Classroom Confident: Helping kids deal with separation anxiety

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 10:30 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Kids have spent more time at home over the last year and a half as the pandemic forced many of them into virtual learning. Now that summer is almost over and schools will be strictly in-person, many children could be dealing with more severe separation anxiety.

“Because of this year, which is very atypical with the pandemic... and children spending more time at home with parents, some children might show more signs of separation anxiety, even beyond the age of 3,” said Jeffrey Liew, professor and associate dean for research at Texas A&M University.

He says to look out for signs like excessive worrying, and even physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches when the child is away from parents.

Liew recommends being open and talking with your child about what’s bothering them. He also says parents who set a good example can make a big difference.

“Kids often look to adults like their parents for how to respond and react to a new or different kind of transition or change. So if parents can show that they are relaxed and calm and know what to expect, then their children are more likely to be calm and relaxed when going back to school,” said Liew.

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