Whether you are going back to work after having a baby or just think it is time for your child to begin attending an early childhood program there are some things to consider regarding separation anxiety; not your child’s but rather yours. The new experience of leaving your child with strangers is far more traumatic for the parent than for the child. I know this because of 20 years experience in the field of early childhood education and from having four children of my own. Even a trip to the hairdresser for my thirteen year old required a walk in, not a drop off just to make sure everything was right.
Anxiety over the safety of our children is real and understandable. Children on the other hand do not harbor the same fears and anxieties. They are naturally more daring and inquisitive. I am sure you can think back to a time when you would do things and take risks that you would not do now. Parents play a key role in their child’s smooth transition to this exciting socializing and learning experience. If the parent’s are freaked out there is a good chance the child will be as well. So true is the opposite. If the parent’s are calm and present this in a positive light, the child will see it that way as well. This is much healthier for the child. Some parents will bring their children with them to tour the school. This is at the parent’s discretion. It is good to make an appointment and go at a time when children are engaged and not during a nap time or lunch.
While you will be tempted on the first day and maybe more to stay and see how your child fares in the new surroundings, the very best thing for your child is for you to say goodbye with a hug and a kiss and leave the room. You should be able to call the center during the day as well to see how things are going. You will have an opportunity to peek in and speak with staff when you pick up. This will lessen your child’s anxiety and allow him/her to move into the class activity and socialize. The longer you stay the longer your child will focus on you thus making the separation harder on him or her. The teacher should aid this by gaining your child’s attention and welcoming him or her into the class. It is always important to discuss the experience with your child even if your child is not yet verbalizing. This plays out for us as parents when our children go to first grade, college, when they get married and go off to form their own lives. Somehow we get through it.
With three locations in and around Newtown, Pennsylvania, A Child’s World offers early education and daycare center services to families with young children. To learn more about our child care facilities, please call us at (215) 519-1993.