Watching a child cry in a state of panic as their parent drops them off at their daycare center is a scenario parents hate to find themselves in. These incidences of separation anxiety are difficult, common, and most importantly, something you can work through. Just how successful you are in your efforts has everything to do with your actions. Make sure you're hitting the target:
Talk About It
Some parents believe the best resolution to separation anxiety is to ignore it. No matter the source of the anxiety – ignoring it will not make things better. Have a dialogue with your child about the source of their feelings and use this feedback as a roadmap to resolution.
For instance, if your child expresses fear, maybe you should consider leaving a little earlier for drop-offs so that you can spend a few moments at the center with your child to help them get adjusted before you have to take off. Simply ignoring their concerns will prevent you from getting to the source of the issue.
Try Not to Give In
Although it can be extremely difficult to walk away from your crying child, in some instances, this is the best solution. After you've spoken to your child about their concerns, worked through them and the child is still having a difficult time when you leave, sticking around and giving in is not working towards a solution.
In fact, it may only be making matters worse. This is especially the case if the provider has expressed to you that the child typically settles in well after you leave. Ensure your child is safe, stand firm and keep the goodbye process as short as possible.
Make Reunions Special
Much effort is put into the goodbye process, but establishing a reunion routine can also help calm a child's separation anxiety because it gives them something they can consistently look forward to.
For example, maybe you could have a special handshake or if you arrive at the center early enough, this routine could be a few minutes of playtime with some of the toys the child played with for the day. These small acts give the child something to look forward to and more importantly, give them greater confidence that you will return as you always do.
Separation anxiety is not something that will go away overnight. However, with your efforts, things will get better. Be patient and give your child the time they need to work through this anxiety.
Contact a company like Kidstown Drop-In Child Care Center for more information and assistance.