From the Principal
With the beginning of a new school year, there come many changes and transitions for students, parents, and teachers. Often children may experience separation anxiety. Most preschoolers and grade-schoolers experience it at some point in their lives. Sometimes it occurs after a major change in routine. Other times separation anxiety occurs because children are worried about events that are occurring in their lives. Most often, however, separation anxiety is purely a “missing mom/dad” issue. These strategies may be helpful if your child has a difficult time saying good-bye.
DO: Keep your good-byes short and sweet. In doing so, you convey the message that you have confidence in your child’s ability to cope. The longer the good-byes, the more upset your child may become.
DON’T: Hover around. Your child will sense your anxiety, and this will make it more difficult for your child to calm down.
DO: Develop loving good-bye routines.
DON’T: Bargain or bribe your child to behave. Your child should be allowed his/her feelings. You also do not want to start a habit of bribing your child every time you need for him/her to do something.
DO: Send clear messages. Your child needs to know that you expect him/her to go to school no matter how much he fusses cries or stamps his feet.
DON’T: Take your child home. If you do, you send the message that if your child cries enough he/she won’t have to stay. Taking your child home often makes the situation worse.
DO: Invite children from the class over, so your child can forge friendships that will make the transition easier.
DON’T: Get upset. By keeping an upbeat and positive attitude about your child’s school, teacher and friends, you’ll help your child feel safe and enjoy his/her time at school. Trust – this too will pass.
DO: Ask your spouse or another family member to take a turn dropping off, or pick up one of your child’s classmates on the way to school, and your problems may disappear with lighting speed.
DON’T: Discuss problems with the teacher in the morning. Save conversations and questions for the end of the day, or a phone call. Try not to discuss the situation in front of your child.
DO: Involve the teacher. You need someone who will greet your child and ease the transition. If needed, let the teacher take your child. She will involve your child in activities to help him/her calm down and to help with a smoother transition.
DON’T: Be surprised if you solve the problem and it reoccurs after the holidays and sick days.
DO: Believe in your child’s ability to make changes.
DON’T: Sneak out. You want your child to know that he/she can trust you.
We are looking forward to our new school year. If you should have any questions or concerns, remember that your child’s teacher wants to help your child have the best learning environment and experience possible. Let her know if she can help in anyway. I am also available if at any time you would like to talk with me. You may call the school at 757-851-6292 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we are a team working for the best interest of your child.
Linda K. Robinson