Many children deal with separation anxiety when it comes to getting left at daycare regularly. This can make it very difficult for both parents and children every day when it comes time for drop-off.
There are some things that parents can do to help their children feel better with separation anxiety, though. Check out some of the tips below that you can start using to help your child feel more comfortable and work through their separation anxiety.
How To Help Your Children with Their Separation Anxiety
Create a Separation Plan with Your Child
Creating a separation plan with your child can really help alleviate their separation anxiety. A separation plan is just about how you and your child will say goodbye. This could be as simple as deciding if you will hug, give a kiss, or even a high-five. Making this time into a special goodbye routine can make it fun and take the nervousness out of the goodbyes.
Use a Visual Schedule
Children are often great visual learners, so creating a visual schedule can be a great way to help your children get ahead of their separation anxiety. They can look at their upcoming day and know what is happening when taking any surprises out of the day.
Make sure the most important things to your kiddos are on the calendar, like being picked up from daycare or coming home.
If you are able to make this tangible and portable for your kids as well, that is even better. It is something they can reference whenever they start to get a little nervous.
Reading certain books can help kids learn how to work through different life situations as well, so reading a variety of books about going to school, playing with friends, or trying new things can help your child learn how to react when they encounter these kinds of situations.
The Step Ladder Approach
The step ladder approach is a step-by-step system to helping children with anxiety. This research-based anxiety treatment used by mental health professionals involves breaking down your child’s fears into smaller steps and helping them work through them in the order of easiest/least scary to the hardest/most scary.
Your child gets to decide how long they want to stay at each step of this ladder; the idea is that they can stay at each step until their anxiety starts to ease. Even if they have to repeat this process over and over, that’s okay. The most important part of it is that they keep trying and working at it.
These tips can help you and your child work through their child’s separation anxiety. This is a team effort between you and your child, so keep that in mind. What are some ways you help your children with their separation anxiety?