How teachers can handle separation anxiety


Leaving your child at preschool will most likely be the first time you leave them in a strange place. They don’t want you to go. Their anxiety pulls at your heart. You know their actions won’t go on for ever, but that first time is always the hardest. You can learn some strategies so your preschool child will relax and enjoy school.

Before the First Day of Preschool

Prepare your child at home before the first day. Talk to your child about what preschool is, and how much fun they will have playing. Visit the preschool so the child sees other children and let your child join in if possible for a few minutes. Read to your child about preschool and what they will learn and be doing during the day. Give your child as much information as you can and it will relieve the separation anxiety.

Be strong, Say Good-Bye

One of the first things you need to learn is to just say good-bye, give them a hug and walk out the door. Don’t look back. Don’t peek back into the window, they will be watching. You have brought your child to preschool; now let the child go play. The longer you stand around, the longer your child will cling to you. Just walk away, its ok.

Believe in the Teacher

Teachers know how children react. Teachers know how to redirect the child’s attention. They have gone through it many times and have the tricks and methods to calm your child. A simple hug and a few words of comfort from the teacher can do wonders. Teachers are professionals at knowing what makes children happy.

Guard You Emotions

Make sure you don’t let your child see that it is upsetting you that your child is upset. Talk about how much fun it will be for your child and smile a lot. Never let the child feel that it is the wrong place for the child. Be positive about the preschool, and introduce your child to the teacher, even if the child has met the teacher before. Create a comfort feeling between the three of you.

Practice a Good-Bye routine

Talk to your child about what preschool is for your child. Let your child know that you are going to drop them off and pick them up later. Young children like routines. Establish something that you do with your child each time you say good-bye. It might be a kiss on the chin, or a simple high five. Practice it every time you say good-bye so the child is use to the routine and saying good-bye.

Pick Your Child Up On Time

Don’t be late in picking up your child. If possible be a couple of minutes early. Not to early, maybe 2 or 3 minutes, so you are one of the first moms to arrive. Make sure your errands don’t make you late. If you run late you are running the risk of creating anxiety in your child. It will make it that much harder to drop your child off the next time.

A quick review

  • Make your goodbye short. Don’t sneek out, give a kiss, and hug and leave.
  • Trust the teacher to comfort your child. Don’t bring your child back home.
  • Keep your emotions silent. Children pick up on when you are upset.
  • If a problem arises, talk to the teacher in private
  • Have a relative bring your child to preschool and see if the anxiety stops.
  • Be prepared for a setback if the child has been out sick or on vacation.
  • Pick your child up on time, or a couple minutes early.

Follow these tips and suggestions and your child should have an easier time saying good-bye to you at the door of preschool. Have patience and believe in the preschool you have picked for your child. They are professionals and handle anxiety in children all the time. Be strong and say good-bye and spend a few hours doing what you need to accomplish.