A mistake I made as a first-time parent

A mistake I made as a first-time parent

We assure our preschoolers in so many ways that we’ll always be there for them, so to suddenly disappear on them can be really frightening. Share this one with your whanau so they can learn a better way.

New caregiving arrangements can be really tricky for children. Even children who are very established in a preschool can go through a new phase of separation anxiety for a variety of reasons. We have to expect that tears and non-compliance behaviours can happen at these times.

Remember: all behaviour is communication. Our children are communicating to us with these behaviours - “I’m feeling unsure - please help me to adjust”. The least we can do is be patient and be consistent in our daily routine to support that adjustment.

Strategies:

  1. 1. Believe in yourself and your choices. You trust these adults you’re leaving them with. Your child will pick up on your hesitation if you have any.
  2. 2.Believe in your child. They can do this!
  3. 3.Don’t oversell it. You don’t need to say “you’ll have so much fun” - it sounds persuasive and they’ll know there’s something up. Just be honest. “It’s a preschool day today - I’ll drop you off and Nana will pick you up”.
  4. 4. Separate confidently. “I love you, see you at afternoon tea” is more reassuring than “don’t worry I’ll be back soon, it’ll be ok”.
  5. 5.Acknowledge their feelings. “It’s hard to say goodbye. You don’t want me to leave. I must, but I can’t wait to see you at pick up time and hear about your day.”
  6. 6. Leave. Don't draw it out.


You've got this. Share your own experiences in the comments to help other parents going through seperation anxiety!

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