At this time of year, we often talk about separation anxiety from the child’s point of view. This year I want to talk about it in a slightly different way, with a focus on the feelings of the parents.

For tips on basic separation anxiety checkout the following link. (And the bottom of this post.)

If you want more specific advice (I’ve never plugged my book in my blog posts, but in this case, it makes sense to do so) there’s also a chapter of my book devoted to worries and fears which you can easily pull up for 2.99 here… Or on amazon…

If you are the parent of a child who suffers from separation anxiety it’s easy to get frustrated, exhausted, or to feel like you’re doing something terribly wrong. With all the worries parents have this year in particular, I want acknowledge that fact and send some ideas your way.

Know that your child is in good hands and this is an important step for you and your child. Don’t relive the past. Live in the present and do what you believe is best for your family now.

Keep discussions with your child short and positive. Plan something fun to do with your child after school. At pick ask your preschooler’s teacher what fun activity the children participated in or what your child enjoyed during the day. That way you’ll have a positive conversation starter even if your child is too tired to tell you about the day. That said, don’t grill your child about the school day. Enjoy a snack and some down time before initiating a conversation. Keep it positive for both of you.

Starting school can be a difficult time for many parents. Don’t let that blow a normal transition for your child out of proportion.

The basics:

Do your research and pick a school for your child where you truly feel comfortable leaving them.

Ask how your child’s anxiety will be handled at school. Knowing your child is in caring hands, and what your child’s day will be like will make it easier for you to feel confident in your choice.

Make it clear to your child that you have confidence on them and preschool will be a fun experience with new friends.

Know in advance what you will do if your child cries or acts upset. Have you made a plan with the teacher? If you said you will leave, you need to leave or the anxiety will continue for much longer and may even become worse.

For all of us something new is a little scary. Your calm, reassurances will help your child to grow in confidence and independence. For many children and adults, separation takes practice.