapple with it.
How can you identify separation anxiety disorder in your seven-year-old?
The following are indicators that can help you determine if your child has separation anxiety disorder?
- Your child refuses to go to school because he/she doesn’t want to be anywhere without you.
- Your child has serious trouble falling asleep.
- Your child often gets stomachaches or backaches. These are often present in anxious or distressed children.
- Your child constantly complains about being sick often.
- Your child throws a lot of tantrums. Instead of using his/her words, your child tends to drag his feet around when upset.
Know this: separation anxiety in children is actually way more common than you think. The severity of it, however, can vary. If you notice any of these behavioral changes in your child then it’s time to pay a visit to your pediatrician.
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