Therapists Explain Kids’ Separation Anxiety

Perhaps you already witnessed a kid that rolls around the ground and crying his heart out because he doesn’t want his parents to leave him at school. And sometimes, you think that is normal because a lot of kids tend to be like that. However, what you didn’t know is the emotional and mental struggle behind that particular behavior. The truth is, what is happening to these hapless little ones is called separation anxiety. It is a psychological condition that therapists aim to address in children who are experiencing it.


Separation Anxiety In Children

Separation anxiety can occur in adults too. But compared to children, it is more severe in them. The condition is inappropriate development of excessive anxiety or fear regarding the separation of kids from those people they feel attached. Usually, children with separation anxiety experience recurrent distress when getting an idea of separating from home or any form of the principal attachment figure. One example of a scenario is when a father, mother, or a close member of the family is taking a few days off the house due to vacation, work, or whatsoever. Kids become entirely upset when they know they are going to be away from someone they care about. There is a buildup of persistent and excessive worry about losing an attachment to that valued individual. In some cases, children get disturbed when that person is sick and injured. These kids become too emotionally distraught just by thinking that their loved one could end up being kidnapped, getting in an accident, and dead.


The Effects In Children

Children with separation anxiety somehow appear same as everybody. That is the impression of why it is difficult for parents and other mental health professionals to identify the mental condition instantly. But one limiting factor of the mental illness is the kids’ behavior. Usually, kids are more reluctant to new things. There is often a refusal to go outside that even stepping out from the house becomes a big deal. Separation anxiety in children makes them fear the distance away from home because they believe it will cause them pain or any unfortunate accidents. These little ones look at their home as a fortress that once they move away from it, they become weak and vulnerable.

There is no room for social interaction on children with separation anxiety as well. That is because they usually do not want to play with other kids. There is this idea that getting too attached to someone will only cause emotional issues in the long run. With that, instead of trying to become friends with different people, these kids only surround themselves with one or two peers. Sometimes, even those two individuals get to be pushed away too. These kids are afraid to handle a much significant emotional burden caused by separation. That explains why they are sometimes clingy and unable to be sued by anybody else except their trusted parents, siblings, relatives, or friends. In some unfortunate cases, these children with separation anxiety often want to be alone. That is regardless of them being at home or in any settings.

In some events, there are severe cases where these kids experience repeated nightmares and panic attacks due to the idea of separation. It becomes a non-existent trauma where children often think about it all the time. With that, these kids end up having physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches.



The anxiety and fear in children usually last within four weeks. The whole thought of it causes children to feel a significant amount of distress. Sometimes, the result of the anguish makes it impossible for them to function in their lives. There are cases that even a medical professional or mental health expert cannot explain it well too. With that, children suffer silently with mental illness. And since they are kids who are sometimes unable to express their emotional and psychological situation, it becomes hard to treat them immediately.

The truth is, separation anxiety is entirely a survival practice that keeps children safe from the emotional impact. Some kids are aware that they can survive without help from someone they trust. However, not all children can integrate quickly and accept that they need to do things alone of their own. With that, they become completely overwhelmed by their developmental stage.

Separation anxiety does not necessarily have to focus on age. Instead, it is more on the developmental stage. It is where there is an expectation of the strength of the emotional and mental capability of an individual.

Kids Want More Freedom – Should We Give It?




In today’s world, parents like us are somehow backing away from the modern, more liberal type of parenting and adapting the old, conventional style when it comes to discipline and house rules. Truly, it is difficult not to notice the messages conveyed on the television and social media – the children of today are just out of control. But a psychologist once asked me, “How are the kids of today so different from the way we were? And did we make them who they are now?”

With the newly structure curriculum where there are more school days, projects and homework during the weekends, and more activities for student improvement, don’t you think as a parent that they’re so caught up with education, and we have left them with nothing much for their freedom to grow up outside of school? By making sure that our kids learn academically, are we giving them to little space for individuality?

There is an uprising of anxiety and discomfort regarding the new system of rules and discipline. Many people think that this system is stopping the new generation from expressing who they are, and learning through experience right from wrong. If we expect them to become the world’s stronghold and tomorrow’s future, why aren’t we giving them the space to explore and grow?

Boundaries Must Be Set

Needless to say, parents are obliged to set boundaries for their kids, and it may not sound sensible, but yes, children do want these boundaries. They are okay with you telling them what to do and what not to do because they somehow like the feeling that there is control in the things they do. They like the sense of being safe in a controlled world where their parents are their fortress, and life is less complicated because of their protection. If there is no control, then it will be too much for these kids, and they were not born into this world unsafe. They have been cuddled and embraced and shielded from harm from the moment they came out.


Our children, in the beginning, have no idea what’s right from wrong – we teach them that. That is why we set some boundaries. But perhaps by letting them get away with some things, we are doing this as part of their training, when we are first polishing their values, defining their characters, and creating structures.

