Welcome to Chapter 1, where we delve into the world of Separation Anxiety—a common and emotionally distressing challenge faced by children and parents alike. Led by Dr. Kimberley O'Brien, Principal Child Psychologist at Quirky Kid, this chapter provides a comprehensive understanding of the triggers, symptoms, and prevalence of Separation Anxiety.
Understanding the impact of Separation Anxiety is crucial in navigating your child's journey through this challenging phase. By gaining insights into the necessity of independence, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to support your child to effectively manage farewells and separations.
In this chapter we clarify the traits of Separation Anxiety Disorder—a diagnosis reserved for children aged six years and above who experience daily fear of abandonment for at least four weeks consecutively. Additionally, we discuss its prevalence, particularly among children starting daycare, where farewells can be particularly challenging.
To offer a relatable perspective, we present a real-life case example of Kate, a four-year-old who struggles with extreme clinginess and distress during preschool farewells. Through Kate's story, we highlight the emotional impact that Separation Anxiety can have on children and their families, providing empathy and understanding.
This chapter emphasises the significance of establishing a positive relationship with the school environment. Exploring the school surroundings, understanding classroom spaces, and becoming familiar with playground areas can help alleviate anxieties and fears during school drop-offs.
Understanding the different perspectives—both from the child and parent—also plays a crucial role in addressing Separation Anxiety. By exploring how children perceive farewells and understanding parents' concerns, we foster empathy and effective communication, building a foundation for supporting our children through this challenging phase.
Join us as we continue this transformative journey in Chapter 2.