If your child is young and just beginning school you have probably asked yourself this question many times. Why? Because he or she is crying when you leave them at school and it’s tearing you up inside.
As hard as it is now – take a deep breath – by the time you read this your child has probably adjusted and stopped crying. Let me reassure you that it is absolutely normal! Separation is hard, but probably harder for you than for your child.
Most of them stop crying after just a few minutes. In fact, many of them are just as anxious to stay when you come to pick them up. Young children need help with transitions – and a few minutes to switch from one activity to another.
I went to work in tears for about three weeks when my child started school but she came to love her experiences there so much she even wanted to go on the weekend! Enjoy the fact that your children love you so wholeheartedly now – they’ll tum into teenagers who don’t want to be seen in public with you soon enough!
Don’t make promises and don’t bribe them. Reassure them that you love them and you’ll be back “at lunch time” or “after work.” When you pick them up give them a big hug but don’t ask, “Did you miss me?”
That sends a message that they should miss you and stay miserable without you!
Don’t stand in the hall or wait in your car. As long as your child knows you are around he or she will cry. When they know you are gone they are free to notice things in the room or watch the other children and within minutes they become involved in an activity.
Even young children live up to your expectations for them. Send them the message that you love them and believe in their abilities – even if they are only 2 or 3 – and you will be sending a message of empowerment that will last a long, long time!