What Causes Separation Anxiety

Children thrive on the connection with their caregivers. Their need for a sense of connection is strong and constant throughout childhood, forming the foundation for their emotional well-being. 

What does this have to do with separation anxiety, you might ask?

In the video below, Patty Wipfler (founder of Hand in Hand Parenting) explains what is happening when separation kicks up fear.

The sense of connection allows children to learn at a remarkable rate, engage in playfully, and enjoy themselves and others without reservation. It is this emotional safety net that fosters their trust in the people around them and the world they are exploring.

However, a child’s sense of connection and safety is easily broken. Even seemingly minor actions, like a parent turning away to wash their hands or answer a phone call, can disrupt a child’s feeling that all is well. These small breaks in connection are inevitable, yet, they can create feelings of upset in little ones.

Because of this fragility, sooner or later, every child experiences some sad feelings about separation. Whether it’s a parent turning away for a brief moment, going to another room, or dropping a child off at school, these instances can trigger a sense of loss and fear. These moments can bring up big emotions, and while they are a natural part of development, they can be challenging for both the child and the caregiver to navigate. Understanding and addressing these feelings with warmth and patience is crucial in helping children build resilience and trust.

Learn more about separation anxiety and learn effective ways to lead your child to new confidence and independence by:

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