Little Wiggles & Giggles Learning Center Understands that Separation is Difficult
This month, let’s discuss how to combat separation anxiety when sending kids to daycare. When deciding to take your baby or child to daycare, it can be difficult, especially for kids with separation anxiety. We do what we can at Little Wiggles & Giggles Learning Center to provide a great experience. However, some children struggle. According to www.helpguide.org, “… crying, tantrums, or clinginess … are healthy reactions to separation and a normal stage of development. For children with normal separation anxiety, there are steps you can take to make the process of separation anxiety easier.” Among those steps, you could:
- Practice short periods of separation before your child starts daycare
- Ease your child’s anxiety by describing something to look forward to
- Make saying farewell both a simple goodbye and positive goodbye
Practice Short Periods of Separation Before Your Child Starts Daycare
Before starting daycare, practice short periods of separation with a caregiver so your child adapts well to separation. Make sure the caregiver is someone your child knows well so he or she still feels safe in your absence. In the beginning, ask the caregiver to come to your home for childcare. Eventually, the child should go to the caregiver’s home, rather than the caregiver coming to yours. Doing so, will acclimate the child staying away from you in other surroundings. Start out by leaving the child for short periods of just a few minutes while you run an errand locally. Gradually, you could leave the child for longer periods and travel further.
Ease Your Child’s Anxiety by Describing Something to Look Forward to
On your first practice separation period, say what you’re going to do when you see each other next. This scenario gives the child something to look forward to. Try to schedule something that your child enjoys, but isn’t out of the ordinary. Routine helps children develop life skills and healthy habits. Continue including something to look forward to with every practice separation and in your goodbye routine after starting daycare.
Make Saying Farewell Both a Simple Goodbye and Positive Goodbye
Regardless of how you may be feeling, when you leave your child, smile and wave. Do this even during your short periods of practice separation. In other words, make it a positive goodbye. Otherwise, the child might pick up on your feelings. By giving your child an experience of a positive goodbye, you’re teaching them goodbyes aren’t inherently sad. You might think sneaking out will help prevent a meltdown, but it won’t.
A Simple Goodbye is a Positive Goodbye
Also, keep your positive goodbye quick by doing a simple goodbye. Just tell your child that you’re leaving, that you will return, and then leave. Don’t make the goodbye a bigger deal than it is, but reassure the child that you’ll be back.
At Little Wiggles & Giggles Learning Center, we offer childcare for infants through children enrolled in early elementary school. For more information about our services, call us at (570) 208-9125. Like us on Facebook and follow us for updates. We are happy to discuss more about how to combat separation anxiety.