First Day of School: Separation Anxiety |

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31 August 2015
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FirstDayofSchoolIt’s the start of another school year, and families everywhere are approaching an important milestone – leaving their child with another caregiver.  Although, this is an exciting time, it can also be an anxiety-provoking time for you and your child.  Maybe it’s the first time you are leaving them at daycare or their first day ever at school, but you and your child have to cope with  separation from one another.  It is important that your child learns early in the process that they are going to be okay when you leave and that when you leave you will always return.  Some children are extra shy or sensitive so this may be a difficult time for them and it may take longer for them to transition.  Here are some ideas to prepare for the first few days and/or weeks of their first time in school:

  1. Help your child become familiar to their new school. Tour the school and/or daycare with your child. If you aren’t able to tour inside, at least pass by the school and show them their school.  Read them books about first days of school and use the book as a springboard to talk to your child about their first day of school.
  2. Make sure you always say goodbye, but keep the goodbyes brief. Don’t sneak out; it may be easier for you, but it may cause more distress for your child as they will be unsure when and if you will return. When you say goodbye, let them know when you will return (i.e. after P.E., after lunch, etc).
  3. Be relaxed and act cheerful when you say goodbye. If you are also struggling with goodbyes, don’t let your child see you upset. If you show your worry, they will have more reason to fill unsafe at their new school.  If you are calm, it will calm their worries.


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