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Resources to Help Kids Thrive Newsletter

Separation Issues and Clingy Kids

A weekly update of content from childmind.org featuring parenting advice, in-depth articles, and the latest thinking on children’s mental health and learning disorders.

January 4, 2022

It is common for children to go through a clingy phase. For some kids, this means trouble separating at school or going to things like birthday parties. Other kids might even get worried about being in a different room from their parents at home, or just cling to one parent. And sometimes, kids who were separating just fine might start having a hard time again — especially after something like a winter break from school.

This week on childmind.org we are focusing on separation anxiety. We have advice about how parents can set the stage for a positive goodbye and tips for handling your own feelings of guilt and anxiety when you have to leave a child who is begging you to stay. We also take a look at when separation anxiety becomes a serious disorder — it can happen when kids are much older — and how to help kids who are feeling particularly worried about school or social events.

Related Resources

How to Separate From Clingy Kids

What to do when a child doesn’t want to say goodbye.


When Kids Refuse to Go to School

How to recognize what's called 'school refusal' and how to get kids back in class.


What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder?

Extreme worries about something happening to parents while you're apart.


Helping Young Children Who Are Socially Anxious

Tips for helping reluctant children join in play and group activities.


What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious

How to respect feelings without empowering fears.