Overcome Separation Anxiety for Preschool Children
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Vanessa Alexandra Avisado, Eng, Lynn and 2 others
As kids move forward, from infancy, their world naturally expands. They will find themselves in various situations that will take them farther away from the comfort of their own homes, and the protective arms of their parents. Each child is unique and has his own way of dealing with such separation. Fortunately, there are ways you can try to overcome separation anxiety for preschool children.
- 1Turn it into a game.
Treasure hunting is another idea. You can put clues in your back yard and make sure there's a nice surprise waiting for him at the end. You can add cute tokens that you think he will like. Remember to stay in one place so the aspect of separation in the game can be enhanced even more. Just let him wander around freely and wait for him to find you. Every time he finds a "treasure," he can yell "Yipee!" or clap his hands. Don't forget to yell back in encouragement as well.Advertisement
- 2Help your child know what to expect.
Make sure that you are very specific about the things you tell him, so he knows what to expect. Make the idea of separation as pleasant as possible so he will be relaxed and comfortable when the actual time comes. It's better to start early, but learn to adjust according to your child's age and understanding. It's a good thing, though, if you tell him about your imminent departure days in advance.Advertisement
- 3Reassure your kid that you are definitely going to return.
- 4Have a thorough understanding of your child's anxiety.
This kind of uncertainty takes many forms, from temper tantrums to misbehavior or being fussy. Sometimes, he'll even push you away and you'll wonder why when he is normally so attached to you.
- 5Give him enough time to adjust.
- 6Slowly introduce him to new faces gradually.
TIPS and TRICKS to make Parting Ways Easier - for both of you
- 1Conduct a dress rehearsal.You can better prepare your child for upcoming events when you try and do it his way by playing make-believe. Do this a couple of times in advance when you are about to get into a new situation. The game must be a "replica" of what will truly happen in the actual event. For example, if your kid will have to spend the afternoon with his new nanny, try dressing up like his nanny for a while, and be fun and cheerful while you're at it.
Details count, so the doorbell must also ring, walk in, utter a cheerful hello, go through what's going to happen during the afternoon, then say bye-bye to imaginary mommy. Once the make-believe mommy is away, go through the possible events that might take place. For instance, your role as a nanny will make her favorite snacks, read her favorite books or play her favorite games - things which they will actually do with the real nanny.
- 2Find ways for your child to explore his independence.Don't start with a major event of long-term departure and separation. Instead, allow him baby steps to explore his independence. You can practice by frequenting your local park, and once he's busy playing with the other children, maintain a short distance from them. You could sit on a park bench, as long as he knows where you are and you can keep your eyes on him all the time.
- 3Check out places in advance.If your kid is going to be left in school for the first time, visit a couple of days ahead of time so you can really check the place out. This way you'll have time to introduce him to his new teachers, play with toys and show him around so he can familiarize himself with the new place. Then try not being there all the time; step back once in a while so he'll get the feel of what it's going to be like without you. When you get home, talk about the experience and see how he feels about his new school or daycare. Make him feel confident and that you're sure he's going to have a blast once school starts.Advertisement
Learning how to overcome separation anxiety for preschool children cannot be achieved overnight. It takes patience, planning, monitoring, and a deep understanding of your child's thoughts, emotions, and insecurities for you to get through to him and help him overcome all his fears. In time, you may be surprised, and could even find that he's the one comforting you, and not the other way around when you temporarily part ways and say your goodbyes. Good luck.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Parenting
Recent edits by: Maria, Lynn, Eng