Separation Anxiety with 8 Yr Old

Updated on January 27, 2009
D.P. asks from Russellville, MO
5 answers

My youngest son seems to have separation anxiety only when he goes to stay the night with family members. He has never stayed the night with any friends. He enjoys spending time with the family members as long as his dad and I are with him. However, he gets very upset when he stays with them when we are not there, even though his brother is there with him. When we ask why he get upset when we are not there with him he says it is because he misses us. However, when we go pick him up (due to him being very upset) he comes home and we have him go directly to bed, to show him that he is not 'missing' anything by not being here. We do spend a lot of time together as a family! The only people who have really 'babysat' him is my mom and sister, which are the same people he has issues staying with. When we ask if they have been 'mean' or if they are in a 'bad' mood he says no, he just wants to spend time with us.
Any suggestions on how to help him overcome this issue?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Well, he still doesn't like staying away from home. Also talked to the doctor and he said with him being such a big "daddy's boy" (they have been joined at the hip most of his life) it is normal. He said to just give him time... I guess it is true with this one, only time will tell!!
Thanks for the advise.

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

Have you talked to your pediatrician? I have an 11 year old and he was the same way. He didnt want to go anywhere and would definately not spend the night anywhere. I had to wakl him into school. I finally asked my pediatrician and he referred me to a psycologist. My son is now taking celexa which I was completely against until the dr. told me of the things that would change and to my suprise it has changed his life. I by no means think anyone should give children any type of medication without several opinions but this is the only thing that helped my son and he has been taking it for approx 1 yr and now we(dr & me) are planning on slowly taking him off of celexa because kids grow out of the anxiety issue. Also, if anyone in your family has anxiety issues I learned that it is hereditary. Good luck and I hope I was helpful.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

I had the VERY same issue with my daughter. All I can say is give him time. He will outgrow it. It may be something you're just going to have to deal with until he gets older.

My daughter, up until she was 10, didn't like to spend time away from home. We didn't make an issue of it, and she just didn't go spend the night anywhere... not even to her dad's house!! She told us she missed my husband and I and rather be at home.

Now she doesn't have any problems at all. Don't know if this helps or not, but see what others have to say.

Good luck and God bless,




answers from Kansas City on

I don't think it necessarily means there are other issues he is afraid to reveal to you. Some kids just feel better in their own house and are uncomfortable sleeping anywhwere else. I was like that as a kid early on and then later I grew out of it.



answers from Kansas City on

Well, I totally understand what you are talking about. My daughter is 10 and had the same problem. I had two different responses when I asked for advice. Either a child is insecure for whatever reasons and you will not be able to push this out of them without hurting them further, or offering them something of yours to keep watch over for you while you are gone will help. The insecurity of being without a parent is very common, I was told. If you sense that it will not be something you can get them passed then you might just have to wait until they are ready. Sometimes telling a child that you can wait until they are ready to try again will help them want to try again sooner. As for the object that you can give them, I used to pack a t-shirt for my daughter to wear of my husbands. It was always one that he had worn and had his smell on it. Then I would give her a trinket of mine that I wanted her to keep safe and make sure she did not lose. She would keep it in her hands almost the whole time she was gone.

I hope this helps.



answers from St. Joseph on

As an outsider, it sounds to me like you may have other issues here beside just separation anxiety and he doesn't feel comfortable revealing them to you. Perhaps some counseling would be in order?

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches