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Separation Anxiety: Helpful Tips for Parents

This page is part of our School Newsletter Inserts section.
Use these short articles in your school newsletters throughout the school year.

Starting kindergarten is a big step. During times of change or starting new routines, children may show more intense reactions to separation. Common signs of separation anxiety are crying and clinging when you leave. This is normal. Being sensitive to your child’s feelings and working to provide reassurances for them will help the transition.

Helpful tips to deal with separation anxiety:

  • Develop a regular morning routine. Wake your child up early so the morning does not feel rushed. Make time for a healthy breakfast and drop your child off at a consistent time each day.
  • Always say goodbye. Let your child know you are leaving and you will always return. Tell your child when you will return in concrete ways he or she can understand. “Mommy is going now; I will pick you up after school.”
  • Develop a regular goodbye ritual. Choose something that is comforting for your child. Blowing kisses, a hug, or waving good-bye can be reassuring for your child during separation.
  • Show confidence. Tell your child he or she will be okay, he or she can handle this and he or she will have fun. Link to the next time you will be together “When we get home tonight, we will play at the park before dinner”
  • Exit quickly and without hesitation. Goodbyes are easier if the parent is decisive and calm.

As your child gets more comfortable with his or her new school environment he or she will find it easier to settle into the day and adjust to a new routine. The kissing hand (external link) is a heartwarming story you and your child might find helpful.