Separation Anxiety

Leaving your child in someone else’s care is difficult as it is, but when your child cries and clings to you it pulls at your heart strings and turns on some terrible guilt and you question every decision you have ever made as a parent. It is natural for your child to be upset when you leave. Most children go through what is called separation anxiety twice in their lives. Separation anxiety is just what it sounds like; your child becomes anxious when separated from you even if the surrounding and people are familiar to them. For each child the ages in which it happens is different. I personally have seen the age range from 6 months up to and including 4 years old. So what can you do to make this transition easier? I am including some tips that I have seen great success in.

  1. Do not ever sneak out. Say goodbye and do not linger or peak in windows or doors. It only makes it harder on your child and you. A goodbye kiss and hug is enough and let the teacher move in to help you leave.

  2. Put together a small photo book with pictures of your child with family members. This way they can look at it when they need to.

  3. Leave something of yours like a shirt that smells like you or something they can wear or keep in a pocket.

  4. Let them bring a special toy or blanket.

I know how hard it is to leave your child crying and sometimes screaming for you, I have been there with my own children. How long does this stage last? I would love to give you an exact number but I can’t. Each child is different. Hopefully your teachers are compassionate and will work with you through this. A good program should have no problem of you calling and checking on your child or taking time to talk with you and coming up with a plan for transitioning your child. This too shall pass in time! Hang in there, you both will get through this!

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