Separation Anxiety: How to manage your child school drop off anxiety?
Does your heart break when you drop your anxious child off at school?

Starting ‘big’ school can be really stressful

Starting school for the first time can be such a stressful time for both you and your child. Looking at their woebegone tear-stained face as they cling on to you when you leave them at the school gate or in the classroom can be truly heart-breaking.

Of course some children take going to school for the first time completely in their stride. Usually, but not always, these are the children who are used to going to pre-school or being dropped off with other relatives or friends.

When you leave them

Whatever you do and however hard you are finding it, try to keep your emotions under control as you part. Give them a big smile and a wave when you go

Reassure them that you will be there to collect them at the end of the afternoon and remind them of exactly where they will meet you.

If they are still crying when you leave the after a day or two, check with the teacher how long it takes for them to settle in after you’ve actually gone. Very often you will discover that even after a few minutes they calm down and get interested in some activity or another. Very often it is the moment of parting that is the most distressing so do your best to make it short and sweet.

If they don’t settle after a while and continue to be unhappy after you’ve gone, of course speak with the teacher and, right now, scroll down to last three paragraphs of this blog and learn about my audio I love school. It could be the answer.

During the day

If you are feeling very emotional about it yourself, plan something nice for you to do, preferably something that involves using your mind, or being with friends or doing something active so you yourself don’t spend the day worrying and moping!

If they have been missing you and feeling abandoned, try arranging that, at certain times like break time or lunch time, you will be thinking of them and sending you a little thought message telling them that you love them.

Try drawing a little happy face in felt tip on the inside of their hand telling them that this means that you love them and each time they look at their hand they will know how much you love them … or a little happy face sticker that you can stick on their pencil case or their lunch box for example.

At the end of the school day

Never be late to collect them. If there is any chance that you get unavoidably delayed, call the school ahead of time and let them know so they can arrange for someone to stay with your child.

Think about bringing a healthy snack when you pick them up. They may not have eaten much at lunchtime and so may be really hungry.

Something as simple as bringing Teddy or their favourite toy to meet them can be a really good idea.

Other good ideas are sitting with them, having a cuddle and a chat. Perhaps playing their favourite game, playing with their pet, having their favourite thing for tea but above all spending time with them one on one if you can.

Of course ask them questions but don’t bombard them with them at first. You’ll find out more as they settle down. But when they do talk, listen carefully and be interested in what they have to say.

Don’t arrange anything too tiring after school because starting with a full day at school can be incredibly tiring.

Slightly earlier bedtime in the first few days or weeks will be a good idea.

At bedtime

Listening to my audio I love school at bedtime has been an amazing source of comfort and strength for 4 to 6 year olds … and their parents too! Go here to listen to a sample.

Some feedback on my ‘I love School’ audio

“Just wanted to give you feedback on the ‘I love School’ CD. My 3 and 5 year old sons absolutely love it. They insist on listening to it every night and I have it installed on their iTeddy mp3 player and they ask for Lynda!!! Great cd!”

Another child cried every morning and clung to her mum when she left and didn’t settle at all. Mum bought ‘I love school’ and played it at bedtime every night and by the end of the first week her little girl had stopped crying and by the end of the second week she went in to school happily and stayed happy all day!

To relieve your own stress

By the way, if you’re feeling stressed about it all yourself, there are plenty of audios to help you feel calm yourself and you can actually get a free download here called Feel Good (This is the one for the whole month of September 2018) Every month there is a different free download … won’t cost you a penny!

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