Toddlers and Separation Anxiety 

Our Toddler class is beginning a new stage of growth as they are having their first time at school without their parents or primary guardians.  The children are learning that separation is only temporary and we find the children feel anxious and upset when their parents or primary caregivers leave and are out of sight.  

This indicates to us teachers that your child is developing healthy and has developed a strong bond with you which is important in his future social skills with others.  I have observed how parents treat separation positively.  In one situation, I noticed how one parent will always assure her child of the reason she needs to go and then confirm that she will be returning  and ask her child if she understands.  In this situation the child has been able to separation with little or no anxiety separation. The parent shows compassion and understanding.  Each child may respond differently but from experience it is important to convey trust that your child can do this. 

Another helpful way that I feel that has had a positive effect on easing anxiety separation has been to allow parents in the classroom during the first few weeks.  This has been helpful to the children in getting acquainted with the teachers and school environment.  This has given the child an opportunity to know their teachers and not feel like she is a stranger.  Children are learning to develop trust in adults outside of people in their own family circle.  

The children are becoming more independent, some may take longer than others but all will eventually reach the goal.  We work with each child individually.  Some children may be comforted in different ways such as by being held, or holding to a comfort toy, others prefer space.  But all have the same basic needs to feel loved, compassion and understanding.  

 We are working closely with each child and parent, once they know the routine.  We encourage parents to say good-bye quickly and to remain calm and positive as the child will take the clues from the parent that all is well.  You can trust the teacher, you can trust I will be back in time, you can trust that it will be fun.  You can do it! 

by Teacher Nancy