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Starting school is a huge milestone for your child and for YOU. There’s a huge associated emotional impact associated with the transition. It’s an exciting time that is often tinged with fear and anxiety. It’s a signal that your child is gaining in independence and that can entail a sense of loss.
Your child might experience separation anxiety and feel daunted by this new challenge. Often, young children can’t verbalise this anxiety and it can be a stressful time if you don’t know how to handle it.
Here are some tips to make the process a little easier:
2) Read books about starting school and coping with separation anxiety
3) Get creative
Put phones on silent or in flight mode. Take some time out to prepare. Think about relaxation rituals that have worked well for your child in the past, such as a warm bath. Try turning off the “big” light and focusing on a lava lamp. Listen to a relaxing meditation together, such as this one. Pop a teddy on their belly and ask them to notice what happens as they breathe in and out. Exhaling calms the nervous system, this is a fun way to enourage it. Talk them through what to expect. Use coping talk “you are brave”. Acknowledge that they might be feeling sad, but emphasise that you know that they will be just fine.
8) Be kind to yourself
We all respond differently when we are upset or worried. Some people like to distract themselves.
You might have to go to work. See if you can grab a coffee with a colleague who will empathise with how you are feeling.
Either way, be selective about who you surround yourself with. Don’t engage with anyone who discounts or minimises how important this is to you.
9) Be on time for collection
Turn up on time to collect your child, but stay out of sight until the teacher is ready to release the children. This communicates that your child can trust you to return. It is really distressing for a young child if there is no-one there to collect them at the appointed time.
Make sure to follow through if you have promised to mark the occasion together in a special way.