DaddyZ asks:

My 7 year old just started worrying my wife and I will leave him.

If we drop him off at Sunday school he doesn't want to go because he thinks we'll not pick him up. His aunt and nephew asked him to go shopping and buy a toy which typically he would be all over it but did not want to leave mom and dad. My wife and I went to diner and grandpa watched him which had been done several times before with no issue has now turned into him crying and not wanting us to leave and wanting to know when we'll be back. How can I reassure him and fix this?
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Parenting / Our Family, Children and stress
> 60 days ago



Apr 24, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Separation anxiety at age 7 is rather unusual.  Have there been any changes in mom's or dad's health that the child might be worrying about and not wanting to leave the two of you?  Could there be something stressful going on at school, or while he is with Grandpa, that make him worry that you are not there?  Other things to consider: how is your child's overall mood?  Is he happy or sad?  If he is sad more than happy, if he cries a lot, he might be depressed. Does he worry excessively about things that you would not expect a 7-year-old to worry about?  If yes, he may experience anxiety.  Is there family history of depression or anxiety?  These conditions run in families.

In summary, a healthy 7-year-old should not be experiencing such intense separation anxiety without a reason.  Perhaps a visit with his health care provider for an evaluation would help to sort things out and decide what help he needs to make him feel better.

Best regards.

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