With a new school year comes a lot of separations. Some for kids and some for parents. Kids suffering from separation anxiety in preschool all the way to parents struggling to say goodbye to their kids leaving for college; the tears are certainly flowing this time of year!
At each developmental stage there is a new level of separation that takes place. When a child is born, weans, walks, goes off to school, every developmental level, leaving for college, etc...these are all new levels of letting go.
Separation anxiety is perfectly normal at certain stages of development and also for kids with anxiety or who are highly sensitive. If you have concerns about your child's separation anxiety, don't hesitate to check in with your school professionals or give me a call to check to see if what's happening sounds healthy and appropriate.
Separation anxiety can also be a good thing. It tells me that there is a healthy attachment bond between parent and child, which is a very good thing!
How do we help our kids through it?
When I used to leave my kids when they were little, I would sing the Hap Palmer song "Mommy Comes Back". You can sing any song that is special to you and then sing it again when you return. It will be comforting to your child. At preschool, have your child push you out the door with the promise of your return (be specific about when...right after lunch, after rest time, etc...)
For parents, it is so important to remember not to show YOUR anxiety about separations in front of your child. That will only add to his/her struggle.
Remember that every stage of raising kids is about teaching them to separate from you and become independent. It's painful and beautiful all at the same time.