We’ve all been there. It’s your very first day of school and it’s a big day. You’re excited to wear your uniform, shoes and bag, couldn’t wait to sharpen your new pencils, ride the bus, and see your classmates for the first time. However, there’s one thing you didn’t realize. After saying hi to new friends and being seated at your respective chair, your mom has to go home and do her own thing. She’s going to leave you there. Suddenly, you felt so alone and the drama ensued. – This is a very common and familiar scenario in pre-schools. Thus, children’s separation anxiety is a part of child’s development. With proper care and by following certain strategies, children’s separation anxiety fades away.
“Prevention is better than cure” – a saying that proved to be true. So, if you don’t want to your child to go through the same scenario mentioned above, take these things as your guide.
- Familiarize your child with the environment – If it’s the school, it’s good to visit the school with the child at least once before the first day of class to prepare him. Take him to his classroom, let him sit on the chair, go around the campus, and even let him meet the teacher if possible. This way, he’ll be more comfortable the next time he comes and may even look forward to it.
- Practice “leaving” – gradually make him experience your absence. Leave him with a nanny for a couple of hours, and then gradually increase the time day by day. It is the same approach as number 1.
- Explain “goodbye” – give him a clear idea of “goodbye”. Do not say “goodbye” as a punishment, then come back a few seconds later. Form some sort of “ritual” when leaving, like “kiss and wave”. It alleviates his sadness and assures him that you’ll come back. Also, do not hang around long after saying goodbye. It gives them the idea that you’re tricking them, and may not believe you next time.
- Leave when he’s in a good mood – He’s more likely to panic when you leave while he’s not in a good mood. Feed him or let him take a nap before you leave, but do not leave while he’s asleep. It may seem more convenient and less hassle, but he’s likely to look for you when he wakes up. If he can’t find you, he might get into an even worse mood.
- Lessen scary stories – One of the reasons why he’s having a hard time being left is because he fears that something bad might come up while you’re not around. He believes that you’ll protect him from monsters and bad guys, so what will happen to him when you leave? Assure him that as long as he does what he’s told, not talk to strangers, or stay inside the school campus, nothing bad will happen while you’re not around.
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