Coping With Child Separation Anxiety

A child’s separation anxiety can impact their ability to socialise and participate in activities. In some cases, kids with severe separation anxiety have trouble attending school or even sleeping in their own beds. It can also keep them from going to birthday parties and sleepovers with their friends.

If a child is having difficulty coping with separation, parents and other adults can try to help. They can encourage the child to practise with small separations and gradually work up to longer periods of time apart. They can also reassure the child that they will return when they say they will. It’s also important to teach the child healthy coping skills in order to manage their feelings.

Separation anxiety can affect any family, regardless of immigration status or how they arrived in this country. But it’s particularly hard for families that are separated by incarceration or deportation, and these children can be especially vulnerable because they have lost contact with their loved ones. Separation anxiety can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, loss, and grief, or can be triggered by a specific event.

Dickerson spent months researching the issue, interviewing dozens of people, reviewing thousands of pages of internal government documents and talking with migrant families who were being separated by the government at the border. She writes that in her conversations with immigration officials and her many phone calls to Congress members, they were very clear: “Separations are not a side effect; they’re the point.”

The policy was designed to discourage migrants from trying to cross the border. Dickerson found that officials were very concerned about the potential political fallout of their actions and that they would lose congressional support. They wanted to avoid public outrage and a backlash from Republican voters.

At first, Dickerson’s interviews with senior officials revealed that they didn’t think the separation policy was causing a lot of harm. But eventually, she came across emails from the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement that showed that they had been keeping a list of separated children and their parents, but they were intentionally hiding it.

It’s important to help a child develop coping skills in order to manage separation anxiety, but it can be challenging for parents to find the time to do so. A pediatrician can offer tips and strategies to help, such as preparing the child for their new situation well in advance. Parents should also make sure that their children are not being taken from them at times when they are especially tired or hungry, as this can increase the level of stress and anxiety.

Parents can practice with their own families, or by sending a child to a relative’s home for a short visit or arranging playdates with close family and friends. It’s also helpful to allow the child to become familiar with their new surroundings before starting day care or preschool. This includes asking the school to be flexible about late arrivals, so that the child can settle slowly. child separation

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