Tips for Dealing With Separation Anxiety in Children

Ivy Prep Team on September 6, 2019

The first day of school for parents with children who struggle with separation anxiety is a dreaded one. What should be a simple drop off can turn into a big ordeal for these parents. Of course, it’s common for children to not want to leave their parents to explore a new environment for themselves. So, parents who struggle with separation anxiety in children should know that it’s not something serious to worry about. It’s simply just another step in the growing and development process for your child.

However, there are a few things parents can do to help their children dealing with separation anxiety. In this article, we discuss what separation anxiety actually is so parents can understand the issue more clearly. And, outline a few things parents can do to ease the anxiety their child may deal with upon going to school, daycare, or an early education facility. This way, parents can be sure that their kids are being encouraged to develop in a healthy way. And, the process of getting children to their learning environment is less stressful on the whole family.

What is Separation Anxiety in Children?

Tips for Dealing With Separation Anxiety in ChildrenEssentially, separation anxiety in children is when children experience anxiety as a result of separating from their parents or sole guardians. Obviously, this is because their sole caretaker is the person they feel closest to and trust the most. So, when the child is separated from this person or people, they begin to feel agitated, frightened, and may even act out with tantrums. In many cases, separation anxiety is stimulated by situations like parents leaving to go to work or dropping the child off at their daily care center.

When Separation Anxiety in Children Happens

Separation anxiety can happen to children at any point in time. Your infant can start showcasing behaviors due to experiencing separation anxiety. Or, your toddler can develop the issue when they start enrolling in educational environments. Finally, some children may never experience separation anxiety. On the other hand, other children can experience separation anxiety until they’re done with kindergarten. Whatever the case, it’s important to understand that separation anxiety can happen at any point in early childhood.

Tips to Combating Separation Anxiety in Children for Parents

Fortunately, parents who have kids that may experience separation anxiety can do some things to adjust the behavior. And, make their children more comfortable with leaving their parent’s side. Some things parents can do to ease separation anxiety in children include:

  • Separation anxiety in children is often triggered by a major life change like going to preschool for the first time. If this is the case for your child, tackle the issue before it begins by preparing your child for their first days of school. For example, take your child to meet their teachers, view their classroom, and learn about what they’ll do on a day to day basis. Furthermore, talk to your child about what to expect with their new schooling environment. This way, they won’t feel as unprepared for this big, new change.
  • Stick to promises or don’t make them at all. When parents tell their child they’re coming back at a specific time and don’t stick to their word, this can make separation anxiety even worse. So, if you make a promise to return to your child, make your best effort to do so when they expect you.
  • Establish a goodbye routine that you stick to every day. This should be something quick and simple so your child understands it’s time to leave you but is not encouraged to showcase negative emotions as the goodbye process is quick. For example, a goodbye secret handshake or reciting a short poem before saying goodbye each morning.
  • Stick to your routine. Kids do best with a set routine each and every day. They come to get used to their routine. So, when it’s thrown off, children may be more prone to experiencing separation anxiety.

Separation Anxiety and Ivy Prep Early Learning

Give your child the experience of wanting to leave your side by providing them with a quality early learning environment! Here at Ivy Prep Early Learning, we understand that separation anxiety in children is common. And, we work to help parents who may feel challenged with this scenario by offering a setting your child can learn to trust, accept, and love!

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