Children belonging to the age group of 7-12 years, which is also known as pre-teen years, undergo maximum physical and mental development. During this age about three fourth of children suffer from separation anxiety. It is a term given to the feeling of fear that grips children when they are separated from their primary care-giver or they are forced to move to an unfamiliar place. It can become a serious problem if parents do not pay attention to it. Consequently, it is important to know the symptoms of separation anxiety and recognise them in their own children. These are as follows.
- If children find it difficult to fall asleep in the absence of their primary care giver as it makes them feel insecure.
- Children belonging to this age group are mature enough to sense the situation when separation is imminent. If they start feeling distressed, it is like a warning bell for the parents.
- Feeling excessively homesick. If they wish and attempt to return back home or make contact with their primary care giver when they are away from home and their parents, even while they are in school.
- If they often suffer from somatic symptoms such as stomach ache or palpitation.
- If children get tensed thinking that some thing bad would happen to their care giver in their absence.
- If they get unrealistically worried that some thing wrong would happen to them when they are separated from their parents.
- Showtheir unwillingness and displeasure to go to school or any other place where they would be compulsorily separated from their parents even for a little while.
- Pretending to be sick or making excuses in order to avoid school.
- If they frequently get nightmares about being alone and separated from their care-giver.
- If they have a habit of bed wetting.
- If they have an excessive fear of dark and refuse to go to any dark places.
If some of most of the above symptoms are to be seen in your children, it is the time to listen to get alert and deal with the problem. If this situation remains unsolved despite your constant efforts, it is advisable to take clinical help.