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How To Help Your Child With Daycare Separation Anxiety

daycare anxiety

For young children, being separated from their parents can be a traumatizing experience.  When a parent leaves a child behind, even if it’s just to pop out of the room, run to the store, or head out to work for the day, the child may believe that they’ll never see their parent again.  It’s for this reason that separation anxiety occurs.



Once the child is enrolled in daycare, separation anxiety can take on a new dimension because the child is being left in a foreign environment.  Rather than the parent leaving the child at home while they attend to their obligations, the parent is now leaving the child in an unfamiliar situation which can cause even more anxiety.  Fortunately there are things you can do to help. In this article we’ll go over some ideas on how to help your child with daycare separation anxiety.


Make A Pre-Visit


If it’s possible to bring your child to the daycare centre to meet the carers and see what the environment entails they won’t be walking into a completely unfamiliar situation the first time you need to leave them there.  They may actually look forward to visiting again and actually staying once they’ve seen the room, the toys and met the carers.


Practice An Efficient Goodbye


By practicing a short and sweet goodbye several times before going to daycare your child will know what to expect when you’re leaving.  Creating a consistent ritual will allow your child to understand what’s happening and know that you’ll be back to say “Hello” again after a short while.  Monitoring your own emotions and body language can also play a role in your child’s acceptance of the situation.


Leave Them With A Keepsake


Giving your child something that reminds them of you can act as a talisman that wards of separation anxiety.  It could be something as simple as a small piece of jewelry, clothing or even a photo. Having such a memento can give your child something to refer to when they’re feeling nervous or upset.  You can also advise the carers of this memento so they can use it if the need arises.

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