How to Deal with Child Separation Anxiety at Drop Off

How to Deal with Child Separation Anxiety at Drop Off

Preschool is great for kids but the first day can be quite stressful. The first day can be a mix of anxiety and excitement for both the parents and the kids. It’s fun to take on a new adventure but sometimes change can be scary.

Dealing with child separation anxiety

While a good morning routine can get you out the door on time, the drop off at school can be a challenge. The anxiety that comes from separation is hard to deal with. That’s why it’s common for children to feel anxious when their parents leave them at school. Tantrums, being clingy, and crying are common things that preschoolers go through with separation anxiety. The transition can be difficult but can be dealt with. Here are some ways to help you deal with separation anxiety.

Warm them up before school

Days before school starts, bring your child to the school and show them the classroom they’ll be in. Visit the school and meet their teachers ahead of time so they can be familiar with them. With you at their side, children will be comfortable to explore the new environment. A visit to the school also gives parents the chance to ask about the typical day-to-day schedule.

Talk about school to your kids in a positive way

To further encourage your children, talk to them about school in a positive way. It’s bad enough that kids get separation anxiety, and talking negatively about school will just make it worse. Avoid making the topic about school a thing to argue about.

Talk about the activities they’ll get to do and the other children they can play with. Tell them about the new toys and fun things they will learn.  Keep it positive, as this will help your child look forward to going to school.

Establish a routine

Weeks before school starts, establish morning and evening routines. Children will have more energy for their day at school when they get enough sleep.

A good morning routine will help them have the energy for school, so give them a healthy breakfast and don’t rush them. Having a good routine will give you ample time to pack healthy and nutritious lunches.

Let your kid bring a special item to school

Leaving the comfort of home has a few negative effects on children, especially the first time. One way to ease this transition is to let your kid bring a special thing to school. This can be a favorite toy, bracelet, or even a small blanket to cuddle with during nap time.

Having this special thing with them will comfort them when they feel homesick.

During bedtime, read them books about school

Have story time before your child goes to sleep. You can read books about school to hype them up for tomorrow. Preschoolers like reading and picture books will help them imagine what school is like. Look for fun children’s books about school in your local bookshops and library.

Don’t sneak out without a goodbye

You might think that it’s a good idea to leave without saying goodbye. It’s not. Your child will have trust issues and the next drop off will be even harder. Always say goodbye when you drop them off at school. There may be tears but assure them you will be back. Hug, kiss, and tell them you love them as you say goodbye. Keep it brief. Establishing a goodbye routine will help your child get used to it and dropping them off at school won’t be as hard.

Your child’s preschool years are beneficial to their growth and development. Once your child’s transition to school has been eased, they will start making fun memories and enjoy school more. If you have the same problem, be sure to follow the tips mentioned above.


If you are looking for a school with a great toddler program, visit Montessori School of Downtown today!