How can parents help their children with separation anxiety?

August 9, 2022

Parents may find it more difficult to drop their children off at school if their child starts at a best childcare in Auckland or moves to a new classroom. While not all children suffer from separation anxiety, it is quite common for children to be upset at the thought of saying goodbye to their families. Although it can be distressing for parents, separation anxiety is normal in developmental stages. Families need to recognize the causes of separation anxiety and what coping strategies work best for them.

What’s Separation anxiety?

Many factors can cause separation anxiety in children. However, in the end, separation anxiety is experienced by children when they are separated from their primary caregivers. These caregivers are the ones they trust and feel most comfortable around. This can happen when parents leave the house to work, drop their children off at daycare or leave. Your child might become clingy if you try to leave.

Separation anxiety can start as young as infancy and continue through the preschool years. Some children may not experience it at all. Separation anxiety can also affect children in different ways. Some children experience separation anxiety when their parents are gone, even if they’re moving to another room. Others may feel it when there are major changes in their lives, like starting school.

How To Combat Separation Anxiety?

Parents can feel very anxious watching their child react to your departure. However, there are ways to ease separation anxiety.

  1. You should prepare your child for any major changes that may cause separation anxiety, such as the start of a new care center. Educational Playcare encourages families to make visits before their child starts full-time. This allows them to get to know the teachers and environment. This will help your child feel part of a trusting group, which is one our Core Values.
  2. Create quick goodbye routines. You can use a simple goodbye phrase, a blanket and book, or a handshake to say goodbye. No matter what you choose, keep your goodbye brief and sweet. Your child will be more upset if you stay longer than necessary.
  3. Be consistent. You must be consistent once you have established a drop-off schedule. Although it may seem difficult at first, your child will eventually come to expect it. This will reduce anxiety.
  4. Keep your promises. Families often tell their children when they will be back to ease their child’s anxiety. You should keep your promises to your child, because this will build trust and confidence in you when you are away.

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