Separation anxiety results from being away from your loved ones for the first time and for a longer duration of time. On the first day of preschool, kids cry, and so do their parents. The causes of crying for each of these people (parents and kids) are different. The kids cry because they have no idea what is happening or what to expect from this new environment, they find themselves in. The parents cry because the first day of preschool occurs only once in a lifetime for every human being. The best way to enjoy this novel experience without being hunched by separation anxiety is by following these tips.
1. Prepare your kid for their first day, even a year before it happens. It is easy for human beings to get easily overwhelmed, and children are not an exception. Explain the school routines and activities to your kid, let them know the games they’d play at school and the new friends they can make. Let the kids know you will always pick them up at the end of school hours; it helps them survive the long hours knowing you will come for them.
2. No one likes the idea of leaving their kids under the care of total strangers. Meet the teacher and try to have a quick chat with her with your child around or within earshot. It helps the child feel more comfortable knowing that the teacher isn’t a stranger. If your child notices you like and trust the teacher, they can quickly feel the same way.
3. Be optimistic about the first day. It is best not to ask your child if he is scared; this will trigger anxiety. Try reassuring him at all times that he will be okay. Let him know that he needs school to do all the great things he’d like to be. Also, promise a treat if he makes it through the first day.
4. Give yourself a pep talk and resist the urge to pay surprise visits at the preschool. If you constantly show up to check on your child, he will get distracted and spend the rest of the day expecting you to show up in between school activities.
5.You can repeat the mantra all through the hours your child is away. Remind yourself that school is the best place for him to be right now. Always remember that he will come home to you at the end of school hours. Remind yourself of why being away is good for you and your child.
You’ve got this! Remember not to compare your separation anxiety journey to another mom. Take your time and enjoy this new experience in you and your child’s life.