By: Alison Schwartz
At this time of the year, in the end of August, many parents experience anxiety and depression because they feel they are losing their child. This feeling among parents is quite normal, but may be misunderstood. Envy is another common emotion parents may experience, as they feel their life is ending, while their child’s life is just beginning. They often wish they were at that point again in their lives. The main struggle for parents is finding a comfortable balance between letting go and holding on just enough.
Arguing and fighting are common occurrences between parents and adolescent children before they head off to college. Children may pick fights about banal matters such as what they are bringing to their dorm rooms. These arguments may serve to mask the pain when children and their parents separate. The child is trying to become independent, a normal part of development at this point in his or her life, which the parent often perceives as rejection. Therefore, one of the ways to cope with separation anxiety is to remember that these arguments stem from the child’s way of dealing with leaving the comfort of home and simultaneously feeling excited about college.
To better cope with this phase in life, realize that separation anxiety is a normal process that parents face. Listening and compromising may help with the painful and confusing emotions of both parents and children. On a hopeful note, the arguing and pulling away reduces as children grow and develop during college. To learn about children’s separation anxiety as they leave for college, see Anxiety: Separation Anxiety Disorder When Going off to College.
If you are seeking for Separation Anxiety, contact Arista Counseling and Psychological Services at (201) 368-3700 to set up an appointment with our mental help professionals in Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY.