We asked our readers to share their experiences with separation anxiety.
73 %of parents said their kids have suffered from separation anxiety. 21% said their kids never have. When asked what technique they used to deal with their child’s separation anxiety, respondents said: 20% REASONING 11% CUDDLES 7% SNUCK OUT 6% LEAVE OFTEN 5% NEVER LEAVE
One respondent said, “I explain that I will be returning, and remind him of another time I went out and came back.” 64 %of parents say they, themselves, had felt the pain of separation from their children. One respondent said, “I make sure I say good-bye, I don’t just sneak out. I let them cry. At this age, it is a stage that will pass.”
40%handle their and their child’s anxiety by calling the daycare or caregiver to ensure everything is going smoothly. 23 %said they don’t worry.
Onerespondent said, “We are still going through it and it has disabled me from returning to a full-time job!”
50%of parents surveyed believe that children who are in daycare from an early age suffer less from separation anxiety. “I find it a hard balance between being firm and not feeling uncaring.”
50 %of parents surveyed believe that children whose parent stays at home have to deal with separation anxiety much less.
“I am a stay-at-home mom and can’t even make lunch without the one-year-old crying at the baby gate!
57%of parents believe kids who are in daycare learn to socialize better than those who stay at home.
“I quit my job because I couldn’t handle being away from my child.”
One survey respondent said: “Perhaps kids in daycare are not better at socializing – they just learn the skill earlier.”
One respondent said: “I guess it’s how you define socialization. Daycare kids seem to be street-wise kids – rough and tough.”
62%of respondents recommend the best way to leave is quickly, calmly and keeping a happy demeanor while you go.
82 %say that they reassure their children that they will be back fairly soon.
“Worst thing I did was telling my daughter that I’d be back soon. She was too little to understand when ‘soon’ was.”
80 %believe lingering over goodbye was the worst mistake they made when dealing with their child’s anxiety.
26 %said giving in and not going out was their worst mistake.
“I remind her that I will be with her in her heart and will be thinking of her when she is thinking of me.” “Separation anxiety is not all bad – it shows the child can form attachments.”
26 %recommend rehearsing short separations. One respondent said: “My child has been attending daycare since she was a year old, and she still gets anxious about me going anywhere without her.”
20 % of respondents said it’s important to never sneak out.
26%believe distraction is the key to leaving easily.
“I think that the illusion that children in daycare ‘handle separation better’ is dangerous, as it hides the real damage done (as consistently reported by several studies).”
When it comes to kids starting daycare at an early age, one respondent said: “They are better able to handle being away as they know nothing else; I strongly believe this breeds insecurity in our children.”
18 %said the thing they regret the most is becoming angry at their distraught child. One participant told us: “If you stay at home then there is no anxiety of mom leaving.”