EASING SEPARATION ANXIETY FOR YOUR PRESCHOOLER:
Do's and Don'ts for Back to School
Tips from PRACTICAL WISDOM FOR PARENTS
By Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum
The most common concern of parents is separation: Will my child be able to separate? Will he cry? Will the teacher understand his needs? Will the teacher like my child? Will he behave himself if I’m not there? What if he’s not the genius I think he is? Will my child like the teacher more than me? Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to help parents and children have a smooth adjustment to school.
- ESTABLISH GOOD BEDTIME AND MORNING ROUTINES
- REVIEW TEACHERS’ NAMES AT HOME
- READ BOOKS TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT BEGINNING SCHOOL
- BE ON TIME FOR ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
- TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF
- CONVEY A POSTIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD SCHOOL—SMILE!
- GREET TEACHERS IN A FRIENDLY MANNER
- POINT OUT YOUR CHILD’S COAT HOOK AND CUBBY
- TELL YOUR CHILD WHERE YOU WILL BE AND BE THERE
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS (“I know it’s hard…you’ll be O.K”)
- DURING ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL –FOCUS ON YOUR CHILD. GIVE HIM EXTRA INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION AND QUIET PLAY TIME AT HOME AFTERWARDS
- SAY A SHORT GOODBYE BUT DON’T WAIT FOR A RESPONSE
- WAIT TO SOCIALIZE WITH OTHER PARENTS WHEN YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
- EXPECT SOME REGRESSION
- COMMUNICATE ANY SPECIAL CONCERNS TO THE TEACHERS
- HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR CHILDREN—THEY CAN DO THIS!
- TALK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN IN FRONT OF THEM
- ASK YOUR CHILD’S PERMISSION TO LEAVE
- BRING CAMERAS AND VIDEOS ON THE FIRST DAY-FOCUS ON THE MOMENT
- HAVE MORE THAN ONE ADULT BRING YOUR CHILD
- DON’T CARRY YOUR CHILD INTO SCHOOL
- OVERSCHEDULE YOUR CHILD AFTER SCHOOL
- FEEL GUILTY – YOU ARE GIVING YOUR CHILD A GIFT!