How To Deal With Your Child’s Separation Anxiety On The First Day Of School3 min. read
School season is here, and aside from millions of students who are about to go back to school, we will also witness thousands of toddlers getting their first taste of going to school. While parents may be excited to see their little children in uniform and interacting with other students, some of them may have problems sending their children to school, especially when separation anxiety kicks in and prevents you from leaving their side the whole time. If this happens, what are you supposed to do? Is there a way you can prepare your little toddlers before them even attending their first class?
Talk to your child about what school is about.
The things we don’t know scare us, and sadly, this also applies to our children. Before you even send off your child to school, you need to let him know what school is all about and that it is a place for children to learn. Regardless of how you define school to him, what is important is that you give him the idea that adults should not be present there.
Show him an image of school.
It is important for your children to know that a school is a different environment from your home, you need to paint a clear picture of what school is like to your child. For instance, you might want to take him to the school before classes and tell him that only children are allowed inside the classroom. As long as you can show your child that adults, except for teachers, are not allowed in schools, you can make them understand that you may have to leave them.
See if your child is prone to clinginess.
Fortunately, not all children are prone to such reactions; in some cases, children who are raised in a more independent fashion are less likely to cry or look for their parents when they start to attend school. If you don’t know in what category does your child belong, try to assess him. If your child is more independent, he is less prone to separation anxiety.
If you want to make sure that your child will be alright in school even if you leave him for just a couple of hours, what you need to do is to start practicing some separation. For instance, you can leave your child to a relative for a couple of hours, and once his tolerance increases, gradually build it up to a whole day of the two of you being away from each other. Remember, you both need to know that you will be alright even if you’re not together.
Create a sense of familiarity.
The school may create a “small man in a big city” impression to your child, but this always doesn’t have to be the case. To give your child a sense of familiarity at school, you might want to introduce him to a few faces days before school. This way, he will never feel like a stranger despite being in a new environment and away from you.
Drum up the school hype.
Children will never look forward to school if you don’t know how to make them excited about it. If you want them to look forward to going to school and keep their mind off separation from you, create hype. Take your child with you when you buy some school supplies, include him in every process like picking notebook or bag designs, and keep him in the loop of what is happening. This way, he will feel the things you do are for him and this can remove anxiety.
Separation anxiety among children who are going to school for the first time is normal, but it doesn’t mean that your child has to go through the woes of the first school day. Keep in mind that preparation is the key, and come school time, your little toddler in uniform will be strong enough to become independent in a brave new world.