Dealing with Preschool Separation Anxiety

For many parents and children alike, the first day of preschool can be a time of anxiety and worry. Parents want to start their children’s education, but at the same time parents feel worried about how their children will react. Children, likewise, have a fear of starting school, a fear that could stem from many factors, including separation anxiety.

However, this first day of school separation anxiety could possibly be avoided if parents and children work together. In order to make children feel comfortable on the first day of school, parents should help their children associate more often within the school itself. Therefore, try the following things:

-Visit your child’s school as often as possible, before preschool starts. This can help your child relax and feel comfortable in the schooling environment.

-Allow your child to make as many friends as possible, even before preschool starts. Once you choose your child’s preschool, you can begin associating with other parents. As you talk with other parents, your child can start making friends with their children. This way, your child will know that he or she already knows somebody in the class. Again, forming comfortability within the school setting is the most important step you can make for you and your child.

-Talk to your child’s teacher before school begins. Bring your child with you. Make sure that your meeting takes place within the classroom. The classroom can look like a scary place for most young children. If your child becomes familiar with the classroom setting, he or she might lose fear of it.

-Start leaving your child with a babysitter at least once or twice a week. Separation anxiety often happens when the parents and their children stay together all the time. Even if you leave your child for only one or two hours at a time, this “alone” time for you and your child can help your child get accustomed to being without you. Gradually extend the amount of hours you are away from one another. Start with two hours, then three, up to five hours at a time.

-Make sure that you tell your child, often, about how preschool is. And, don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Make visits often to the preschool, and let your child be who he or she is while at the school. This can allow room for comfortability, so that your child won’t feel constrained within the school setting.

If you follow these simple yet effective pieces of advice, you and your child can avoid separation anxiety while your child is in preschool.