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My son is 2 and half years old and he has serious anxiety attacks when I'm not right next to him. He goes to fathers every other weekend and the babysitters everyday and he's ok. I smoke but I go outside to smoke and when he sees me walking to the door he clings on to me. When I go to the bathroom he has to follow me and will scream if I won't let him come in. I have 2 step kids and a daughter of my own and we've been living together for awhile now and when the kids go upstairs to play he just sits on my lap and won't leave. He needs freedom and so do I. Please help.
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My SIL is trying an approach of "play and leave" - she sits with her DS (2 yo) and starts playing with him. When he gets really involved in the task, she quietly walks away and starts another task (loading the dishwasher - something she needs to get done). When he comes and gets her or fusses for her, she goes back and does the same thing. He has learned that she will be there - that if he asks for her she'll come - so he's less anxious about her ditching him, and he's learning to play on his own more. She also tries to encourage her 4yo to play with him also, and that is helping. Over the past few weeks, he's been willing to play alone for longer periods of time.

Good luck - sounds tough. But this too shall pass. It's great that he's okay with other people - the sitter/his father.
 
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