While generally experienced by infants or toddlers, separation anxiety will undoubtedly hit us all as our close-knit COVID families and bubbles begin to expand once again. Not that many children will ‘fess up to it, but we think most of us will miss some parts of this once-in-a-lifetime, difficult, and yet special year together.
Most children outgrow separation anxiety by approximately 3 years of age but this separation may be different. Babies and toddlers born during this time have had limited exposure to the “outside world” and may need a tots group or small playgroup (AZ+A Power Pods will resume in the fall) to get acclimated.
Right now, there is a lot of talk about the arrival of a psychological pandemic due to the effects of quarantine; working from home, learning from home, lack of socialization, financial hardships, grief over personal loss, our collective loss, and the totality of the mental health challenges COVID-19 is leaving in its rear-view – although it hasn’t pulled out of town quite yet!
The truth is most families have just experienced one heck of a roller coaster ride – the kind with extra loops, sudden drops, and leave-ya-hangin-upside-down twists – but they’ve also formed a deeper connection, build a stronger resilience, and are bonded in a way they may not have been before COVID.
But, it’s now time to start straying from the safety of our nests, and with this step may come a whole host of anxieties, one of which will be separation anxiety as you move beyond home base.
It’s okay to feel fearful, excited, and perhaps even a little nauseous all at once. Mary Laura Philpott has written a wonderful article, As the world starts to open up, it’s tough to let go, articulating what many parents may feel during this transition back into the world.
Oh, and be sure to check out her link to the pandemic life changes parents want to keep. One upside is that the pandemic has exposed different ways of doing many things for the better! Necessity is the mother of invention.
As reentry into work, social events, sports, etc., resumes, Amy Zier and Associates is here to support your family if feelings of uncertainty and anxiety arise. Keep your eyes open for reoccurring panic attacks or anxiety that begin to interfere with school, work, or other daily activities. We want to get ahead of any problems before they become something we can help manage in the early stages.