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anxious one?

Smiling, I encourage her to enjoy her class and have fun as I transfer her to her teacher’s arms. It is sad to watch her cry, but I know as soon as I leave, she will have a great time and want to stay when I come pick her up. As difficult as it may be to leave your little one, it is a part of life, so to make it as peaceful as possible will enable them to grow in confidence.

If you have some little babies of your own, or even some bigger babies, you probably have experienced some anxiety at different stages leaving them at preschool, church, or school. I have talked to parents recently about a little back to school anxiety, so I thought this might be helpful for some of you this week. Even if you are not in this stage in life, enjoy the read with me! Honestly, even when a child goes to college, these ideas still work. College is a life shift as well, so there is most likely a bit of anxiety for these “Big boys and girls” as well! Let’s hang out in my kitchen and talk!

become familiar with environment – Before school starts, meet the teacher, see the classroom, tour the school, find each classroom in order of the schedule for older ones who have to switch classes. Identify a friend if possible who will be there too. Even as a college student, I never wanted to be the girl whose name was not called on the roster and have to raise my hand to acknowledge I was not called, to realize I was in the wrong classroom. NOOOOOO!!!! It never happened thankfully, but that is because I took precautionary steps to prevent this embarrassment. I walked campus a few days before classes started to find each classroom so I knew where to go on the first day. I did it all four years too!

show excitement that they are growing – Even if you are a teeny bit sad that your little baby is getting older, show and verbalize excitement and joy. If not, they naturally feel your mood, which could cause pessimism and fear. Let your mood portray positivity! Talk about specific things to be excited about, whether playground time, a special friend, sweet teacher, or coloring pages.

have a routine – Create a stable, predictable environment each day, particularly the morning. Begin with a Bible story at the table, few minutes in family prayer time, a hug and kiss before getting out of the car. Simple ways to create security that work for your family.

make it quick – Evidence shows the longer the parting is dragged out, the more difficult it will be for the child. As a parent, it may be hard on you too, but help your child by making the separation loving and quick. Show them the classroom, take them to the teacher, take them to an activity going on, or point out a friend. Most teachers have been trained to handle separation anxiety well and will know exactly what to do to help your little one.

leave quickly – Keep that excitement and exit after the transfer even if you are a bit teary-eyed. It is better for your child and will make the transition much easier. Take a peek through the window and smile. Your confidence will transfer to your child and they will see that you always come back, so they become confident in the routine. To keep reappearing will take their focus on the fun they are having and reignite any anxious feelings, so they will not ever get to feel secure in the process. Show them they will be just fine. You will be fine too!

give them an item to keep – I have girls, of course, so a cool idea is a mommy-daughter bracelet to wear during school. Perhaps a key chain for their backpack would work for you. Something special to simply remind them they will have fun and you will return is a great tangible object to keep around.

If there seems to be more anxiety than seems normal and these tips have not worked, it might be a good idea to speak to a counselor to work in specific ways to help. They can work with the parents and the child to discover unique personalized ways to create peace when separation happens. A counselor can also use books, art, and other activities to help the child become more comfortable with separation.

Have a great Labor Day weekend! I am probably gonna do some super exciting stuff like organize the pantry. Enjoy whatever plans you have and stay safe!



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