Whether your young child is just learning to walk or getting ready to go to their first day of preschool, leaving your child can be hard. Seeing your child upset and cry out to you is tough for any parent. As a new school year begins, children will experience change - new classrooms, schools, teachers - and change may come with some anxiety. We spoke with Heilicher school counselor Andrea Hansen, and she shared a few key strategies to help ease these transitions.
- Be quick, yet loving - don’t linger. You don’t want to prolong the inevitable, so be firm in saying goodbye and giving hugs and kisses. Then it’s your turn to leave. Don’t sneak out; it can create distrust.
- Create goodbye rituals. If your child is old enough, come up with a fun way to say goodbye. This can be a handshake, special hug - whatever works for your family.
- Be positive - Your child feeds off your energy, so stay positive and reassure them that you will return at the end of their day. Being on time for pick-up is important to establishing routine and trust with your child.
- Practice - Start leaving your child with familiar people for short amounts of time. Gradually increase your time away and the situations your child is in.
- Be realistic and consistent - Kids have good days and bad days just like adults. Being consistent can help children understand boundaries and learn independence - stick with your plan.