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Toddler - Separation anxiety

At around 2.5 year of age, a lot of toddlers can become quite anxious when mum or dad is not around. It may seem odd especially if they were more relaxed about this before, but it is in fact very
normal. They realise that mum or dad is not there and they wonder if they are going to come back.

Some toddlers can wake up during the night screaming; others will scream and cry when you leave the room even for a short period. This is usually out grown between ages 3 to 4 years. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help reduce both
yours and their anxiety when you need to leave them in someone else's care.

  • Put on a brave front. If you appear relaxed and confident they will respond to your behaviour.
  • Prepare them. Talk to your child about what will happen, who will look after them and when you will return.
  • Don't do the 'long goodbye'. Hug and kiss them, say goodbye and go. The longer you take, the more worked up they will get.
  • Don't sneak away when they are not looking. They won't let you out of their sight next time.
  • Let them keep a toy or teddy they love with them.
  • Persist even if it is hard for both of you.
Most importantly, take comfort in the fact that they will outgrow this phase soon.

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