Ask the Readers: Toddler Separation Anxiety


This week, I thought we should do something different. Amee usually gives you all a tip on educating your child or how to handle school issues on Thursdays. This week, I want to ask the readers a question!

My sweet Mason has been having a hard time with separation anxiety. He just turned three and now whenever my husband or I leave, he cries and screams. It is heartbreaking as he screams out “Please don’t leave me mom! Don’t go to work!” Now, he loves his daycare provider Ms. Heather and he is fine after a few short minutes after I leave. Mason does this whenever I leave whether it is to the store, mailbox or work. He also has run down the driveway after daddy’s truck. We always say goodbye to him. Mason insists on getting one more hug or one more kiss, even after we have already done so.

So, any tips, advice or stories? How have you handled seperation anxiety? Is there anything that will give Mason comfort so we don’t have to go throught he screaming and crying?

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  1. We have gone through this! But for us, it was when our developmentally delayed 3 year old had to go to school. It was HORRIBLE for us. He would cry and it would break my heart. But we did 2 things that worked.
    First: we started telling him his schedule, at every opportunity. We would repeat that schedule whenever we thought of it, and just “remind” him what was going to happen. We tell him what’s for lunch, what will happen after school, who will pick him up, etc. We even made a “picture schedule” for him, so he can SEE what is happening next. We have learned that he is a child who THRIVES on routine. So we tried to make it so he knew what was coming. next in his day.

    Second: we took him to Build a Bear and let him pick a pet who could go to school with him. He put a special heart inside the bear, to remind him that mommy and daddy are always with him. He takes his pet to school, and sometimes, just leaves him in his backpack, but sometimes needs to hold it, and that’s okay too.

    He likes to tell us “I don’t want to go to school” some days, and we tell him, “I know, but I will be there to pick you up,” or “you’ll have a great day.”

    Even though I miss him a TON, I never tell him. I want it to be a positive experience for him, so I just ask him about his day, and ask what is next on his schedule.

    I hope this helps you….I know having to hear those sobs and heart break are just heart wrenching. Good luck!

  2. My experience has been that my son didn’t start having separation anxiety until he started kindergarden. Maybe because he never had to go to daycare and the only sitter he had ever had was family of close friends. He is now in 2nd grade and still tries to cry alot of mornings and tells me he misses me too much when he goes to school. He still has a hard time. I hope things get better for you soon. I wish I had some advice. I what the 1st post had to offer….

    • Thank you ladies for your comments! Jayma- the picture schedule is a great idea! Amy- I hope things get better for you too. It is just heart wrenching to hear your child scream for you. Although, I know they will be fine! I just want Mason to be at peace and not worry! Thank you! Renae