Just when you thought your preschoolers had FINALLY settled in – along came the holidays! They’re out of sorts from the excitement, more visits to family and friends’ homes, more visitors, the lights, the shopping, the COOKIES! Some may have taken time off from preschool for vacation and some preschools have been closed for a week.
Now, that’s over. Everything should be back to normal, the way it was before all the excitement took over, right? Well, in many cases – wrong! You might see separation anxiety in several of your children.
At the beginning of the year, the cause of this anxiety is due to the newness and fear of the unknown:
- The newness of being in preschool for the first time.
- The newness of being BACK in preschool after having the summer off.
- The newness of spending your day with a group of other children they’ve not met before.
- The fear that their parent will not return to pick them up.
- The fear of not knowing what to do if they have to go to the bathroom.
- The fear or not knowing if or when they will eat all day!
The list goes on!
At this time of year, the same fears may exist for some of your children. For many, separation anxiety is caused from a “let down” of sorts. Their emotions and excitement of the holidays kick in. Their schedule is let down, or slower, after a busy week or more of visiting family. They may now be missing those who were visiting, missing being home with Mom or Dad or Grandma every day, getting used to a new schedule again.
The good news is they are already familiar and comfortable with your classroom, the other children and you, so the anxiety will be shorter lived. However, whether it’s a day or several days – separation anxiety is tough and at this time of year, it’s surprising and a little shocking to parents! Help them through it the same way you did at the beginning of the year.
Help the children by:
- Planning Ahead
- Meeting and Greeting as they arrive
- Acknowledging Their Fears
- Reassuring Them
Help the parents by:
- Providing Support
- Calling or texting them when needed
Learn more about how to provide these helps and about the causes of Separation Anxiety.
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