Preschool is a pretty big deal for young children. For many, it is the first time they are away from their mum for a long period of time and new and unfamiliar surroundings can be daunting.
If a toddler crying and refusing to go to school sounds familiar, they are likely suffering from separation anxiety; thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to make it easier on both of you.
Don’t make a fuss
When it comes to dropping your preschooler off, give them a hug and a kiss, tell them to have a lovely day and walk out the door. Don’t hover around waiting for them to start crying or fretting because seeing you standing there will cause them to become anxious.
Get someone else to drop them
If it is starting to get too much, say your goodbyes at home and have a family member or a friend drop them off, at least for the first few weeks. For most kids, it’s not that they don’t want to go to school it’s that they don’t want to leave you, so make the transition easier by taking yourself out of the equation.
Don’t leave them waiting
If your little one is having trouble settling into school, being late at pick up will make them feel worse. Make sure they aren’t the last to be collected and, if possible, be the first in the queue when the classroom door opens.
Make friends for them
Your little one will go into school a lot easier if they know they have plenty of friends to play with. So, while waiting for the doors to open, talk to the other mothers and kids and introduce your little one to them. This is especially important if your toddler is shy.
Don’t show emotion
Leaving your child in preschool can be emotional for mum too, but it is important you hide your emotions. If you are clearly upset about leaving your little one, they will become worried and start to fret when it comes to saying goodbye. Kids pick up on their parent’s emotions so keep it in check.
Talk to the teacher
The teacher will be well aware that your little one is having trouble settling or leaving you, so talk to them about what they think is the best route for you to go down. For most kids, it is simply a matter of getting used to school, which can take a little bit of time.