From the Cradle to College

Dealing with Separation Anxiety and Day Care

Separation anxiety is very real for any child who will be attending a daycare center or child care center. Even children who have been attending daycare for a long time may suddenly begin to experience some anxiety about their parents leaving. Do you want to know how you can deal with separation anxiety when you bring your child to a child care center? These tips will help you through the process.

Practice Spending Time Away

If you have some time, such as a few weeks, before your child will go to a child care center, it is a good idea to get in the habit of spending time away from your child. For example, you might make a goal of spending an hour or so away on a regular basis.

Create a Solid Routine

It is also a good idea to keep your child on a routine. Mixing things up may sound great to you, but routine is the key to building fortitude and eliminate a lot of separation anxiety. The routine should include coming to the daycare center, saying goodbye, and leaving. You do not have to sneak out, but you should say your goodbyes and leave rather than sticking around to ease a tantrum. It could send the message that the tantrum will work to keep you around.

Provide a Comforting Toy

For many children, having a comforting item they can bring is a good idea. A stuffed animal or blanket may be the best comfort for those difficult times they are dealing with feeling sad away from home. A toy can help your child learn some self-soothing skills as well.

Speaking About Leaving in Positive Terms

One of the best things you can do to ease separation anxiety is to talk about the fun your child is going to have once you leave. You might point out the toys and activities available to the children as well as the friends they will be able to spend time with. You might even have the help of a daycare provider to distract your child while you get ready to leave.

As you can see, separation anxiety is a major concern. In dealing with anxiety, you can make the process simpler for everybody involved, including the daycare providers, yourself, and your child. Still have questions? Contact a child care center for additional steps you can take to ease the transition.