“Don’t Leave Me Here!” – Easing separation anxiety in children
“Don’t leave me here!”
Have you heard this before from your young child?
Anxiety regarding separation from a parent is a perfectly normal occurrence—especially the first few weeks of a new school year.
Just as adults worry about beginning a new job or moving to a new neighborhood, children experience anxiety about a new classroom, teachers, and meeting classmates.
It takes time to adjust and learn to trust.
Teachers understand these feelings and will do everything possible to comfort and reassure your child.
You can assist in preparing your child for this new adjustment. Here are a few tips:
Be confident. Your child is coming to a safe and caring place with experienced and well trained staff.
Reassure your child that you will return soon and you know where to find him/her.
Establish a consistent drop-off routine. Staying longer, or returning to the room, will confuse your child. Please do not “disappear” without saying goodbye. Let the teacher know when you are ready to go…then go. You are welcome to call The Center later to check on your child.
Separation anxiety does not last forever—although it may feel like it!
Your child will adjust. He or she will soon arrive each morning happy and ready to begin a fun, busy, day at The Center.
Here are some suggestions of books you can read with your child about starting school.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Little School by Beth Norling
Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes by Eric Litwin
I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas
Mama Don’t Go by Rosemary Wells