Dear Center Families,

We continue to grow and if you are new to the center, welcome! It has been so exciting to start the new year meeting all the new children joining our classrooms. Like we sometimes see when children “move up” after Labor Day to their new preschool classroom, we have seen a bit more anxiety lately with new children during morning drop off. Clinging behavior, tears, and the inability to go to sleep (for a nap or at bedtime) are very common behaviors of separation anxiety, particularly between 5 months and 3 years.

Recently, Heather Corriveau, our site counselor and social worker, talked to a worried parent about drop off. Heather reassured the mom that when starting at a daycare, a child can begin to have anxiety from separation, but that this is normal. Usually within four weeks, these symptoms subside as the child learns the new routine and is reassured daily that their parent/primary caregiver will come back for them each day. Heather shared some great tips in a handout that I thought I would pass on here:

• Keep to the routine. Try to do the same drop off and pick up times every day.
• When dropping off your child, give them your full attention. Be loving and provide affection.
• Create a quick good-bye ritual (i.e., triple kiss on the forehead at the cubby). Remember that the longer the good-bye process, the longer the transition time and anxiety will last.
• Be consistent because a routine (the when, where, what, and how) can help ease the anxiety as it builds confidence and trust in their independence from you.
• Allow the child to carry a picture of you. (We can also laminate a picture and have it in the room for the child to look at whenever they want to see you).
• Be specific with how you talk with your child. Remember saying a pick-up time like “2:30” is an abstract concept to them. A better way is to say you will be back “after nap” or “before snack”. If you are not sure about the classroom routine, talk to the teacher regarding what terms are used in class and which ones would be perfect for your child to understand regarding pick up.
• Practice being apart in short time segments. Have friends or family provide childcare for you (even for one hour) so that you can have chances to show your child that you will come back when you say you will. Practice the good-bye ritual then too.

And if concerns persist, don’t hesitate to talk to us so that we can work together and ensure that the transitions your child experiences at the beginning and end of their day with us are positive and joyful!

Sincerely,
TERI ANN

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