Young children may exhibit symptoms of separation anxiety when their parents divorce. Symptoms may include whimpering to be picked up, shrieking if a parent leaves the room, or wailing at bedtime.
Child psychologists recommend the following strategies to prevent or de-escalate meltdowns:
- Validate their feelings: Acknowledge that you understand why the situation makes them feel scared, and encourage them to practice being brave and trying an activity on their own.
- Reward quiet acts of bravery: Avoid prolonging goodbyes and paying attention to tantrum. Be sure to reward them for playing alone or going to bed without fuss.
- Practice routines: If you suspect that your child might struggle with an upcoming event, like starting remote learning, returning to preschool or an overnight visit with family, practicing the routine a few days before can help your child prepare.
- Provide a transitional object: Give your children something small and personal that reminds them of home – that they can keep in their pocket or cubby and retrieve when they need to feel a connection to loved ones.
- Relieve your own stress: Anxious parents can exacerbate their children’s anxiety, so take steps to relieve your own stress.
Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, alimony, separation of assets and debts, estate planning, and Protection From Abuse (PFA).
To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.