Separation anxiety and the tantrums that accompany it are all too familiar for parents. Unfortunately, there’s no clear way to prevent separation anxiety in children. But there are methods to keep it from becoming crippling and hindering your child’s growth.
Beginning school, whether your child is attending a new location or not, can trigger massive separation anxiety. As normal as their feelings are, they can prove embarrassing for you as the parent and hinder your child’s experience in the new school year. For everyone’s benefit, it’s best to work on reducing your child’s anxiety and helping them learn to control their feelings. Let’s take a look at a few methods for effectively handling separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety comes with a significant change of pace or location for a small child. Fortunately, you as the parent can help overcome a few of the symptoms. Learn how to handle separation anxiety here. Click To Tweet
Provide a Safe Environment
After being at a new place and surrounded by new people all day, your child needs to spend time in a safe, familiar environment like home. Make an effort to provide the safe environment they need. Have a snack ready after they get home and talk to them about their day. Allowing your child to have a break in a familiar setting will help lessen their anxiety about leaving the next day.
Pro Tip: Your kids need your attention as they transition into this new time in their lives. Show them your love and support during this change.
Help Your Child Feel Independent
As they start attending their new school and experiencing new things, your child will need to develop some independence to feel secure. Your job is to support that. Encourage your child to make friends and spend time with them in school and on playdates. Offer choices where you can (“Do you want me to walk you into the classroom today?”) to show them that they can make choices and you value their input. Every step toward independence is another step in your child’s emotional growth.
Young children require some routine in their daily lives, especially if you’re introducing something new like preschool into the mix. Establish a schedule so your child always knows where they’ll be at any time of the day, who they’ll be with, and what they’ll be doing. More importantly, once you have a schedule, stick to it. The feeling of consistency will help your child relax and settle into a safe routine.
Encourage Your Child’s Emotional Health
Overcoming separation anxiety is one of the first steps toward helping your child grow up. Through these few minor steps, you can help your child realize their own independence and start to develop their own personality. School is just the first step. As your child continues to mature, they’ll become the healthy, independent person they were always meant to be!
Join the conversation to see how other parents handle separation anxiety on the first day of school.