Separation anxiety is not uncommon amongst children. After being home with you all summer, or simply getting some extra time with you during the COVID-19 pandemic, they may not be used to being away from you. This can result in temper tantrums at daycare, tears when leaving home, or even resentment towards parents. But, there are some ways to help your child better adjust to being away from you.
Here are some tips for dealing with separation anxiety.
Create Quick Goodbyes
Coddling your child will not help them. Although it may be hard, you should create a routine that involves quick goodbye’s. This gives your child less time to think about the fact that they are leaving you for the day. Their mind will be more at ease when entering daycare, and their anxiety levels will settle.
Create a routine. Have a specific drop off and pick up time and tell your child you love them every time. This consistency means you will avoid any outbursts due to unfulfilled expectations. If you are late, your child may be anxious due to your unexpected lateness. Consistency also helps your child build trust in themselves and in you.
Remind your child that you will be picking them up later on. Tell them exactly what you packed them for lunch. Try not to throw any surprises at them that could throw them off. And, make sure you are specific so your child understands you. If your child struggles to understand the time, tell them you’ll be back after their last recess instead of saying 3:00pm.
Practice Being Apart
Whether you let your child spend a weekend with their grandparents, or allow them to have playdates, time away from parents is good. It gives your child the opportunity to build their own independence. And the sooner they have it, the sooner their separation anxiety will begin to ease.
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