Instilling discipline in children does not mean that parents are impeding them of their free will. Children should be entitled to their own opinion and should be allowed to express how they feel about things and issues in life, but of course, depending on their age. We can ask them for their choices on the simple things first, to help them practice the right kind of free will. For example, we can ask them what kind of drink they want, but we give them a choice of the drink – orange or apple juice. We can ask our teenager if she prefers to wear yellow or red shorts, but not let her choose the skimpy skirt when she’s going to the library. The freedom that we teach them is limited only because we want to teach them how to make choices.

Eventually, we can add consequences to these choices. If they make the incorrect choice, then there is a consequence. If they don’t finish their food, they don’t get to eat ice cream. They do have a choice, but the price to be paid will determine their behavior. Isn’t this what we all experience in the real world – responsibility, hard decisions, and consequences?

They Do Need More Freedom

It’s been more than three decades of blaming it on people’s rejection of the modern way of rearing children. It is because we give our children too much freedom that they become addicts, criminals, and early mothers. They’re rallying on implementing the conventional, authoritarian kind of parenting, specifically in the United States, perhaps because more and more people believe that we have become too liberal.


But the bottom line is that too much of everything is not at all right. And as much as we want to change the way we handle our children, we must let them grow up reasonably. Yes, we must pay more attention to our children – that’s the more traditional setting – but we must also add a touch of modern to that. We must always encourage them to think for themselves. No parent, school, or religion must force children to accept whatever it is that they do not want. We must raise them in a way that they know how to think, ask, and question.




Top 5 Words To Always Say To A Child

Motherhood is so beautiful in that it makes you feel alive every single day. Being a mom to a wonderful child is such a blessing since you get an opportunity to raise someone into a fantastic person who will soon become part of the society or community. As such, it is crucial for you to focus on the development of your child, not only in the physical aspect but also on his emotional side. According to a therapist’s advice, parents must start to teach their children at a young age. Continue reading “Top 5 Words To Always Say To A Child”

My Story Of Motherhood And Anxiety

Before motherhood, I was entirely carefree. I don’t usually worry about so many things at all. I don’t care about the ideas like jumping out of a plane, leaving for another country, or spending time in a deserted place. I believe that I’m emotionally and mentally capable of handling all of the negative things that can come my way. But after giving birth, everything becomes entirely different. I am now more stressed, and I feel like anxiety and depression are taking over my life. Having a baby changed the whole course of my mental and emotional capacity.


The Consistent Mental And Emotional Struggle

Motherhood changed my perspective on a lot of things. I became more sensitive and out of control. Yes, it is a beautiful feeling to have a child that you can love and take care of the rest of your life. But what’s creeping up on me is the idea of not being able to provide my baby all the necessary things that promote better development. I often got scared of not always being there for my child, so I preferably avoid getting busy with other stuff. I feel anxious about unrealistic things that I picture might happen anytime I’m out of sight. There are times that I understand the situation and I know that things are not that bad in some instances. But, every time I think about how small and fragile a newborn is, I immediately feel the terror inside my core. I then assume that something is going to happen. I locked my thoughts with a lot of “what ifs.” These include the idea of my baby’s interrupted breathing, physical movements, loud cries, as well as silent gestures. There is tremor thinking that something would prevent me from watching and caring for my child.


Am I paranoid? Is this post-partum depression? Well, I guess that’s what you can call it. All I can see is danger everywhere in everything that surrounds my child. The list of things that now scares me is endless. Most of that is a bit ridiculous, unreasonable, and seems impossible to happen. I suddenly developed a lot of fear which I don’t previously have. That includes the turning off of lights where it suddenly becomes so freaking scary. And to add more, I started to watch out and be careful about everything I do and say in front of my baby because I believe that it creates an impact on the child’s development. People have no idea that I began having issues with clinginess. They don’t know I am currently devastated and afraid of being alone with my child. I felt tortured and immobilized.


All these emotional and mental states I am at are the most dreadful feeling I ever had. When I continuously think about it or say it out loud, it gives me a heavy feeling on my chest. It felt awful and scary. And when these thoughts began to work their way on creating a more specified adverse scenario in my head, it can make me cry non-stop. Yes, I worried too much about things I know I shouldn’t. But, I could not seem to help it. It is something I still couldn’t quite handle and explain. I can only describe the sensation as dullness and heaviness in all aspects of my overall health. Yes, I already recognized that I am suffering from a mental health condition and the anxiety has entirely stopped me from enjoying other beautiful things around me. But still, I knew that the ongoing process of recovery could take a while.


What I Learned From The Experience

Before having a baby, I entirely don’t understand the impact of fear, constant worry, and panic attacks. I can say that I lived my life based on exploring fun and excitement. But now, I’m living in a world where I can’t find the right answers to my psychological and emotional dilemma. Do I regret having a child? Well, of course not. It may sound strange to say this, provided that I intentionally wrote the negativity of my emotional and mental state, but motherhood is an incredible thing that ever happened to me. As a mother, it became my reality.

