As an early childhood educator, you have likely encountered separation anxiety at the beginning of every school year. However, this phenomenon is not exclusive to the first couple weeks of school. Some students may suffer from this condition for weeks or months at a time. While the majority of preschoolers will adjust quickly, others will not.
This is why it's important to not only understand why separation anxiety occurs but also implement specific strategies to help your students get comfortable in the classroom. Here are three helpful strategies to support these students:
1. Encourage parents to prepare their children
Before the semester begins, contact your students' parents to help them prepare their children for what will come. Suggest they run through morning routines, answer questions about school, and even perform mock school sessions to help heir children understand what is ahead. It may also be helpful if parents provide students with a comfort item. They can carry this reminder of home with them throughout the day.
2. Accept and reassure your students
Your students may be scared or unsure on their first few days, which is why you should make an effort to accept their feelings and reassure them that their parents will return at the end of the day. Don't dismiss their concerns, as this may cause them to grow even more upset.
3. Put distractions in place
To help students adjust, try to have fun activities in place to keep them entertained. Whether this means setting out toys and games for them to play with or holding morning dance sessions, there are plenty of ways you can relieve their separation anxieties.
At ProSolutions Training, we offer numerous online child care courses for interested professionals, such as "Coping With Separation Anxiety." Contact one of our representatives today to learn more!