5 Secrets for Overcoming Separation Anxiety

Stop the separation blues.

Toddlers from 18 months, even up to 2 years of age often develop separation anxiety when their parents are out of sight. Although normal, this can cause undue stress to them and their parents when they have to be apart.

Here are some tips to help you and your child overcome separation anxiety and make the “daycare drop,” easy for both parent and child.

Here are some tips to help you and your child overcome separation anxiety:

mom talking to baby before dropping off at daycare

Talk to your child about what to expect in their preschool center.

Children need to feel safe.  Being left in a new place can be scary for anyone, but especially little ones.  Help prevent the fear by talking to him/her about what they can expect. Talk to them about their routine and new schedule. Help get them excited about their new teacher, new friends and all the types of things that babies learn while attending child care.. 

Explain where you will go and what you will do when you leave.

  • Talk to your child about you leaving. 
  • Tell your child you are going to work, or run errands. 
  • Talk about what they will be doing in class at day care, and what you will be doing in your day “Daddy has a meeting with clients today, and you have to practice your abc’s.”
  • Let them know who will be picking up and when “mommy will pick you up after snack time today!” 
dropping the baby off at daycare before work mother and child t20 yRblp91
walker childcare playground

Give your child a tour of the Daycare.

Prior to his/her first day, we always suggest a tour of the preschool.  (you can schedule your tour with us now.) 

Meet the teachers and other key providers in the center. Talk about the teachers with your child, use their name and help them start feeling comfortable with new important people in their lives. 

Help your child feel more confident.

This is a great teaching moment for how to introduce him/herself to other people. 

  • Practice/ role-play with your child until they are comfortable introducing themselves and talking to other people. 
  • Peer interactions may be new to your child, talk about sharing and being a friend. 
young girls playing together at child care in walker
daycare aged girl holding a clock to remind her mom to be on time to pick her up

Stay on Schedule

Many of our parents and kids are on different plans coming 2,3, and 5 days a week. 

Children thrive on a schedule and drop off and pick up is no different.

  • If possible arrive a few minutes before class starts, to help eliminate stress and worry. 
  • Bring your child into the center excited for the new day.
  • Just be sure to set a time and stick with it.
  • Keep drop off short, stay long enough to give teachers any important information, then tell your child goodbye reminding them when you will be back. 

These tips help minimize the anxiety felt by your child but eliminating this fear takes time.

It is important to remember  this is a normal fear, and time, practice, and love help will help ease this transition.  Eventually, it’ll be as simple as simply saying good bye.

Jessica Pitts-Schisler

Jessica Pitts-Schisler

Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m from Ocean Springs, MS. This is my first year as an employee but second year as a parent in the program.

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