The first day of preschool is thrilling, but it may also be stressful for young children.
This post will provide you with six suggestions for assisting your child with separation anxiety on this special day.
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First Day Of Preschool
You’ve done your homework, visited all the preschools in your region, talked to a lot of parents, and finally decided on one for your child.
It’s time to begin preschool. Your child has been briefed on the importance of the first day of preschool and has been sent to bed early.
So, are you looking forward to the first day of pre-k?
If you’re like most parents, you’re looking forward to the first day of preschool (or daycare).
This is most likely the first time you will be away from your kid for an extended period of time.
It’s difficult for you, but it’s far more difficult for your child.
Starting preschool could be both joyful and nerve-racking. People may continue to tell you stories about how their preschool children sobbed for weeks or months before settling into their new environment.
- … but it is natural for children to cry on the first day of nursery school.
- … screams and sobs are natural.
- … separation anxiety (see strange situation) in preschoolers is common.
- … gradually, they will stop, and the kid will adjust to his or her new surroundings
- … All you have to do is prepare and get used to it.
Experience vs Science
Many well-intentioned people, even experienced instructors, will advise you to drop off, say goodbye, and then go as fast as possible without looking back.
The first day of preschool could be hectic and upsetting for instructors as well. It’s reasonable that kids desire less distraction and for their parents to stay out of the way.
Most children’s will cease sobbing after seeing their parents depart within five minutes.
In the view of adults, this technique has shown to be effective.
However, a method that appears to work for adults (because it allows us to go about our business) is not necessarily the greatest for our children.
Aside from the impression of it “working,” many people like this ripping-off-the-band-aid technique because it appears to make logic. We’ve all experienced that “get it over with” moment.
However, this is not the appropriate parallel in this situation.
For instance, the brain functions quite differently from the skin.
Your children’s brain has the ability to think, contemplate, and feel emotions. The skin, however, cannot.
Treating a person’s brain as if it were skin is akin to advising an aeroplane pilot to fly a plane by “paddling and retaining balance.” It’s not just naïve, but also risky.
The first day of preschool does not have to be a big deal. Sending a three-year-old to preschool could be a rewarding experience.
See also: Help Your Child With School Challenges
In the next part, we’ll look at ways to assist your toddler adjust to this momentous day.
Some of the advice is counter-intuitive or unconventional, yet it is supported by substantial study by psychologists and experts.
The advancement of technology and brain research has provided us with a wealth of information about child development. This new understanding helps us comprehend previously misinterpreted child behavior, dispels outdated preconceptions, and allows us to raise healthier and happier children.
How To Ease Seperation Anxiety At Preschool Drop Off
Plan To Spend Time There
When preparing for your preschooler’s big day, you may hear a lot of advice from experienced parents.
You may have heard that parents should not stay too long. Otherwise, the separation would be more difficult, and the kid would be less inclined to interact with the new people and surroundings.
As a result, advice #1 is diametrically opposed to conventional wisdom.
A kid learns about the world via observation and experimentation.
What would you think if you were a child still trying to figure out the world, and you were taken to a strange area and the person you trusted the most departed right away?
Would you believe…
“I’m currently in good hands. I should believe these new individuals because Mommy instructed me to”, or
“Oh no, Mommy run aways. Is this a dangerous neighbourhood? “Who are these individuals?”
Most younger toddlers would freak out.
They are afraid of separation and are concerned about what this new environment would entail.
They don’t comprehend why you’re leaving, why they’ve been abandoned, or what these new people and new locations will do to them.
It was harmful for a young kid to be separated from her parents from an evolutionary standpoint.
Separation anxiety is a highly beneficial feature that our genes have instilled in us since it was necessary for helpless young children to stay near to their parents in order to live.
That is why the lower brain’s separation distress mechanism is genetically built to be hypersensitive.
Adults learn to suppress this system and put it under cognitive control with the development of the frontal lobes, which does not occur until our mid-twenties.
Your kid, on the other hand, is not there yet. In reality, they are still years away from being able to govern their intellect reliably.
As a result, your toddler’s anxiety is understandable.
It does not imply that she is weak, pampered, needy, or clinging.
If your child is screaming and whining at the initial drop-off, remain with him for a little longer.
Most professors will advise you to simply quit.
But what if you’re the child, and you don’t want to be abandoned while you’re in trouble?