Mental Health 101: Why Kids Should Not Stay Cooped Up At Home

Last week, we spoke to a woman who used to get sheltered too much by her parents, to the extent that she was only allowed to watch TV at home, and nothing else. Riding a bike was a no-no because mom did not want her to scrape her legs. Dad was quite strict about studying, saying young kids should focus on it even on the weekends to have a better future. Hence, the woman could not remember a day when she was able to play outdoors like the other children in the neighborhood.

That is unacceptable, frankly speaking, since pediatric specialists keep on seeing that their patients who have started battling a mental disorder early happen to be the kids who never commune with nature. They stay indoors most of the time, playing video games or merely staring at the corners of the house. While their friends are hanging out at the park or a friend’s house, they end up not even getting some sun for days. If you must know, this lack of socialization and vitamin D deficiency often push people down the depression lane.


The fact mentioned above does not make over-sheltering kids seem so ideal now, does it? Your children may not get influenced or bullied by others, they won’t ever be at risk of being in an accident, but the prolonged stay indoors affects their mental health adversely.

Let us give you a few more reasons not to let your kids stay cooped up at home.

1. It Stimulates The Senses

Being in nature more often typically makes a child’s senses sharper than ever. They get to play with soil, feel the grass under their feet, smell the flowers, see bugs and explore other things that can occur outdoors. These are the things that they can only understand in theory or through descriptions in books if you don’t allow them to go outside.


2. It Enhances Cognitive Skills

The environment consists mainly of living things that grow and wither. As said earlier, there may also be creatures or plant species that may switch on the curious side of the kids and cause them to observe what they do, what their colors are, and how big they become. That can improve their thinking skills better than tuning into National Geographic at home.

3. It Relieves Stress

In case you have not fathomed it before, children can acquire stress from the activities they need to accomplish every day. For instance, they got to wake up at six in the morning when there’s school, participate in class discussions until around three in the afternoon, and still have dinner and do their homework before resting at night. If such kids don’t go out once in a while, they won’t have an outlet for their stress.


4. It Builds Up Creativity

It is best to take the young ones to a natural park that does not have slides and swings, to be honest. With the man-made playthings on site, after all, it seems automatic for children to know how they should play. However, if they are in an open field with some huge trees, it will enable them to use their imagination and create different games on their own.

Final Thoughts

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common disorders that kids as young as three years old can develop. They tend to isolate themselves from youngsters their age and, worse, even attempt to self-harm at times. If you don’t want your child to be part of the statistics, though, it matters to encourage him or her to leave the house sometimes and play outdoors like the others to boost their mental health.

Good luck!

Parenting 101:  Stress-Free Tips That Can Help You Deal With Your Child




Parenting is a much-underrated subject that most people avoid discussing. Since raising a child in this world and at this very moment is stressful, parents should learn the essential ways to incorporate discipline in their parenting. Hopefully, these tips will at least get them started in thinking about proper child parenting.

Most parents’ goal is to do parenting well. As much as possible, they want to avoid giving kids’ lessons, hope they get through life struggles and wish everything turns out okay. But these things don’t happen in an instant that’s why there’s a need for guidance and experience-based learning. The need to have a default response is essential at times since most parents don’t have an idea where to start.

Parenting Tips

  • Consider following a parenting plan where you should be able to understand the importance of advance thinking. The people that need to be involved in your kids’ lives and how they can influence them are still part of your job.




  • Set goals and boundaries as to what you want your kids to achieve in life whether in school, community or even at home. Help your children to continue to grow and encourage them to step out on their independence by following exact boundaries. Cultivate their knowledge and skills so they would know their function in the world they are living in.


  • Always remember that you are the parent. Children will reach the age where they think they can handle almost everything. It will create a complication once they assume they know more than you do as a parent. Instead of allowing kids to demand their rights, you as a parent will still need to be a tone-setter inside the home.


  • Make kids understand that you’re the one that should lead and guide them in their life choices. And when certain expectations aren’t met, let them know that consequences and punishments are inevitable. Make sure that you make it very clear to the children that it is your responsibility to take care of them and they have to follow the rules.


  • Listening to your children is necessarily essential. Since their developmental stage is prone to confusions and curiosity, always be there to guide them and make them understand. Help them to figure out what they can do, what they want, and whoever they want to be. Try to support their ideas and build a lasting relationship with them. Show the kids’ value, listen to them, and create a meaningful conversation.


  • Even if you can decide for your kids, you need to allow them to express themselves. Be open to the idea of how they understand different situations. Don’t lock them in a box where there’s only right or wrong. Allow them to respond to their surroundings with their understanding. This way, you can help them build confidence and self-worth. Encourage your kids to develop the emotional, physical, and mental capabilities.




No one said that parenting was easy. It creates stress and a lot of work. But if you put in mind that what you do is beneficial for your child’s overall development, you’ll realize that your contribution matters.