Preschoolers and Anxiety

Starting preschool is a major milestone for both the child as well as the parents. This milestone is generally associated with lots of crying, as well as excitement on both sides. Unfortunately, this milestone is also generally linked to separation anxiety again on both sides, the parents and the child. The children are anxious as they do not know what to expect and it is their first time in a new environment which has a different set of rules and routines for them to get accustomed to. While on the other hand parents worry that the child may feel a sense of abandonment which is the sole cause of anxiety in parents.

Read through these points which can help ease into preschool for both you and your children.

  1. Be strong

The initial reaction of your children upon entering preschool will generally involve crying and them not willing to let go of you. What many moms do is, upon seeing that their child or children are crying they immediately come to their aid and sooth them or even at times decide to take them back home. We acknowledge that this is a big milestone and there is anxiety rooted in separation in both parties but you must be strong and let the child have a chance to get used to this new environment and start learning new it’s new rules and routines. We also suggest that to make the daily goodbyes easier for both the parents and the children, the parents must tell their children that they will be picking them up at the end of the day and then reinforce the same when they show up and make them understand that you kept your promise. How this helps is by making the children believe the parent will show up at the end of school and hence they will be more relaxed when being dropped off at school in the mornings.

  1. Communicate with the teacher.

Early learning for children is generally has a two-pronged approach, wherein they spend about half their day in preschool and the other half at home thereby making it mandatory for both the palace to work in unison for the benefit of the child. You as a parent must tell the teacher any information you deem relevant to the teacher which will enable her to better communicate with your children. It is also necessary for the teacher to know what technique is most effective to help calm your child. Also, take regular feedback from the teacher and work hand in hand.

  1. Comfort objects and their importance.

Every child has a favorite toy, blanket or even their daily Sippy cups with their favorite drink could be their comfort object. These comfort objects remind them of home and the emotions attached to the home, i.e. safety, security, and warmth. Having something which can calm you and reassure you when you are in a foreign environment is essential for children. They need to be relaxed and calm and overcome their anxiety in order for them to be in a state to learn new things and imbibe any knowledge the teacher is imparting.

  1. Leave gradually and not abruptly.

The separation is hard on both the parent and the child hence in order to ensure this process of separation moves smoothly it must be a slow and gradual process. We recommend that the mom stays with the child for the first ten days of preschool. The ten days is a general number and it is different for every child and hence it is essential that you decide base on how the child reacts. The mom is only to be an observer at the preschool and not engage with the child and the toys. Once you notice your child is busy with a certain activity that is your queue to leave. But before you leave, ensure that you bid goodbye and have a ritual which could be anything from a special handshake to a hug.

  1. Resist your urge to frequently check on your children.

Separation is hard but it generally gets easier for the kids once they start making friends and get busy with the various activities designed to keep them occupied. It is the parents who cannot resist the urge to check-up on their children from work or wherever it is they are. In order for your child to get accustomed to the new environment, he must learn to be independent and can do so if he is given the time and space.

  1. Refrain from comparing your child with other children.

It is if never a good idea to try and enforce a certain behavior or to try and prove a point to your child by comparing their behavior with that of other children. Recognize that your child is unique and that they will react to things differently. You have to be patient and soon you will find a way that will work with your child.

23 thoughts on “Preschoolers and Anxiety

  • August 6, 2018 at 9:04 am
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    You make some valid points.
    I did the same when I put my daughter in the daycare. It’s tough but you have to do it.

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  • August 6, 2018 at 9:14 am
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    Kids going into preschool is part of the growing up process. These are great tips for parents and any parent should follow through and before you knew it, the child is independant and stay happily at the preschool.

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  • August 6, 2018 at 1:33 pm
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    The worst day of any kid will be the day that mom will leave them at pre-school. I recall how my young brother cried and had to go back with us since mom didn’t have much to prepare with the transition. But I agree, leaving gradually always works!

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  • August 6, 2018 at 1:51 pm
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    Preschoolers feel like it’s their worst day when mom leaves them a pre-school. I recall how we had to actually go back with my younger brother since he could not stop crying. But even so, parents should make kids get used to that by not checking up on them frequently.

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  • August 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm
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    My younger son will be starting preschool in 2 weeks and I’m struggling with this. Since it isn’t my first time dropping a kiddo off I know that I’ll at least be strong enough to leave him, but I do stress about how he will handle it.

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  • August 6, 2018 at 6:38 pm
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    These are tips that would have helped me. My middle child had a hard time separating from me.

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  • August 6, 2018 at 7:44 pm
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    This is so great! I know it is really hard to not want to check up on them so many times but it is probably best not too to help them feel that sense of normalcy.

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  • August 6, 2018 at 9:10 pm
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    I remember these days. My kids could be somewhat nervous, but then they got used to it. Made my life so much easier.

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  • August 7, 2018 at 12:40 am
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    These are great pieces of advice. Especially not checking up on your children constantly.

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  • August 7, 2018 at 4:02 am
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    It was so hard to leave my first when he would cry at preschool. It got easier with the next kids, because I knew they’d come home happy…it’s good for them to mingle at that age, I think. But it’s still hard when you’re dropping them off. I agree, communicating w/the teacher is a must.

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  • August 7, 2018 at 8:43 am
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    This reminded e of my first day in school. Everyone around me was crying and I was so happy, confident. I now agree with all these points you have mentioned here..

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  • August 7, 2018 at 11:13 am
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    When I first went to school it was traumatizing for me That was over 25 years ago but I remember it all so clear, I honestly think I was scared from it I am so glad parents now recognize these things and there are coping strategies to help kids, It can be so hard for their little minds to understand

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  • August 7, 2018 at 2:08 pm
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    OH I can remember how terrified I was entering preschool. I was so shy and cried terribly when my mom left with me all the strangers!

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  • August 7, 2018 at 2:10 pm
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    I do love reading this post and these are great tips that need to keep in mind. I agree that you need to do it gradually if you are going to leave your child. I am glad that I don’t have any problem with my daughter when she was in pre-school.

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  • August 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm
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    starting school can be pretty stressful indeed. And your age does not really change that. Communicating with the teacher does help!

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  • August 7, 2018 at 9:36 pm
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    My three boys had a smooth pre school experience. I just wish my two little ones will have the same experience.

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  • August 8, 2018 at 3:46 am
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    Great advice! It’s so hard to let them go knowing they are scared and nervous. I remember w hen my kids first started pre-school and cried when I left. Then I found out that they were fine 5 minutes after I left!

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  • August 8, 2018 at 5:04 am
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    Great post! This reminded me of my first day in school. My class teacher were really friendly. I agree, communicating with the teacher is a must.

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  • August 8, 2018 at 5:25 am
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    These are some great tips for helping preschoolers adjust to school. My daughter adjusted very well. Like she was ready for years.

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  • August 8, 2018 at 1:05 pm
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    These are great tips and I remember my kids preschool years well. I think I was as anxious as they were. In fact, I started volunteering at school to be with the kids during the day. I wouldn’t do that today though.

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  • August 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm
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    Great tips. I remember when my girls started school. They are older now, and I still feel anxious for them. They in the other hand are much more chilled about going to school. It gets better as they grow up.

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  • August 8, 2018 at 10:07 pm
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    these are all wonderful tips, while my mom says that when she first took me to preschool she had more anxiety than I did. I was apparently super chill and ready to go and she was the one crying and trying to make sure I was okay.

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  • August 10, 2018 at 4:29 am
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    I almost think leaving quickly is better than leaving slowly. My boys have always been good about it though.

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