How to Deal with Separation Anxiety

It’s the big day – your child’s first experience in a non-parented setting. You bring him into the classroom to start saying your goodbyes and that’s when it starts … his arms begin to tighten around your legs, a look of panic strikes the eyes, and the scream crying (that just rips through your heart) begins.For the past couple of years it has just been the two of you, day in and day out. But the time has come to introduce your little one to the outside world. You want your child to develop social skills, motor skills, and improve social, cognitive and emotional awareness. Sounds great, right? Except for the fact that your child has never been left alone with a stranger before and the thought is absolutely petrifying.
It’s perfectly normal for children to have anxiety and separation issues when they first begin a new class. Our teachers at Soul Connexion are prepared to help your child adjust to this new dynamic of leaving mom or dad at the door. In the beginning, we give your child approximately 30 minutes to ease into the class. Our teachers are well trained in comforting your child and putting them at ease. Usually within 3-4 drop offs, your child will understand the routine and will be comfortable with attending class independently.

Helpful Tips

  • Set up an appointment with the studio to take a tour, meet the teacher and give your child an opportunity to check things out prior to the first day of class.
  • Let your child know ahead of time that you will be dropping them off, going to (work, the grocery store, etc.) and will be back to pick them up once the class is finished.
  • If attending a program requires a new schedule (waking up earlier, eating at a different time of day) try to implement the routine a few days prior – this will help your child transition.
  • Start with short separations – Our Annual Mini Movers program allows parents to join for the first portion of the first several classes to integrate their child.
  • Don’t give into the temptation to run back into class if you hear your child crying (this is completely normal and will get better with time.) If you show signs of distress, your child will pick up on this.

Remember: It’s going to take some time for your child to feel secure and comfortable. This is a normal part of childhood and it is absolutely normal for children to cry anywhere from 5-20 minutes for the first 4-6 weeks.

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