How Do We Handle Separation Anxiety at Daycare?
As a parent you may be very interested to know how separation anxiety is handled at your childs daycare. And, if you dont know the answer you definitely need to ask. Most daycares are licensed and accredited and have licensed teachers. This means most daycares handle separation anxiety in the same or similar manner. Then there are those daycares that are not educated in the best way to handle separation anxiety and so they do whatever it takes to calm the child.
The following overview will give you a basic idea of how most daycares will approach separation anxiety. However this overview does not mean that is how your childs daycare actually handles it so you should always ask the daycare director to know for sure.
First of all, separation anxiety develops between eight months and one year of age. This means when a parent tries to leave their child with someone unfamiliar the child will cry, scream, and basically have a tantrum. This is difficult for parents, children, and daycare workers. So, if you can try and avoid leaving your child with a stranger the first time during this age. If you must, the following coping mechanisms work well.
Daycares will ask you to drop your child off when he is not sleepy or hungry. This will help your child be less cranky when you are saying goodbye. Add a little bit of extra time into your day so you can calm your child and say goodbye properly. Daycares dont want you to drop your kid off and run. This makes your child even more upset so try and plan some extra time for a goodbye.
Many daycares will also ask you to practice with your child. So, if you are going back to work in three weeks you can begin dropping your child off at daycare and staying with him for a couple hours once or twice a week. That way your child will become accustomed to the environment and caregivers.
Be consistent. Daycare workers may tell your child that you are coming back after lunch, but then after lunch if you arent there your child will lose it again. So, if you tell your child you will reappear after lunch every day he understands that as soon as he eats lunch his mommy will return. Dont break this routine. Just stay consistent and your child will learn that you will return when you say you will.
Daycares also do their best to help parents say goodbye to their little ones and then get the child entertained as quickly as possible. Entertaining the child will help change their focus and while they wont forget about you they will be able to make the transition a bit easier.