Separation Anxiety

by 高莫娜 Mona
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Last time we discussed a rather sensitive topic “Separation anxiety”. What is this term actually? *Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home and/or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (e.g., a parent, caregiver, significant other or siblings). SAD may happen at any point of time and situation. The teachers usually face it when new admissions join in especially the preschoolers. Every child reacts differently, some cry out loud, some just moan, some find console in the new faces found at school and some form a quick bond with their teachers.

The symptoms gradually subside but there are always couple of kids who take it longer. If we look deep, there is always some strong family connection at the back end. And the symptoms may occur at any stage during the school years. I remember when I newly started to teach at a kindergarten in Hong Kong, there was a well groomed five years old Japanese boy in my class. Her mom was a flight attendant and both mother and son had a great bond. One day I felt he was disinterested in the class and was easy to cry. I talked with him and apparently all was well. The next day his condition was worse, so I talked with mom and I figured out that his mom had told him about her upcoming flight schedule of five days and even though mom is still around, he already got anxiety of getting separated from her.

I tried my level best to engage him in different activities of his interest and always put an extra effort every time whenever his mom went on her official trips. As teachers we can’t replace parents but we can try in our own capacity to console them and give them a deeper understanding of life. I used to talk with him about the work schedule his mom had and how she is putting great effort to secure a better future for him. By giving your kids a positive outlook towards each hurdles they are facing, we can shift their paradigm. They have to know whatever they feel as negative, always has a brighter side. They just need someone to show them. We’ll continue to talk about the different behaviors of children in our future blogs and will try our best to find proper solutions.

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