Dealing With Anxiety During Preschool Dropoff

Posted on: 12 November 2015

It is very normal for your child to experience some anxiety when they begin a new routine. Preschool can be very rewarding for younger children. Preschool provides socialization, a new learning environment, and more educational tools. Anxiety does not affect children the same way. Different kids may experience more anxiety than others. About 8% to 20% of children experience a higher level of anxiety than other children the same age.  This can be due to a major change in the child's life or inherited by family members. Whatever the cause may be, it can be tough for a parent when dropping off an anxious child at preschool. In order to handle it best, here are some tips to consider. 

Acknowledge Their Fears

You don't want to avoid their fears by shrugging them off. It can be a fine line to acknowledge a fear without empowering it. You can't take away everything that makes your child fearful. Instead, you want to equip them with the tools that will help them overcome their fears and manage it. When dropping them off at preschool, you may want to talk to their teacher about allowing them to have a comfort item with them. During the first couple days, they could bring something from home that will help give them comfort when they start feeling anxious. Over time, the child should see that they have nothing to worry about and will be less likely to need the comfort item. 

Praise Your Child 

When you do come back to pick your child up from preschool, you want to give them plenty of praise for conquering their fear. This will help your child feel good about themselves and encourage them to do it again next time. When praising your child, you want to be sure that you explain to them what you liked. This will help them correlate the praise to attending preschool. 

Make a Smooth Transition

You don't want to wait until the first day of school before you start discussing preschool. Many times, the preschool will hold an orientation for the new students. This allows you and your child to see the classroom and meet the teachers. By getting familiar with the surroundings, your child will be less apprehensive on the big day. You also want to have several discussions leading up to their first day of preschool. Let them know how it will work and that you will be back to pick them up. Make sure to elaborate on all the fun things they will get to enjoy while attending preschool. 

If you're looking for a preschool in your area, visit Sammamish Montessori School.