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Positive Psychology Helps Kids with Separation Anxiety

by Shadra Bruce on September 9, 2010

Around the country, kids have been heading back to school, and those first few weeks can be extremely stressful for some children. Separation anxiety, jangled nerves, and fears about success at school can make it difficult for kids to leave the house with a smile, but in some cases, the condition can become severe enough to threaten the child’s ability to function.

Separation anxiety is a disorder in which a child has an overpowering and irrational fear that something bad will happen to the parent if the child is not there. It can become severely debilitating and make it extremely difficult for the child to adjust to attending school. The symptoms experienced by the child suffering from separation anxiety include nausea, pains, aches, and heart palpitations.

Positive Psychology has been successfully used to help children work through separation anxiety with surprising success. Using positive reinforcement and encouraging the child to work diligently to build positive expectations of the upcoming event can help. Parents may contribute to anxiety if they prolong their departure, so psychologists suggest reassuring the child with a hug and encouraging them to have a good day before leaving. The earlier the child can be made accustomed to being without the parent for short periods of time, the easier it will be for the child to adjust to school days away from home.

Shadra Bruce is a contributing writer for Mental Health News

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