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Back to School Separation Anxiety: Easing the Transition

It’s here!  However, for those who are concerned about back to school separation anxiety, this may be an anxious day. If you’re in the latter group, we’re here to help, with tips for easing the back to school transition.

Back to School Separation Anxiety

Helping Your Child Adjust to Preschool is a must-read if your kids are little. Many of the tips we shared, like bringing your child along to shop for supplies or spending lots of time together outside of school, also apply to older children. It’s normal for children to feel anxious when separating from their parents throughout the preschool and early elementary years.

Even if your child successfully navigated the transition to preschool, the transition to kindergarten may present a few hiccups. Also, kids who struggled with back to school separation anxiety last year may go through it again this year, after a long summer break. Being prepared in advance with tools and techniques can help make the transition easier for everyone.

Resources from AnxietyBC

AnxietyBC has some great resources for tackling anxiety for children and parents. Their new resource, Separation Anxiety During the First Days of Kindergarten is full of tips for parents and caregivers. And while these tips are geared towards parents of kindergartners, many of them apply towards older children as well, particularly those who may be starting a new school.

Some highlights from the resource include helping your child work out their fears through play, reading books about starting school, visiting the school playground and giving your child an item of yours to hold on to during the day. Even things like making sure that your little one has a good meal before going to school and that they have proper clothes for playing at school can help ease the back to school separation anxiety.

Calm and Confident

One of the most important things you can do for your child to ease back to school separation anxiety is to remain calm and confident, especially at drop-off. An anxious child isn’t misbehaving or being difficult on purpose. Plus, little ones often take their emotional cues from adults. By keeping in mind that this is a normal experience for many children, and expressing confidence in your child as you model calmness, you’re helping to set the stage for a successful transition.

School separation anxiety can crop up at a variety of times. By arming yourself with tips and tools in advance, you’re helping to make this big step for your child as easy and happy as possible.

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