Although separation anxiety (see strange situation) is a typical aspect of toddlerhood, we should neither ignore it or let it run its course.
When a child feels rejected or abandoned, the regions of his brain that are aroused are the same parts of his brain that are affected by physical pain. That is, the anguish of rejection is analogous to physical pain.
We should not overlook a children’s emotional anguish from separation in the same way that we would ignore a children’s physical discomfort.
Responding to their children’s suffering has been linked to improved social-emotional competence and the establishment of secure attachment 3. Consistent responsive parenting has also been linked to quicker cognitive and social development in young children.
Not every toddler has significant separation anxiety (see strange situation).
If your child has had enough prior preparation and maturity, he or she could be able to comprehend what preschool is all about and will not cry much.
In this instance, all you need to do is confirm your return date with your preschooler.
Children who are younger or have a more difficult time will require extra assistance. DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED TO LEAVE YOUR CHILD BECAUSE THE TEACHERS SAY IT’S OK.
Hug Hugs and More Hugs
When we are anxious, our lower brain releases the stress hormone cortisol to prepare our bodies for a fight-or-flight response.
Hugging is one of the most efficient techniques to assist a distressed child.
Hugging or holding allows the release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that can cause cortisol levels to decline.
No stealthy disappearance – A sneaky disappearance may make the parents feel better since they will not have to deal with the children’s heartbreaking screams.
Being abandoned, on the other hand, undermines the children’s faith in you.
So don’t simply run away. To develop trust, make sure you say goodbye before you leave.
Some parents create a goodbye routine to make the leaving a little simpler and more enjoyable (e.g. goodbye song, goodbye handshake, etc.)
Even if your child doesn’t know how to read the clock, point to it and tell him when you’ll be back to pick him up (and mean it!).
It is critical that he understands you will return at some time.
See also: Conquer Back-To-School Anxiety
Ask Teacher To Help
It is not always possible for parents to remain for a lengthy amount of time. Even if you’ve been there for an hour to assist your child adjust, she may still be angry.
If your kid hasn’t calmed down by the time you need to go, have a caring instructor hold her.
Request that the teacher spend time talking to her and soothing her.
When the holding period finishes, your kid should not be sobbing or particularly nervous.
Young children are unable to adequately manage their own emotions. They will require a great deal of outside assistance to do this.
Keep Days Shorter At First
On the first day, pick up the child as soon as possible.
Slowly increase his stay time over the next several days to ease him into a full-day programme.
Even though a child appears to be in good health, this does not imply that he is.
Cortisol has a 24-hour cycle. It is normally higher in the morning and decreases during the day. Despite the lack of visible discomfort from the outside, studies reveal that young toddlers in childcare have cortisol levels that rise rather than decline throughout the day.
A kid can be distressed without crying or showing signs of stress.
His emotions are just hidden or locked up.
This is especially frequent in societies where weeping in children, particularly males, is frowned upon.
To make matters worse, children who do not look unhappy are unlikely to receive the necessary consolation, extending the internal dysregulation.
A persistently high cortisol level might cause hypersensitivity of a children’s distress response system and a slew of health problems later in life.
Even if the child is no longer screaming or appears to be doing well, it is still preferable to have shorter days at initially.
Be supportive and patient while dropping off or picking up the child, even if she isn’t acting her best.
A kid should be able to see preschool as a good experience. Her regular behavior will not be condemned or scolded here.
Positive early life experiences lay a crucial basis for a children’s brain development.
Preparing For Preschool
For many families, preschool provides their children’s first significant opportunity to develop or improve social skills. However, it could be the parent’s first opportunity to be socially assessed as to whether we are suitable parents (by teachers, of all people). We may feel compelled to do what other parents do or what the “authority” instructs us to do. However, being a good parent entails making decisions that are in our children’s best interests. Do the right thing and show your child how not to give in to peer pressure.
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Need More Parenting Help?
Register For A FREE Parenting Class
Register for a free class called GET KIDS TO LISTEN THE RIGHT WAY; an exclusive FREE class from nationally recognized parenting coach, Amy McCready.
“GENTLE PARENTING IS A LIFESTYLE THAT EMBRACES BOTH YOUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR, NOT ONLY TOWARDS YOUR CHILDREN, BUT TO YOURSELF TOO“— SARA HOCKWELL-SMITH
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