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Separation from mum or dad can be hard for your child as well as mum and dad.

While some children embrace the first day of preschool, others would be a lot more apprehensive and afraid. So here is what you need to know about separation anxiety.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a form of disorder wherein excessive anxiety is experienced when one is removed from the home environment or an attachment figure. In young children, separation anxiety is manifested in their fear of being split from their parents or guardians.

For babies, separation anxiety can start as early as seven to nine months. It’s the age where infants associate love, care and safety with the adult that spent the most time with them. This is referred to as the primary caregiver, a role usually filled by mums.

You will stumble upon a lot of advice on how to deal with separation anxiety but before you follow them, make sure you understand the needs of your child first. Separation anxiety symptoms can differ from one child to another. Typically, children will either cry, throw a temper tantrum or be extra clingy—or exhibit a combination of these behaviours.

Turn Things Around With These Tips

As every child is different there are many tips and strategies you can use. However here are some of the main ones. Say goodbye. Distracting your child with a toy or a gadget and then sneaking out may only worsen the situation. Your child might be even more upset than you intended once he realises that you just vanished without a word.

When you do say goodbye , stay calm and relaxed. Children are quite responsive to their parents’ reactions. Showing sadness and concern will influence your son or daughter’s emotions so it’s best to be as encouraging as you can.

When you drop off your children at a child care , keep in mind that you are leaving them in an entirely new setting. Prior to the first day of their new schedule, spend time at the location. Introduce your child to the child care coordinators and preschool teachers beforehand. That way, they will get a sense of security and trust when left under the care of people they are familiar with.

At Berry Patch preschool and long day care centre, we’ve dealt with separation anxiety in children each time a new school year begins. Providing consistent support in a healthy, child-friendly environment is what we take pride in. Contact us today for more details.