Separation anxiety is normal for a child. After about six to nine months of age, children realize that their parents leave them from time to time. That's why they become uncomfortable around strangers. This discomfort, which usually peaks around age two, lasts until first or second grade.
But some children experience separation anxiety well past age 7. They may avoid sleepovers with friends. Nightmares may drive them to climb into bed with their parents. They may worry about being kidnapped. Or they have persistent unreasonable fears that their parents will be harmed or killed. They cry, cling, throw tantrums, or get physical symptoms.
But the most difficult sign of separation anxiety may be when a child refuses to go to school.
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