mardi 20 septembre 2016

The Bye-Bye Blues: Helping your child cope with separation

Firstly, toddlers experiencing anxiety during separation is completely normal! If they could spend every day with those they love the most they totally would. Many toddlers struggle with transitions and meeting new people. They have only been on this planet for less than three years and are still learning so much about how their world works. 

Starting school can be a tough transition for both children and parents. My biggest piece of advice is to stay calm and exude confidence. Our children can sense our emotions and may pick up on our own fears and anxieties.  If they feel you are confident and comfortable in taking them to this new place, they will begin feeling that way soon too.  Generally, children only cry for about 5-15 minutes at drop off.  Feel free to hang out in the hallway for a bit if you like the comfort of knowing they have settled down before heading to work. If your child is struggling to settle down after a certain amount of time, we will call you. 

In addition, crying is a normal response for toddlers experiencing new situations.  With so little words to use to express themselves, this is the only way they know how. RIE advocate (Resources for Infant Educarers), Janet Lansbury, suggests, "Most of us have the strong temptation to distract a crying child with games, songs, or toys, to discount her feelings by telling her it’s okay and she shouldn’t cry. But to ensure healthy emotional development, a child’s feelings of fear and loss during separation need to be expressed and heard, not erased or invalidated."

Here are some other tips for creating a smooth morning routine and separation atmosphere:

-Have a consistent morning routine for your child every day.
-Prep your child on the walk to school or in the car on what they can expect for the day. 
-Provide your child with a comfort item or a family picture they can hold onto. 
-If your routine is going to be different, tell the child in advance so they can be prepared for the change.
-Remain calm and confident.

Also know that we are here to support you and your child. We're open to talking with you on ways we can help make the transition process as smooth as possible for your child.