Does your child get upset at the idea of being away from you? Does your child cry when you leave? Find positive parenting strategies to ease separation anxiety in young children. Also find books to help with separation anxiety in toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. Separation anxiety preschoolers, separation anxiety kindergarten. Empathetic parenting, attachment parenting

Tips to Ease Separation Anxiety in Young Children

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With the school year starting, many children are in a state of transition. This year, my daughter starts kindergarten and my son preschool. My daughter was born ready to fly. She is social, fiercely independent, and ready to take on whatever is in front of her. My son, on the other hand, is more of a mama’s boy. Often, he holds my hand in the house. While he insists on doing things by himself, he seeks me out frequently throughout the day and can regularly be found sitting in my lap. Yesterday, he admitted to me that he’s scared to start preschool. He shared that it’s because I’ll “drop [him] off and leave.” It broke my heart to hear him say this. I had noticed an overall lack of enthusiasm when school had been brought up, but I didn’t realize that he actually felt reluctant. While I don’t think preschool is necessary, I know he will benefit greatly from the program my daughter went through. And so, my goal right now is to make him feel as comfortable as possible with this big change in his little life. If you find you and your child are in a similar predicament, there are some very simple strategies that can help ease separation anxiety in young kids.

 

Ease Separation Anxiety In Young Kids with these Tips

Does your child get upset at the idea of being away from you? Does your child cry when you leave? Find positive parenting strategies to ease separation anxiety in young children. Also find books to help with separation anxiety in toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. Separation anxiety preschoolers, separation anxiety kindergarten. Empathetic parenting, attachment parenting

 

1. Create social stories that address your child’s fear and illustrates him or her overcoming said fear.

Social stories are stories wherein social cues, perspectives, and responses are described in a constructive, calm, and reassuring way. To help ease separation anxiety in my son, I’ve told him I won’t be dropping him off and leaving when he first starts school. I will stay as he gets his indoor shoes on. I will come into the classroom and wait until he’s having fun with friends before I leave. This has eased his feelings of worry. And, he’s started informing family members and passers-by, “When I go to preschool, Mama isn’t going to just drop me off. She’s going to wait until I’m with friends.” You can adapt the story to outline the process of going to daycare or for when Mom and Dad are leaving for a date night.

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2. Schedule in time to ease the transition.

If you’re leaving your child with a sitter, schedule time for you to be with the sitter and your child before leaving. When first starting daycare or school, stay until their teacher has greeted them, or until they find an activity to join in. Be sure to discuss with your child what the plan is. Explain when you will be leaving and when you will be back.

3. Let them know when you’ll be back and stick to that plan.

Though preschoolers and toddlers can’t tell time, explaining what their time away from you will be like and when you will be back help greatly. For instance, I have started telling my son, “Mama will be gone for a couple of hours. I will come back before lunchtime. We will be together for lunch.” In the case of daycare, this can be adapted to talk about dinner time. Or in the case of datenight, “You will be sleeping when we get home. But we will see you in the morning.”

4. Have a quick goodbye ritual, but don’t skip goodbye.

While you should allow for enough time to help your child feel a bit more at ease, prolonging the inevitable isn’t helpful either. Once a child has had a moment to familiarize themselves with their sitter, classroom, or similar, you should make your exit. Just because your child might be distracted, do not leave without saying goodbye. Sure, this may make them sad when they were otherwise distracted. However, you’re actually in this for the long game. Children can feel especially anxious and vulnerable when parents leave without notice. Routines help children feel more in control because they understand what will come next.

Does your child get upset at the idea of being away from you? Does your child cry when you leave? Find positive parenting strategies to ease separation anxiety in young children. Also find books to help with separation anxiety in toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. Separation anxiety preschoolers, separation anxiety kindergarten. Empathetic parenting, attachment parenting

5. Purchase or borrow children’s books that will empower your child.

Books are a great way to empower your child and ease separation anxiety. Here are some teacher-recommended books. I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience.
            

    

 


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9 thoughts on “Tips to Ease Separation Anxiety in Young Children

  1. I agree with the goodbye ritual. We do a quick hug and kiss once we get to the door and off she goes. This did take awhile to become a routine as we did have separation issues, but now she loves school and seeing her friends.

    1. Sorry to hear about the separation anxiety. It’s definitely hard on you both. So awesome that your daughter is doing so well now <3 And thanks so much for reading, Christine!

  2. It’s so wonderful how you respect and honor the different needs of your children. You have some positive strategies for helping with separation anxiety. Social stories are very helpful.

  3. Love this post!! One teacher used to try to have me “sneak out” when Hudson was little and would have breakdowns and I refused. I think saying goodbye is important, even if they are crying when you go!

    1. Aw poor sweet Hudson! And good for you Mama for not just ducking out. I’ve been tempted before but it backfires in the long term. Thanks so much for reading <3

  4. This is a great post! I love the advice of telling the child you will wait until they are with friends before you leave. It helps to make them feel safe, and loved. Love it!

  5. Great suggestions!!!! When my daughter was in her 2 year old class I literally had to make goodbyes so quick that she wouldn’t have time to realize I was leaving until I was out the door! It can be tough for little ones to be away from mommy

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