Well, where did that summer go? Are you ready for another school year? Better question is, “Is your child ready?” Many parents are faced with separation anxiety from their child at the start of the school year. It is such a difficult transition for some. There is no easy way out. Parents will need to persevere to help support their child at school. Remember, a little separation anxiety is normal. Here are some tips that may help:
- Your stress level can contribute to your child’s separation anxiety. Your own anxiety about school starting, or guilt about leaving them, may add to your child’s distress. Be sure to be positive about the experience and visit the school often with your child. Remember, time apart can be good for both of you.
- Sometimes it may be more than separation anxiety. Consider other possible sources of stress in your child’s life, or consider an alternative child care arrangement for a) a child who continues to be inconsolable in a new child care or other setting for more than two weeks, or b) a child who stops eating or sleeping well, refuses to interact with others and has an ongoing change in behaviour.
HelpGuide.org’s Guide to Separation Anxiety
You can help make partings easier for your child:
- Stay with her until she becomes familiar with a new place or person.
- Tell her calmly you know she doesn’t want you to leave. Re-assure her you will be back.
- Tell her Mommy and Dady will be back after nap time or lunch, even if she can’t tell time. Be sure to keep your word.
- Avoid leaving your child when she is hungry, tired or not feeling well.
- Never tease or scold her for her upset feelings.
- Never sneak away without telling her.
- Don’t bribe her not to cry.
If you are having ongoing issues with your child, discuss the matter with your school. Feel free to ask any of our staff at Prince Edward Child Care Services for resources and services that can help you.
Good luck! This is an exciting time.
Submitted by Susan Quaiff, Deputy Executive Director