Separation Anxiety: Hard Letting Go
On ‘first days’ or ‘even weeks’, separation between parents and children can be a heart-wrenching experience. At Kindertown, we realized that every family deals with these transitions differently. Over the years, we have had our fair share of tantrums, tears and sadness, and during that time, we’ve learned a few tricks on how to alleviate these ‘drop-off’ stressors. We believe that by using a few of these strategies, your transition from home to daycare can become a positive daily ritual.
It’s important for toddlers and preschooler’s to be reassured that Mom and Dad will be back to pick them up. One of the things that parents can do to prepare children for ‘dreaded drop-off’ is by playing games of peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek. Repetition of these games will surprise and entertain children, but also show them that even though you sometimes, ‘disappear’, you always come back for them.
When it is time to actually say goodbye, try to remember this simple rule: always give your child advanced notice. During breakfast, getting dressed, or driving to Kindertown, talk about all the your child will do that day, and how excited you are to hear about when you come to pick them up. Talk to them about your day, what you do at work, but more importantly, what the family will be enjoying for dinner. When at home, discuss their classroom, the types of activities they enjoyed that day and how much fun they are having with their new teachers and friends.
Perhaps most important of this entire daily ritual, is to establish a good-bye routine with your child. There are two things to remember when doing this, don’t linger too long and though difficult, remain calm. Children are keen to these kinds of attitudes, and a nervous parent can easily translate to a nervous child. Some things you can do is try and get to Kindertown early, have your child show you a project they were working on, or a piece of art they created. Briefly talk about it with them, encourage them to explore the room, and express your anticipation for the end of day stories.
Some other things that can help you and your child transition to Kindertown:
Bring your child’s second favourite stuffy (things can happen!)
Having a blanket from home can help them at nap time
A small picture book of their family and pets to use during quiet time
Finally, to help put you at ease, each of our Kindertown educators are dedicated to creating an environment that encourages a sense of belonging and well-being. We will ensure that for the first few weeks of school, we will do everything we can to make each child comfortable and confident in their new surroundings. During this time, a lot of our programming will focus around activities that helps us better understand our students, their interests and their families. We also believe that during these first few weeks, that families participate in the learning process, and so we will keep you updated regularly, and try to answer any of your questions as quickly as possible.