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Helping Your Child Adjust to Preschool: Tips for Dealing with Separation Anxiety

Posted By admin     January 27, 2023     1,024 views    

Separation anxiety is a common phase that most children go through before the age of three. It is defined as anxiety that is provoked in a young child by separation or the threat of separation from its mother or main caregiver. For parents, it can be difficult to hear their child upset and feel torn between wanting to strike out on their own and wanting to stay close to a parent or caregiver. However, the goal of preschool and after-school activities is for children to have a positive and enjoyable experience while also giving parents some time for themselves.

It's important to understand that separation anxiety is a normal phase in a child's development. They are trying to develop independence and test boundaries, which is a crucial step in their growth. As parents, it's important to be patient, understanding, and reassurance to our children that they will be fine.


Here are some tips for helping your child adjust to separation anxiety and new environments:

  1. Be consistent:

    Make preschool and after-school activities a regular part of your family's schedule. When children know what to expect and can anticipate these activities, they will be more excited about them.

  2. Prepare in advance:

    Talk about the upcoming activity or preschool throughout the week and discuss what they learned the night before. The more excited you are about the activity, the more excited your child will be.

  3. Arrive on time and in a good state:

    Make sure your child is well-fed, has a dry diaper, and all other needs are met before arriving. Introduce your child to the teacher and other children in the room and get them started on an activity.

  4. Make friends with other families in the class:

    If your child has friends in the class, they will be more excited about attending. Reach out to the organization for contact information for other parents.

  5. Make a plan and communicate it with your child and teacher:

    Gradually increase the time you spend away from your child. Start with 10 minutes the first week and increase by a few minutes each week.

  6. Develop a special goodbye routine:

    It can be something simple like a secret handshake or a silly phrase to make the goodbye less emotional.

  7. Leave without fanfare:

    Let your child know when you are leaving, tell them you love them, and calmly walk out of the room. Do not sneak out as it can make children feel abandoned.

  8. Leave completely:

    Do not wait outside the door or in the hallway. Trust the teachers and know that they will call you if your child is not settling.

  9. Trust in your child and the process:

    Your child will adjust to the new environment and this phase of separation anxiety will pass.


In addition to these tips, it's important to remember that each child is different, so what works for one child may not work for another. It's important to communicate with the teacher and other caregivers and make a plan that works best for your child.


In conclusion, separation anxiety is a normal phase in a child's development. As parents, it's important to be patient, understanding, and reassurance to our children that they will be fine. Remember that each child is different and it's important to communicate with the teacher and other caregivers to make a plan that works best for your child. Consistency, preparation, and a positive attitude are key to helping your child adjust to new environments and overcome separation anxiety. Additionally, forming connections with other families in the class and developing a special goodbye routine can also make the transition easier. Trust in your child and the process, as this phase of separation anxiety will eventually pass. It's also important to remember to take care of yourself as a parent and recognize that it's okay to take some time for yourself during this difficult phase.

By following these tips and being patient, you can help your child navigate this phase smoothly and build independence.


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