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Ease School Separation Anxiety

The kids are back in school, but kids and parents alike can experience separation anxiety. Follow these tips to help your kids adjust and put your mind at ease.  

1. Establish your morning routine – When kids have structure in the morning (i.e. same wake-up time, getting ready, breakfast, etc.) it is something they can count on.

2. Try not to be late – Give yourself extra time in the morning – especially during the first few weeks.  When you are rushed, it creates anxiety for everyone.

3. Create a “goodbye routine” – This can be a secret handshake or a saying that just the two of you share.  It’s something fun and personal and also signals that it is time to go.

4. Don’t linger at the classroom – As tempting as it is to stay when you child is clingy or crying, it is much easier on the teacher and your child if you give your hugs and go. Staying will just prolong the problem.

5. Find friendly faces – Encourage your child to make new friends in their class. You can help by inviting potential playmates over for a play date or meet up at the park to build the friendship more quickly.

6. Pack a piece of home – If your child is still having difficulty adjusting, pack a small toy or family photo in their backpack to help with them being homesick.  You can also include a little note of encouragement in their lunch for a mid-day surprise.

7. Special time in the evening- Carve out “special time” in the evening just for the two of you to snuggle and talk about their day. Listen to their concerns, help suggest solutions and be sure not to put your own anxiety on your child.

8. Get a good night’s sleep – Make sure that your child gets to bed early and gets a full night sleep.  When they are well rested, they will better be able to take on their day.

9. Be patient! – Your child will adjust. It takes at least a few weeks for kids (and parents!) to get used to a new schedule.

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