Tips to Curbing Separation Anxiety
If your child struggles with separation anxiety, you are not alone.
Separation anxiety in children under five is very common.
There are things that we can do as parents to help ease these transitions though.
For example, how long is your goodbye when you drop off your child?
Separation anxiety in children under five is very common. This is the age that children are beginning Kindergarten or sometimes Preschool. One of the questions we ask is: Whose separation anxiety is it? Sometimes, there is as much separation anxiety on the part of the parent as there is on the part of the child. So we ask parents to do a fearless personal inventory; and make sure they are giving their child permission to separate, permission to feel good about the day, and letting the child know that you will see them at the end of the day, that they will be busy as well. I tell parents to not make the goodbye a long good, but a very matter of fact goodbye. Something along the lines of, “Bye sweetie. Have a great day. I’ll see you at the end of the day. Enjoy yourself.” The parents that give the children a prolonged goodbye or tell the children too much; tell them how much they love them or how much they miss them. In some way it sets up some sadness on the part of the child. The child then feels somewhat guilty about separating from the parent. That’s not something they want. We want a parent who encourages independent behavior on the part of the child. That’s giving your child a great gift.