Here are some tried and true tricks for easing separation anxiety on the first day of school, or for any upcoming separation.
- Be positive. Your child will key off your emotions about the event.
- Give your child a preview. Most schools have orientation or visiting day. Make sure the first day is not a completely new experience.
- Schedule some playdates before the start of school. Seeing familiar faces on the first day will go a long way to averting anxiety.
- Pack family photos and a small stuffed animal so your child has a little bit of home to take with him.
- On the first day, don’t hang around longer than needed. Reassure him that you love him and that you’ll be back to pick him up, avoid the drama, and move quickly out the door, no matter how hard this is.
- When you pick him up, don’t overdo your joy in the reunion because this will just remind him of the pain of separation.
Be reassured that separation is a necessary part of growing up and that you’re actually teaching your child a valuable life lesson, no matter how painful for you both at the moment.