Separation Anxiety In Children Going To School

Separation anxiety is a common element of childhood development for many kids who attend school. However, both the youngster and the child’s parents or caretakers may find it to be quite upsetting. When a young child first starts school, it can be an exciting moment, but it can also be quite stressful and terrifying for some kids. A young child who is really anxious about starting school for the first time could feel extremely scared, which could cause panic and resistance.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

In many young children, separation anxiety is a common ailment that develops during childhood. Around the time of a child’s first birthday, this condition usually initially manifests. Children at this age frequently show signs of distress when their parents or caregivers try to leave them in the care of someone else. Children frequently resist parents’ or caregivers’ attempts to flee, which can lead to sobbing, screaming, and even temper tantrums. While it frequently returns when the child starts school, this stage normally passes within a few months.

How Does It Occur?

Many kids starting school will be spending their first day away from home for an extended period of time. Being compelled to spend the entire day in a strange setting away from the familiarity of their home can frequently cause feelings of fear, anxiety, uneasiness, and panic. If these emotions get too strong, avoidance behaviors can emerge, including excessive clinginess, sobbing, yelling, and even temper tantrums.
When they start school, even kids used to spending time outside the home frequently, such those who attended daycare, may experience separation anxiety. Separation anxiety in school-aged children can be exacerbated by environmental changes, new routines, unknown people, and unusual surroundings.

What Symptoms Might Your Child Display?

Parents or other adults who care for children must be able to recognize separation anxiety before they may support their treatment. As soon as you become aware of the signs of separation anxiety in your child, you may begin to come up with solutions to the problem and aid in their recovery. In school-age children, common physical signs of separation anxiety include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Panic attacks
  • Sweaty palms
  • Headache
Separation anxiety frequently manifests emotionally as well. Typically, a child will complain of being sick right before leaving for school. Children may exhibit various emotional separation anxiety symptoms, such as: Children may complain of vague complaints, such as a sore throat, headache, upset stomach, or not feeling well.
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Displaying clingy behavior
  • Fear of sleeping alone at night
  • Fear of the dark
  • Extreme worrying about being lost
  • Fear of being alone
  • Panic of leaving their parent’s or caregiver’s side any time they are outside of the home
  • The constant belief that something terrible is going to happen to them

Other Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

The signs of separation anxiety are sometimes misinterpreted for other personality qualities including resistance, disobedience, stubbornness, or rage. Understand that anxiety, fear, and panic—not the above-mentioned bad behavior traits—are the true causes of your child’s separation anxiety symptoms.
These signs and symptoms are quite typical in school-aged youngsters who are experiencing separation anxiety. The majority of kids experience separation anxiety temporarily, which usually goes away as the kid gets used to the new school. Some kids endure separation anxiety for protracted periods of time. When this occurs, parents may need to seek professional assistance if the child is unable to get past this developmental stage.
If a kid with recurrent separation anxiety is not treated appropriately, there could be long-term consequences, such as the adult onset of panic and anxiety disorders. Additionally, if the child’s disease affects his ability to learn and interact socially, academic and social development issues may arise.


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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