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  1. #1
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    Default Seperation anxiety in older children

    Seperation anxiety.....Just wanting to hear stories from anyone that has been in a similar situation as I am feeling lost with it.

    My DD is nearly 8 and has all of a sudden developed seperation anxiety. Its not just at school, its around the house and when we are out but school is the hardest to manage. She cries when I leave her and cries throughout the day at different times saying she misses me. Nothing bad is happening at school, she loves it there just doesn't want to be away from me. I have tried reward charts and giving her something of mine to take with her etc. Its getting progressively worse, any advice would be greatly appreciated

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    Hmm...separation anxiety, to that level, would be fairly uncommon in a child at 8...especially as it is new. I would have to be asking "what's changed" and "why now"?
    To be honest if it doesn't resolve quickly, or you can't find an underlying cause, I would be seeking the help of a professional...starting with a GP visit.

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    DD is 8 and went through a short stage of this starting at a new OSHC this year, she has a bit of anxiety anyhow but settled quickly so it only lasted a couple of weeks. We've done a lot of work on working out things that help her with her anxiety and identifying when feelings are being caused by her anxiety - so I think all this helped her to adjust quickly.

    I'm also teaching this age group and separation anxiety seems to be common in children (mostly girls) who have some general anxiety symptoms - eg.often complaining of sore stomachs, seeking attention for every small bump or scratch, etc. I wouldn't say it is typical but I also wouldn't say it's completely abnormal either.

    One little sweetheart went through massive sep anx over mum, crying in the middle of the day etc. We looked into it as the child loves coming to school and it turns our an older sibling had been revving them up at home trying to get a reaction by telling them the world was going to end and going into lots of detail. So the poor thing was freaking out that the world would end when they weren't there with their mum.

    So, while it was a symptom of a separate issue it wasn't some deep problematic issue - some extra reassurance from a few sources and getting the older sibling to stop was enough to ease the anxiety about leaving mum for the day. Perhaps a child without a bit of anxiety already would have handled the situation differently though.

    So I would look at whether or not you think your child already has some anxiety and also if there has been a specific trigger such as a scary movie or seeing something on the news. Then you can look into specific techniques to ease anxiety overall plus work through their feelings about the trigger. Good luck!

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    My 12 year old has developed this recently. She is okay with going to school, but freaks out (ie major meltdown) at home if she can't see me. She has SN and has always had anxiety, but it went through the roof a few months ago following a very specific event that I can't really elaborate on here.

    I would be looking at what has changed in her life. Has your daughter had anything unsettling happen in her life recently? are her friendships at school solid? Is she being bullied? Has she seen anything online eg youtube that could have scared her? Are kids at school regurgitating things they have seen online?

    In terms of managing it, DD's anxiety is centred about being with me at home. I have found I need to:

    * constantly reassure her
    * tell her my movements eg let her know if I am going to the toilet
    * let her have the light on night to get to sleep
    * bite my tongue and put up with her being my constant shadow and wanting me to cuddle her all the time.

    ETA I am also going to take her to counselling
    Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 21-09-2016 at 13:10.


 

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