Dear Berry Patch Families,
If you’re feeling a tug at your heart preparing your child for preschool, you are not alone. Some parents are saddened by the quick passing of the summer months and the advancement in the years marked by children in school. Others are thrilled to finally have a moment for self and younger children after a busy, summer. Many have mixed emotions. Use these tips and questions to aid in a smooth transition for all.
Tips for Parents to Overcome Separation Anxiety as the School Year Begins
- Pray for a smooth transition for you and your child.
- Meet the teacher(s) before school actually starts.
- Use a babysitter more often to separate more easily.
- Get to know your child’s teacher. Spend a few moments talking to build a friendship.
- Arrange a time outside of class to encourage a family friendship with classmates.
- Avoid the temptation to show up at the classroom prior to the end of the school day.
- Laugh with your child! It’s hard to be anxious in the middle of a belly laugh.
- Empathize, but be firm. Do not scold or bribe.
- Focus on the positive things that happen at preschool. Don’t dwell on fears, yours or your child’s.
- Make shopping for school supplies a special event just for you and your child.
- When leaving, give a quick kiss, hug, and cheerful goodbye.
- Avoid lingering or coming back to see how your child is doing. Be confident your child is in good hands. But don’t sneak out of the room either. A clearly stated goodbye builds trust.
- Everyday tell your child, “I love you. I’ll always come back for you.” Be on time!
Be Kind to Yourself
After weeks of preparing for the beginning of the school year for your children, take time to plan your fall. Take a moment to catch your breath. Find a quiet time to pray and plan. Consider the following questions.
How will I spend intentional time with each one of my children, those at home and those at school?
Discern where God would like me to serve: school, church, community?
How can I focus on my career or calling more diligently?
What project has been on the back burner that can now be completed?
Is there a friendship that needs attention? How will I connect?
What hobby would I like to experience or get back to doing more often?
What book have I been waiting for the time to read?
Is there a class I’ve wanted to take to continue my education or for fun?
Most importantly, continue to learn. When children see Mom and Dad continuing to educate themselves, they become aware of how important lifelong learning is for personal growth and happiness.
Many blessings for a beautiful school year,
Becky Danielson, M.Ed.
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
For more tips on separation anxiety, click on the links!
“I Want My Mommy!” Separation Anxiety in Young Children
The Dance: Separation Anxiety in Parents