Dealing with separation anxiety in toddlers

Elijah is in a funny old stage again when he is obsessed with me. The stress of being locked in together has caused Elijah to go from this independent child to a child that needs to be around me all the time asking where I’m going if I stand up to leave the room. Although I’m flattered I do need my personal space at times just as he needs his. There is a point when it becomes a bit unhealthy.

Set boundaries:

Toddlers need to be taught boundaries. Obviously they need to learn about them or they will never understand. I make sure I spend time telling Elijah I need some personal space or I’m having five minutes to myself. I explain mummy doesn’t need to be brought toys or snacks to open while I’m on the toilet. I explain I don’t want to be climbed all over like a climbing frame all day either. I explain if I don’t like something too. Elijah has a new habit of using me as a slide I explain all the time I don’t like it and it must stop. He normally gets the memo and walks of but before when I didn’t tell him he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t turn into a happy little human slide.

Teach through reading:

We have brought a few books about personal space. My favourite his Harrison Spader personal space invader. The book talks about being overly close to people and setting boundaries. It explains that people can get upset by it and we understand why you do it as it’s showing your love!

Spend time sharing the love:

Spend time cuddling and watching films together and lots of time playing together and explain when you want a break so your child understands. Don’t just walk of when they’re playing but tell them mummy’s going to have a little break you continue to play nicely!

Spend some time apart if you can:

If your self isolating with another adult spend some time away from your child and let the other adult take them for a walk or entertain them while you have some alone time. This way you maintain a bit more calm and your child understands you aren’t constantly at their beck and call and it’s ok to be around others. It’s good for the child to bond with that person too. There should be other relationships formed.

FaceTime other people:

FaceTime others so you can catch up and your child can talk to them too. This reminds them you’re not the only person in the world to them and puts them a bit at ease. They love a FaceTime session as they get to be silly too!

Take a breather:

You can get really stressed out having someone in your face all day and if it was a adult you’d tell them where to go but with a child you can’t do that. So instead if you feel stressed perhaps take a few minutes outside the room have a cup of tea and calm down. When you come back take a calming moment with your child too so they can calm down too. You will feel so much better for it.

Hope my advice sometimes helps, I’m no expert but just a mum. Stay safe, Charlie x

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