Updated: Aug 16
The average parent works extremely hard to raise a well-adjusted and happy child. The first step in achieving this goal is creating a great home environment. As your child gets closer to starting school or daycare, you may start to notice issues with separation anxiety. Over 13% of the children in the United States have separation anxiety.
In most cases, this anxiety is brought on by the fear of the unknown. If a child has been with their parents all day every day for their entire life, being without them for even a small amount of time can be worrisome. Is your child having a hard time with separation anxiety? If so, here are some things you can do to address this problem and ease the worry your child has.
Create a Quick Goodbye Routine With Your Child
If you are dropping your child off at preschool, you will probably have the desire to draw out this goodbye. Not only is going to school all day hard for a child with separation anxiety, it can also be emotionally taxing on parents. One of the worst things you can do when trying to ease your child’s separation anxiety is to take a long time to tell them goodbye. The longer you hang around, the harder it will be for your child to avoid getting upset.
This is why you need to develop a game plan to quickly say goodbye to your child when leaving them at school. By keeping your goodbyes brief, you can reduce the chance of your child having a meltdown.
Practice Being Apart From Your Child
Perhaps the best things you can do to help your child overcome their separation anxiety is to practice being apart from them. If you wait until a child enters preschool to be away from them, they will have a very hard time with this transition. This is why you need to start being away from them, even for a few hours before they reach school age.
Leaving your child with a trusted friend or family member for a few hours every week can be extremely helpful. By doing this, you can show your child that you are leaving and coming back to get them on a consistent basis. This will remove some of the anxiety they have when being left for multiple hours a day at preschool.
Talk In Terms They Understand
A preschool-age child doesn’t have a good concept of time. When they ask when you will be back to pick them up, you need to answer them in terms they understand. For instance, you can tell your child that you will be back after they have an afternoon snack or their daily nap. By doing this, you can give your child something to look forward to and help them with their separation anxiety.
By implementing the tips in this article, you can reduce the anxiety your child encounters when being left at preschool.