This type of anxiety is most common in children from 12 to 24 months. Children barely a year old are slowly growing independent, but they also begin to realize that they are not actually a part of you and that leads to the fear that you will soon abandon them. Many children never develop this fear, but as the number of working parents increases, this fear becomes more prominent.
How to deal with it –
Say bye before leaving.
The most common tactic parents use is sneaking out when their child is busy in play or in another room. It saves you from seeing your kids crying, but it will only worsen their fear – they’ll think that you can disappear anytime – leading to extreme possessiveness (they often refuse to let you go to the bathroom!) Don’t put them to sleep before you leave either – this will only make them afraid of ever falling asleep.
Get your child excited.
Maybe not exactly excited, but help them look on the sunny side. Tell them exactly when you’ll be back and keep your promise, and set up a bunch of activities for the day that your child enjoys doing. If your child is still upset when you leave, do not get angry at him/her or show your own sadness! Try your best to calm them down, and then leave.
Don’t leave your child with someone he doesn’t know.
If family members are helping you out, great! But if you will be leaving your kid with babysitters or maids, then make sure that your child has time to adjust to the person before you actually leave him/her alone with the babysitter. The easier the transition, the lesser the fear.
Don’t stress out, it’s only a phase.
Your child will grow out of this by the time he’s 3, and you can continue your life as normal again. Let your kids learn to cope with their insecurities in their own way, and watch them grow into happy children without any possessive feelings!