If you’re sending your toddler off to daycare or preschool, be prepared for tears on the first day, and perhaps many after that. Separation anxiety is normal, as is a meltdown when you reappear (reminds them of the pain of the separation). There are many ways to ease this.
Here are ways not to say goodbye:
- Don’t be sad – while you may want to be empathetic, you will be communicating that it is a sad event, which reinforces your child’s fears.
- Don’t be mad – sure, you’re getting late for work, and need to pull away. But it’s not the time to show this frustration to yours child.
- Don’t hang on – it may seem more gentle to hang out for a long time to ease your child into the situation. But a clean break is actually better than prolonging the agony.
- Don’t leave without saying goodbye – the worst thing is to disappear without one last reassurance that you’ll be back.