Separation Anxiety in children is characterized by a extreme level of anxiety when the child is separated from their home, family members and parents.
Children displaying signs of Separation Anxiety often become homesick, do not want to attend school, avoid visiting friends houses or may not be able to enter a room on their own. In addition, children can have difficulty around bedtime and may insist that someone stay with them until they are asleep.
Another characteristic is psychical pains like stomach aches, nausea and vomiting, especially when separation occurs. Below you can find more information on what to look for before asking for help.
What should I look for?
- Does your child show excessive anxiety relating to their separation from home or people such as Mum or Dad? Is this level of anxiety unreasonable for a child of their age?
- Is your child repeatedly distressed when they are separated, or think they are going to be separated, from home or from Mum or Dad or another significant person?
- Is your child constantly worried about something happening to a family member, such as an accident or illness?
- Does your child worry that something will happen that will separate him/her from the home or family?
- Does your child refuse to go to school or participate in other activities away from the home or significant family members?
- Is your child excessively scared of being left alone or being without significant family members in other settings?
- Does your child refuse to go to sleep without being near a significant person, or does s/he refuse to sleep away from home?
- Does your child have repeated nightmares about separation?
- Does your child complain of physical symptoms when s/he thinks s/he is going to be separated from his/her home or significant family members?
How can the Quirky Kid Clinic help your child?
The Quirky Kid Clinic is a unique place for children and adolescents aged 2-18 years. We work from the child’s perspective to help them find their own solutions. If you suspect your child may be experiencing symptoms of Separation Anxiety, you might consider one of our workshops or a chat with our psychologists
View article references
- American Psychiatric Association:Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000