Are you or your child feeling anxious about the beginning of the school year? Starting school is a momentous transition for children and parents alike, and it’s natural to feel nervous about such a major change in routine. To help you handle both your own separation anxiety and your child’s, we’ve rounded up 5 key tips from Circle of Moms members. Good luck!
1. Observe the Class
One of the best ways for parents to allay concerns about a new school is to observe the class. If your child is in preschool, follow Circle of Moms member Lisa B.’s advice: “Ask if you can come in and visit for a while. Watch your daughter interact. It'll take a couple days of adjustment for both of you but she'll love it!” Similarly, if your child is starting kindergarten, you can volunteer in the classroom. Bonus: Your kid’s teacher will love the extra help!
2. Meet with Teachers
Another key way to alleviate your own separation anxiety is to get to know the teacher. As Eron P. explains: “If you have a good relationship with his school then you will always know what’s happening with your son and any problems [will be] easily sorted.” Cherie W. offers similar advice: “Try to go into the preschool before he starts and meet the teachers …You will find the teachers will be very keen to learn all about your son and you can set up a meeting with them to discuss your worries and really work it out with them so you will feel more comfortable leaving him.”
3. Keep Departures Short and Simple
When your child who has separation anxiety issues, focus on creating a routine of a quick, simple goodbye. Laci S. explains: “The longer you stick around, the worse things will be. Get in, get their coat off, give them a kiss and tell them you love them, then turn around and leave…Make sure it's short and simple, and you don't get pulled in by ‘one more hug’ or anything. Just go!"
4. Give Your Child Something of Yours
One way of reassuring your child that you will return is to ask them to take care of an object for you. Vicki F. explains: “If you can, get permission from [the teachers] to allow him to take in something that belongs to you to look after until you come back to collect him.” Another mom gave her anxious child a key (allegedly to the house) to watch over until her return.
5. Talk it Up In Advance
As Kacie D. suggests in the Stay at Home Moms Community, talking positively about school in advance is a great way to ease nervousness: “If it’s him having problems being away from you, start talking NOW about how he'll be away for x amount of time. Talk the school up to him.....meeting new friends, playing, toys, learning, etc. Get him excited for it.”
What tricks and tips have helped you or your child deal with separation issues?
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