Dealing With Your Child'sSeparation Anxiety
Each child responds to situations in a unique way. After spending years joined at the hip with their parents, it’s normal for a child to feel insecure and lost without them. Fearful and anxious behaviour is common in children - especially when they’re being exposed to new situations such as a classroom. They are seeing for the first time, a world where their parents are not by their side 24/7. For some this is an adventure they can’t wait to embark. For others, it incites fear and anxiety. This is known as separation anxiety and while its label may seem daunting, if nipped at the bud, it is nothing to stress about.
Separation Anxiety is when a child fears being separated from their parents or carers. It is very common amongst babies and toddlers. Separation anxiety in children is easy to spot; if your child fits any of the descriptions below, it is likely they have separation anxiety.
- Does your child display a high-degree of distress, such as crying for an extensive period, when separated from you or a significant carer?
- Does your child complain of illnesses when they think they are going to be separated from you or have reoccurring nightmares about separation?
- Is your child constantly worrying something bad might happen to you or is deeply distressed when you hurt yourself?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, your child most likely has some degree of separation anxiety. However, there is no need to worry as there are several things you can do to ease your child’s stress.
1. Be Positive
While it may be frustrating at times, responding negatively to your child’s fear of separation will only worsen the situation. As a parent, it is vital that you are a source of your child’s self-esteem and positivity. Being positive will allow your child to tackle separation at their own pace without the added stress that they are letting down someone important to them. As their pillar of support, it is important you stay calm and positive while they are adjusting to this shift in their life.
2. Let Them Take An Object Of Affection
When your child is exploring a new place for the first time, it may be helpful to let them bring an object of affection to calm them down. Having their favourite teddy, blanket, doll or costume on can help them feel safer and more willing to be brave. Once they become more comfortable in their new classroom, you can begin to slowly phase their object out.
3. Say Goodbye Calmly
Saying goodbye is often the hardest and most distressful part for your child. Therefore, it is important that you keep the goodbyes short and calm. When saying goodbye, remain positive and reassuring in their time of uncertainty. If you respond to their worry and cries with uncertainty, your child may feel it’s a confirmation of their fears. Ensuring that the goodbyes aren’t drawn out means your child won’t have time to dwell on their fears, subsequently allowing them to come to terms with the situation.
To children, spending time apart from familiar faces can be a scary thing but with the proper support provided here at Chicky and Olive, any child can find comfort in the new classroom.
Are you looking to enrol your child in a Playgroup or Playschool, but experiencing difficulties dropping your child off? The staff at Chicky & Olive have helped many students and parents successfully deal with separation anxiety.
The Chicky and Olive team takes great pride in helping children learn through play and peer interaction. Call us to know more about our curriculum to find the right fit for your beloved child. We have programs that run throughout the week and the weekend in order to keep your child engaged at all times.
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