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10 Tips for Helping Children with Separation Anxiety

Tips for Helping Children with Separation Anxiety

Parents may notice that dropping their kids off has gotten more difficult than usual if they’re starting at a new daycare or transferring to a new classroom. Although not everyone develops separation anxiety, it is typical for young children to be distressed when momentarily leaving their families.

When a family is going through separation anxiety, it can be alarming for both parents and their children. Families should keep in mind that separation anxiety is natural during this phase of development. It must be understood what causes separation anxiety and how to find coping tactics that are appropriate for them to use in order for their kids to get through this developmental stage.

What is separation anxiety, and how does it differ from other types of anxiety?

Several things can cause children’s separation anxiety, but the bottom line is that they get anxious when their main caregivers, whom they trust and feel most at ease with, are separated from them. When families go to work, leave for daycare, or perhaps simply walk out of the room, children may become clingy, start crying, or have a tantrum.

Some children may never experience separation anxiety, while others may develop it as early as infancy and throughout the pre-school years. Children can react in many ways to being apart from their family members. Some children may experience it when their parents leave them, even if it’s only to go to another room in the house, whereas other youngsters may only feel it when significant life events occur, such as starting at a new school.

How to Battle Separation Anxiety

Parents who are leaving their children may be concerned about how they will cope with the anxiety of separation when they return. There are, however, a few techniques to assist ease your child’s uneasiness during your absence.

Prepare your child for a major shift that may induce separation anxiety, such as starting at a new childcare centre, by telling them in advance. At The Champions Daycare, we encourage families to schedule visits prior to their first day, so that their children can become familiar with the environment and their teachers before they start. This helps your child feel like they are part of a trusting community, which is one of our most important values.

  1. Create a quick goodbye routine. This might be as simple as giving your child a book and a blanket, or establishing a unique handshake when you depart. Make your exit as brief and sweet as possible, whether it’s something as simple as a lovely farewell phrase or setting up your child with a book and blanket. The longer you stay, the more upset your child will be, so make it quick!
  2. Be consistent. Maintain a regular drop-off pattern after you’ve established one. This may be difficult at first, but it will eventually become normal to your child and help reduce his or her anxiety over time.
  3. Keep your word. Some families like to reassure their children by informing them when they will return. If you do, keep your promises to them since this will help develop your child’s trust and confidence while you are away.

It’s important for families to remember that experiencing separation anxiety is a normal part of development in young children. At The Champions Daycare, we will help in any way that we can.

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