Is your child crying before school?
If your children do not cry when you drop them off at school, then you are the lucky parent; but if you are the one whose children don’t want to go to school, then this article is for you. The main reason behind the crying is separation anxiety. Until the school starts children spend most of the time with their parents, and the thought of separation is very painful to them. Other than separation anxiety, it can be stranger anxiety, workload, peer pressure, less sleep or your child is being bullied at school. Young children lack sufficient problem-solving skills, they cannot solve the problem on their own. Not wanting to go to school is their way of solving the problem. It is a parent’s responsibility to identify the problem correctly and investigate every possibility.
Children that young usually suffer from separation anxiety, it is actually normal and can also be a sign that your baby’s development is on right track. It is normal for your young children to feel sad at the time of separation and so they usually cry at their first time. There is no faster way to solve this problem; parents should help their children with understanding and patience to get rid of it and the problem will fade away as time passes. Parents have to understand their children and work with them on simple strategies on them.
Your child may be also suffering from stranger anxiety; separation and stranger anxiety can go head to head but are two different things. Stranger anxiety is when your children are anxious to see strange and unfamiliar faces. Parents should not confuse them with one another and will have to identify which one is it. To determine that its separation anxiety or not, you have to know what happens after you leave. Involve your child’s class teacher in the process, ask them about the in-school behaviour, if your child calms down that means he/she can cope with your absence. If it is stranger anxiety, you need to develop your child’s socialising skills. Make them meet with different people, ask your friends to take part in this exercise. Slowly and gradually, your child will be free from it.
Drop your children with a smile and don’t over react. Asking your children “are they going to be ok?” with tearful eyes will force them to think that something bad is going to happen while you’re gone. Don’t give them a promise of a reward, as it is not going to work. Parents have to show their children that going away to school is perfectly normal. Parents should be confident and happy while saying goodbyes. Say some positive reassuring words like, “I’ll be back soon” or “have fun with your classmates”. Such words make your children feel safe.
Before the first day at school, start explaining your children what’s going to happen. Make them feel excited about it. Every tiny detail, how you will drop them and from where you will pick them up. Start a good-bye ritual with your children. Nothing makes them happier than doing the same thing in the same way every day. Generate a special way of saying goodbye, like hugging or kissing before. This daily goodbye ritual routine makes them feel comfortable and they are eager to experience that routine every day. Play games that include separations like peek-a-boo or hide and seek or give them their favourite toy and do your daily chores. Go to another room and jump back in, then after some days increase the time between your exits and entrances. These little things will develop your child coping skills.
Remember that it is just a phase, which can come and go repeatedly. Even if your children did not cry at the start but a sudden change of their preschool teacher can trigger the crybaby. It may take weeks or month. Have patience, this too shall pass.