Helping Your Child Battle Separation Anxiety

If you are going to be bringing your child to a daycare or preschool in the near future, and you have noticed they get upset when you are not nearby, you may be a bit scared that they will display signs of separation anxiety when you drop them off at their new child care facility. Separation anxiety is best dealt with before beginning to go to a school setting so it does not disrupt your child's education. Here are a few ways you can alleviate separation anxiety before your child starts their child care program, making the transition a bit easier as a result.

Enroll In Activities

Have your child involved in a few activities in your community so they are used to being with other children in a group setting before daycare or preschool begins. Libraries often offer story hours and a tumbling, gymnastics, or martial arts class for children is a wonderful way for your child to be active while getting to know other youngsters in the area. Your child may even find that one or two of the other participants is enrolled in the same daycare or preschool.

Start With Small Steps

When you bring your child to a structured activity, tell them you are going to walk away for a moment to look at something down the hall. Do this at a time when they are engrossed in the activity at hand, so they are not easily swayed into trying to follow you. Reassure your child you will be right back and that they are safe with the instructor giving the course.

Follow through in returning after only a minute or two. The next time you go to the activity, increase the time to two or three minutes. After your child becomes used to the other participants in the program, they will be more apt to being agreeable about you walking away for a short duration.

Incorporate A Ritual

Start a ritual for goodbyes that will be done each time you need to walk out of the room. A simple wave, kiss, or high-five will help your child realize you will be leaving them in the hands of someone else for a moment. Do the same thing when you return. 

Doing this over and over will make your child feel more comfortable at times you are going to leave them, as they will associate the goodbye with you coming back again to perform the ritual together when you say hello. When you bring your child to their daycare or preschool, doing the ritual will make them feel at ease that you will be returning in the near future.

Visit The Facility

Make sure to bring your child to the daycare or preschool in advance of their enrollment. This will give them a chance to familiarize themselves with the layout of the property, making them feel comfortable when they are expected to start attending. Make sure to point out bathrooms, where they will be having snack or lunch, and play areas. Have teachers introduce themselves to your child at this time as well.

If you're looking for a child care facility, visit Rainbow Montessori.