Anxiety - about going new places and separation anxiety

Anxiety about going somewhere new

Some kids have alot of anxiety about going somewhere new (or somewhere they haven't been in a while) or visiting/meeting new people.
Some kids may not show their anxiety, but rather internalize it (may be worried but not express it) and other kids express it in different ways.
Some kids show this anxiety in the typical way: clinging to mom/dad, crying, refusing to go.
Other kids show this anxiety by throwing a fit or a tantrum. Sometime parents don't recognize the reason for the tantrum- the child doesn't or can't appropriately express his feelings so they throw a fit.

Tip: Review and prepare. Show the child the website of where you are going (all attractions like museums, zoos, etc have websites with pictures), or show your child pictures of who you are visiting (grandparents for example). Discuss what you will do, what you will see, etc. Explain to the child its okay and normal to be a little anxious about doing something new or going somewhere new. Tell the child what the OK reaction should be. Also remind them how they can cope (hug parents, hold their hand, bring their favorite toy). Finally make sure you emphasize the fun part! Remind kids it will be fine.
Some kids do great with "Social Stories" where a story is written with the child in the story and it explains what will happen, what the expected behavior is, and reminds the child they are doing a great job learning whatever the skill is you want them to learn. (Search online for some free available social stories, or you can make one up yourself! I'll do another blog post on how to write them soon)

Here's an example of something you can say to your anxious child Before you go, and maybe during the car ride too.  "I know sometimes you (or use "kids" in general if the child gets upset if you specifically focus on them) get a little worried or anxious when going somewhere new. Its okay, and normal. Even mommies and daddies get anxious sometimes. (You can say if its true that you feel a little nervous too).  Remember you can tell me "I feel worried" or "I'm scared" (use whatever feeling word you think your child is most familiar with and would understand) and come give me a hug, or you can hold my hand until you feel comfortable.We're going to do and see lots of fun things (give specific examples if you can).  I'm sure you will have lots of fun!

 (If you are leaving the child with a new babysitter for example, however, explain you will be back very soon and will give lots of hugs and kisses when you return, and you will miss them too.)