Parenthood brings with it many anxieties, a big one being separation anxiety, which comes on when it is time for your little one to begin his or her educational journey. When the first day of pre-school is around the corner, emotions run high with both Moms and Dads. There is a lot of internal dialogue, and thoughts are racing – will my child be safe at school? Will he or she manage to stay away from me? Who will make sure he or she eats their meal, uses the bathroom, doesn’t start crying… the list is endless!
And unknowingly, in a bid to handle their anxieties, we start talking to others in the family about these fears. As a result, even when we are talking to our children, we often think we’re helping the situation by telling the child not to cry when he or she is in school.
So unknowingly, you are creating and spreading anxious vibrations in the immediate environment of the child by being anxious, indulging in anxious conversations with others and with the child. Though talking to your peers helps, but it is important to not let their fears, if any, rub off on you.
Stay calm, and spread positivity. Here are some workable strategies that you can use to make the transition easier, for you and your child.
Practice Positive Affirmations
Pre-school is very safe. Teachers are responsible, and will take good care of my child. I have complete faith and belief that my child will settle very soon. My child will be happy at school and will manage his/her day at pre-school beautifully. All is well in my world.
Talk things Up
Always talk positively about school in front of the child. Add a lot of excitement while talking about school, stressing on new experiences like new friends, play mates, a big play ground, fun activities, and more. Avoid saying things like “I hope you won’t cry when you are away from mama.”
Involve the Child
Involve the child when prepping for school; take them shopping. Let him or her pick out a bag, a bottle, a tiffin.
D Day Do’s
When you go and drop the child off to school, never sneak out without saying a proper goodbye. This makes the child insecure. Indulge in a brief good bye, with a positive energy and wish them a great day. Avoid overloading your child with snacks to compensate for your absence. Pack a small, child sized portion. Never offer bribes as a reward for good behaviour. Promising a toy or a treat in return for not crying in school is a big no-no! Stress that in the event of him or her soiling, there will be nice teachers and didis to help change them.
The TEA System
A lot lies in your hands. If you want your little ones to settle in fast, you need to keep your TEA system in place – Thoughts, Emotions and Actions. Your attitude is projected on the child, and helps him or her decide how they want to react to pre-school.
Wishing you peace, happiness and energy in this journey of yours as a parent.
Image source: Corbis