As any parent knows, it can be incredibly difficult to drop your kid off at the child care center. They are your whole world, and if they aren’t used to being away from you, it can be pretty distressing. But the fact of the matter is, they have to get used to it! It’s just a part of life and growing up. However, separation anxiety can be really difficult to cope with, for parents and for the child. In this blog post, we will provide you with a few tips to help your child deal with the situation and realize that it really isn’t so scary being away from you. If you have any questions about child care in Coon Rapids, Blaine, Isanti, or East Bethel or you are looking to enroll your child, then please be sure to reach out to us today.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
It should come as no surprise that your kiddo feels safe and comfortable around you, so when they are left somewhere without you (like at daycare), it can be a pretty jarring experience. Separation anxiety can begin as early as infancy, and can last all the way through their preschool years. While there can be varying degrees of anxiety, most often children will throw a tantrum that includes crying, becoming extra clingy, or even throwing random objects.
It is important for you to acknowledge their struggles, but not to support these erratic behaviors. If you decide to change your plans and stay with them, it will only encourage them to do it again next time since they will believe that they can always convince you to stay around. It is so important that your child begins to understand that they can’t always be with you. Once they realize that it isn’t so bad without you, they’ll begin to work on their social skills and won’t be so scared next time they are dropped off at our daycare center or any other activity.
While it is obviously the fear of being away from you that causes separation anxiety in your child, there are a few underlying causes that can make the situation even worse for your little one. These include:
- Stress – The world can seem like a pretty wild place for your child as they are growing up. Just trying to understand the way things work can be pretty daunting for them, especially if they are undergoing extra stress in their lives. This could include the loss of a loved one (including a pet), if you have moved recently, or if you are currently going through a divorce. All of these are triggers that can cause separation anxiety disorder.
- New Surroundings – Your child likes having a regular routine and being in places that they are used to and feel comfortable in. If they suddenly find themselves in an unknown area, this can cause them to feel lost and out of place. New surroundings are a major cause of separation anxiety. It’s important for you to teach them that exploring new places is actually exciting and a part of life.
- Overprotective Parenting – We know that your child is your world and you will do everything that you can to help them feel safe. Unfortunately, being extra protective of them can be a detriment to their growth. Of course you always want to be there for them, but it is so important to let them journey out on their own and discover new people and places on their own.
What Can You Do?
As a parent, it can be extremely difficult watching your child struggle with separation anxiety. The good news is, there are a variety of things that you can do to help them through it. It is also important to remember that it is only a phase and they will realize pretty quickly that they are completely fine when you are not around. One of the most important things that you can do is listen to them and respect their feelings. While it may not seem like a big deal to you, they might think otherwise. Talk with them about what they are going through and make sure that you are supportive. You also want to be sure to remain calm throughout the situation. You are your child’s hero and they are learning so much just by watching how you react to certain problems. Be a good example for them so that they will follow your lead. It is also great to provide them with small rewards/positive reinforcement when they behave appropriately.
Reach Out to Us!
If you would like to learn more about Compass Learning Center or are looking to enroll your child in our daycare program in Coon Rapids, Blaine, Isanti, or East Bethel, then don’t hesitate to contact us today! We provide a fun and safe environment for your child to learn and grow and are looking forward to meeting your kiddo!