How to Deal With Separation Anxiety Among Preschool Kids
Separation anxiety is a common and normal stage of development for many young children. It typically begins at around 8 months of age and peaks between 18 and 24 months. During this time, children are beginning to develop a sense of independence and are learning to explore their surroundings.
However, they also have a strong need for their parents’ love and support. When a child is separated from their parents, they may experience feelings of fear, sadness, or anger.
For most children, separation anxiety is a temporary phase that will eventually pass. However, there are some things that parents can do to help their children cope with separation anxiety and make the transition to preschool or other childcare arrangements easier.
Here are some tips for dealing with separation anxiety in preschool kids:
1. Talk to your child about what to expect. The more your child knows about what to expect when they are separated from you, the less anxious they will be. Explain to them where you are going, why you are going, and when you will be back. You can also show them pictures of their new school or daycare center.
2. Practice separations gradually. If you are going to be leaving your child for an extended period of time, start by practicing short separations. Leave them with a trusted friend or family member for a few minutes at a time, and gradually increase the amount of time you are away. This will help your child get used to being away from you and learn that you will always come back.
3. Be positive and reassuring. When you are saying goodbye to your child, try to be positive and reassuring. Tell them that you love them and that you will see them soon. You can also give them a special object to take with them, such as a blanket or toy.
4. Don’t sneak away. It is important to say goodbye to your child in a calm and loving way. Don’t try to sneak away, as this will only make them more anxious.
5. Be patient and understanding. It is important to be patient and understanding with your child if they are experiencing separation anxiety. It is a normal stage of development and will eventually pass.
6. Create a consistent routine. Having a consistent routine can help your child feel more secure and in control. This includes having a regular bedtime routine, a regular meal schedule, and a regular schedule for going to and from preschool or daycare.
7. Praise your child’s accomplishments. When your child is able to cope with separation anxiety, be sure to praise them for their efforts. This will help them to feel good about themselves and to be more confident in their ability to handle separation in the future.
Separation anxiety can be a challenging time for both parents and children. However, by following these tips, you can help your child cope with separation anxiety and make the transition to preschool or other childcare arrangements a lot easier.