How to Ease Preschool Separation Anxiety
Easing preschool separation anxiety can be challenging. Many parents encounter it with dread and uncertainty. They are unsure of what to expect and what to do during drop-off time. Parents feel like the whole world is watching and judging their every move. On top of that, parents are consumed with worry over their most precious gift, their children (Parents Worry About Their Children). In many ways, parents are not supported enough and do not know how to deal with their child's preschool separation anxiety.
Tips for Easing Preschool Separation Anxiety
- Try not to overwhelm your child about his/her new school or new classroom months before the actual start date. This will only create unnecessary stress for your child (Understanding School Refusal). Start talking about the exciting new school about a week before the start date. Take any negative associations out of the conversation.
- Make a short goodbye routine. Many parents try to stay as long as possible to say goodbye because they believe it is the best thing for their child. Often, the longer a parent stays the more anxious a child becomes (Childhood Anxiety: Symptoms; Causes of Childhood Anxiety). A young child feels confident and less separation anxiety when they know what to expect.
- Always say goodbye. I cannot stress this enough. Children need to know what to expect. They need consistency. Sneaking away, no matter how good the intentions are, will ultimately make it more difficult for your child to say goodbye.
Good-Bye Routines for Easing Preschool Separation Anxiety
- Read a short story. Short stories tend to work best with hectic work schedules. Stay true to your words. Give your child a hug and a kiss, and no matter how hard it is, leave. Inform the teachers that you are leaving so they can support your child through the goodbye process.
- Draw a picture together. It can be anything as long as you do it together. When you are done, your child can put it in his/her cubby or he/she can fold it up and put it in a pocket. Throughout the day your child can look at the picture when he/she feels sad and misses you.
- Catch a kiss. If there is a window at your child's school where your child can safely watch you leave, either independently or with a teacher, try blowing a kiss to your child outside the window and have them try to "catch" the kiss in the class.
Easing Preschool Separation Anxiety
Remember, it is natural if your child cries due to preschool separation anxiety. Transitions are hard for everyone and there is so much to absorb during a short period of time. Your child's separation anxiety will gradually cease to exist if you remain loving and consistent. By doing this you are teaching your child to trust your words and your actions.
This article was written by:
Daisy Rowley, M.D. is a psychiatrist and writer of scientific articles for DoMyWriting. Daisy is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions.
To be a guest author on the Your Mental Health Blog, go here.
Author, G. (2018, May 31). How to Ease Preschool Separation Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 15 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2018/5/how-to-ease-preschool-separation-anxiety