Dealing with Separation Anxiety on Your Child’s First Day of Day Care

children and day care teacher

One day, you wake up, and your kids are already three or four or five years old. They blabber nonstop throughout the day. You know that it’s time to get them in a day care facility. You would also need to go back to work. You cannot survive in a one-income household. The bills are piling up. Your children will soon need more than snacks to survive. They’ll have to pay for school books, uniforms, projects, and the like.

The first day at the childcare center in Salt Lake City or other cities is always the hardest. Your children will probably cry and hug your legs until you can’t move anymore. They’re afraid of this strange place. They don’t know what to expect. They spent the last three years of their lives perfecting the routine at home. This entirely new place is scaring them. It’s normal. They can do this, and so do you. The first day is always the hardest anyway. It will get better on the second, third, fourth, and so on.

Unknown to your kids, you’re struggling with separation anxiety, too. On top of that, you feel guilty for leaving them and going back to work. Oh, if only it’s possible to live off a single income. If only you can all stay at home and never leave each other’s side. But temporary separations like these are part of growing up. It’s going to be great for you and the kids. Just wait and see.

Get to Know the Teacher Beforehand

You will put your worries to rest if you know the person who you’re about to leave your child to. Get to know the teacher before that dreaded first day. The more you know about the person and the activities your children are going to do, the more satisfied you are with your decision to leave them there. Ask the teacher what the procedure will be if the children keep on crying because they are looking for their parents. This is also a great time to let the teacher know about any health issues, particularly medicine that needs to be taken during the day.

Change Your Perspective

child at a day care center

The problem with most parents is that they’ll decide to pull out their kids from playschool or day care because of a bad first reaction. Don’t panic. Most first days are like that. But if you pull your children out of this difficult situation, you are not letting them deal with negative emotions. That sets a precedent that they can always get out of a difficult situation and that they don’t even have to face these problems.

Don’t Do Surprise Visits

Resist the urge to make surprise visits. You think that your child is benefiting from these visits, but no. What you’re doing is making them worry that there is something to get scared about in this day care center. Otherwise, why would you feel the need to check on them every hour? This will only exacerbate the problem because your child will reciprocate by wanting to check on you, too.

Preschools, day care centers, and childcare facilities are always difficult places for parents. They signal that your kids are growing up. Soon, they won’t even cry when you leave them there. They’ll have their own little world with their friends. You’re not going to be a part of every world they create. That’s tough, but that’s exactly why it matters to spend as much time with them while you can.

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