How to Handle Your Child’s Separation Anxiety

As a parent, you understand that going to child care or preschool is a great way for your child to make new friends and start learning new skills they will use their entire lives. However, your child may see child care as something scary or unnerving, and they may be hesitant to leave your side on the very first day. Separation anxiety is common in young children, especially if they don’t have much experience with their parents leaving them for extended periods of time. In today’s post, we will discuss a few easy ways to help your child avoid separation anxiety when they start attending child care or preschool.

At Sunshine Starts, our friendly staff has extensive experience with children, and when you leave your little one in our care, you can rest assured that they are in good hands. We offer early childhood education programs for children ages infant to toddler, as well as preschool learning courses for children who are 3 and older. Learn more about what Sunshine Starts has to offer the parents of Yorktown Heights, and schedule a tour by giving us a call!

Practice Separation

The saying “practice makes perfect” is often used in reference to sports or new hobbies, but it can also apply to separation. One of the biggest reasons children have separation anxiety is because they have never experienced any sort of separation from their parents. Because your child is so young, you may feel the need to be with them at all times, but that can actually do more harm than good in the long run, especially as they get older.

To prevent separation anxiety and help your child feel more comfortable without you, practice removing yourself from your child’s presence for brief periods. Hire a babysitter or ask a family member to watch your kiddo while you go out and do something for yourself like get a haircut or a massage. If it’s been a while since you and your spouse have had a date night, treat yourself to a nice dinner or a movie! The key to combating separation anxiety is to separate yourself from your child for brief periods of time and only go a short distance away at first. Once your child becomes more comfortable with you being gone, you can leave your child with a babysitter or at child care for longer spans of time.

Develop a Goodbye Ritual

When you drop your child off with the babysitter or at preschool, you don’t want to just drop them off at the curb and drive away. Children need reassurance, and creating a goodbye ritual will help give them the comfort and assurance that they need.

Come up with some sort of special way to say goodbye to your little one when you drop them off. Perhaps you say a little rhyme to help pass the time, or maybe you have a special wave that you do before you go back to the car. No matter what you and your kiddo come up with, it’s important to make sure it’s something quick. Drawing out the goodbye will only make your child miss you more, especially if you make it seem like your leaving is a big deal. Instead, say a quick goodbye, wave, and leave them to go play with their friends.

Introduce Them to Their New Surroundings

New places and surroundings can make anyone nervous, but this is especially true for young children. If your child is starting preschool for the very first time, then they are sure to feel anxious and nervous about going to a new place, which will make them want to go home or stay with you because it’s comfortable and safe. The best thing you can do to help ease some of these nerves is to introduce your child to their new surroundings. Set up a meeting at the school before class starts so that your kiddo will have the opportunity to meet the teacher and see their classroom. If you are not able to make an arrangement to see the classroom, then make sure your little one has a small token of home that they can look at if they start to feel lonely — this way they will at least have one comforting item in their new surroundings.

Discover High-Quality Preschool Learning at Sunshine Starts!

At Sunshine Starts, we are proud to offer high-quality preschool learning courses and child care services to parents throughout Yorktown Heights and the surrounding area. We’ve developed a curriculum that encourages children to learn new skills through play, which has been shown to encourage a life-long love of learning. Experience our innovative methods for yourself when you enroll your child at Sunshine Starts today!
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