Helping parents make confident choices

5 books to help with separation anxiety

Going through separation anxiety can be tough - these books might just help you

Separation anxiety is a very common emotion, which often starts during the toddler years.


It can be distressing for the child and also for the parent who can be wracked with guilt at leaving their child. Here, we look at a selection of books to ease the pain of parting.

1. Owl Babies

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell is a very gentle story which perfectly captures the fear felt by children when mummy is out of sight.

One night, Percy, Bill and Sarah wake up to find their mother gone. They don’t know what to do, so they sit on the branch and wait and wait… until she reappears in the morning.

This book has a very reassuring tone, underscoring that although mummy sometimes has to go away, she will come back.

  • Age: 2+
  • Price: £5.99
  • Available from: Amazon


2. I Want My Mummy

In I Want My Mummy, the brilliant Tracey Corderoy delivers a warm-hearted story that will resonate with mums everywhere (there is also an I Want My Daddy version so fathers don’t feel left out).

Arthur has been left with granny for the day – but he doesn’t want granny, he wants his mummy.

And even though he is dressed in his favourite dragon costume and has his favourite toy to play with, nothing can make up for the fact that mummy isn’t there.

Luckily, granny – who is, after all, mummy’s mummy has a plan…

  • Age:2+
  • Price: £5.99
  • Available from: Amazon


3. My Daddy's Going Away

My Daddy’s Going Away was written by Lieutenant Colonel Christopher MacGregor and is aimed at children whose parents may have to leave home for longer periods because of their work.

Based on his own experiences, the book addresses feelings of sadness and fear by using more positive imagery and ideas. Its rhyming text adds to the reassuring air as do the fun illustrations be artist Emma Yarlett.

It also features a foreword by HRH the Prince of Wales and is published in support of the Combat Stress charity.

  • Age:4+
  • Price: £6.99
  • Available from: Amazon


4. Don't Want To Go

Don’t Want to Go by Shirley Hughes is written from the perspective of Lily, who is forced to spend the day with a family friend because her mum has the flu and her dad has to go to work.

Lily really, really doesn’t want to go and Hughes has expertly realised the sulky, angry behaviour that often belies a child’s fear of being forced out of home – even if it is to play games and make fun things!

As with all the books in this feature, Don’t Want to Go ends with Lily returning home with a smile after allowing herself to relax and embrace the new experience. A well-observed and amusing read.

  • Age: 3+

  • Price: £7.99
  • Available from: Amazon

5. No Matter What

And finally, the beautiful No Matter What by Debi Gliori, which delivers a simple yet important message for a child: that a parent’s love is unconditional.

Featuring a pair of foxes known simply as Large and Small, this book even touches on the theme of permanent loss – albeit very, very gently, likening someone dying to the stars in the night sky – even though we can’t touch them we can still see their brightness just like we can feel someone’s love, even if they are not beside us.

Debi Gliori is a fabulous storyteller and this book is one that should be on every child’s bookshelf.

  • Age: 3+
  • Price: £5.99
  • Available from: Amazon


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