Helping Your Kindergartener with Separation Anxiety

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it's an early September morning and the

late summer air is awash with mixed

emotions your little one is going off to

the first day of kindergarten yes you're

excited for your child but you can't

help feeling uneasy about the separation

while naturally have concerns it's

important not to relay this concern to

your child at this age

your little one looks to you for comfort

and protection so use warmth than your

tone of voice enthusiasm in your words

and confidence in your actions when you

arrive the school yard is bustling with

activity shrieks of delight from excited

older children cause your child to

freeze up don't worry it'll be fine

you say but your assurances are met with

resistance your child is too young to

understand this fear and worry so

expecting your child to overcome these

intense feelings isn't helpful and may

further the frustration you try again

using a calm soft voice I know this is

all new but I'll help you through it I

know how brave you can be with a sniff

and a nod your little one finds some

courage luckily you arrived a bit early

this gives you time to familiarize

yourselves with the school grounds find

out where you need to go and see if

there are any other families you might

know when you enter the classroom your

teacher greets you with kind words and a

warm smile your little one clings to you

rather than reacting to this fear you

remain calm and confident I know you and

Miss honeydew will become good friends

she likes books and fish and cats and

dogs too look at all the cool things in

this classroom at the mention of pets

your little one perks up I bet you're

going to have a great time and just in

case you get worried here's a sticker

when we look at these we will think of

each other Oh perhaps still a bit shaky

your little one seems ready to take on

the day the classroom fills and you

realize the time has come to go how you

leave is very important at this time

your child will be paying close

attention to cues for leaving

a long drawn-out goodbye can confuse

your child on the other hand sneaking

out of the room can create a feeling of

abandonment give your child a hug and a

kiss and say goodbye with a warm smile

your teacher will be here all day to

teach you lots of cool things when I

come pick you up we'll have so much fun

together and you can tell me all about

your day the first days of school are

critical to your child's growth big

changes in life or challenging and force

us to adapt and grow if you meet these

challenges head-on with empathy and

confidence in your child's abilities the

seeds you sow now will bloom into a rich

future for you and your wee one to learn

more about separation anxiety and

children and things you can do to help

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