Those innocent eyes, chubby cheeks, crawling tears, some holding hand or leg, some hiding behind parent most of them wanting to say the same thing—I don't want to go to school.
Seeing your child in this situation pulls you apart, makes you feel very uncomfortable as there is a strong and loving bond that exists between you and your child. It's actually one of the emotionally draining parts of everyday life.
But as a parent we need to understand that this is quite normal and is a part of a child's behavioral and emotional development. This is called separation anxiety. It is when a child gets upset when separated from a parent or loved one.
All children have to learn to deal with separations. Research also talks about if these first separations of the life are managed well; it helps the individuals with the separations they will have to face through their lives.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM
1. Prepare the child for the separation
- Have practice separation e.g., play Hide and Seek
- Read children's stories including fairy tales on this topic- separations.
- The separations need to be very short at first, start separations slowly
- Offer cuddle and reassurance.
2. Involve the school authorities
- Involve the teacher
- Stay with her at school until she feels safe to let you go.
- Keep your good-byes short and sweet
- Reassure your child that you will be coming back
3. Work with the child
- Acknowledge the fear by talking it out.
- Ask her to articulate her fears; then come up with ways to calm them.
- Desensitize her and be positive.
SOME DON'T FOR THE PARENT
- Don't get upset when your child clings
- Don't punish her for clinging.
Although your preschooler's worries can seem great, most likely they are developmentally quite normal. However, if your child's anxieties interfere with her daily living, disrupt her sleep pattern, or result in compulsive behavior then you should seek professional help.