Over the years, many parents have asked me about how to deal with separation anxiety. Now that many young children have spent more time than usual at home over the past year or so, this concern seems to be more common and, in some cases, the separation anxiety seems to be more intense. Parents often ask me, “How do I help my child feel less anxious about going to preschool, school, daycare, or the babysitter?”
If you have kids, the odds are pretty high that you’ve pondered this question and wondered what to do. Listed below are some quick tips to help you ease your children’s anxiety:
Remember that kids take their emotional cues from the adults around them.
The calmer and more business-like that we act, the easier it’ll be for our kids.
Avoid doing too much reassuring.
Strangely, the more we talk with our little ones about how much fun they are going to have, the more anxiety they seem to have. It’s as though they are thinking, “If my parents have to tell me this is going to be okay, maybe it won’t!”
Make the transition short and sweet.
The quicker you move, the faster your child will calm down once you leave.
Don’t look back.
Although it’s difficult to resist the urge to go back and comfort your child, he or she will calm down much quicker if you keep going and don’t look back.
Each child responds differently as they venture into the outside world and some separation anxiety is normal and healthy. Generally speaking, tots who are very secure when they are with their parents are the ones who feel the most secure when they are away from their parents. A large part of providing this security involves combining big doses of love with good, solid limits.
You can find more tips on raising secure, confident kids in my webinar, Love and Logic Solutions for Early Childhood. This exciting and informative webinar has helped many parents with their young children.
If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend. Our goal is to help as many families as possible.