Childcare and Separation Anxiety, Tips and Tricks
Updated: Aug 5
It goes without saying-starting childcare in Chatswood or neighbouring suburbs should be an exciting time and a happy occasion for your kid. Sadly, that's the ideal version. In truth, their raw emotions may well turn into a case of back-to-school blues. All it takes to figure this is one look at their panic-stricken face. Most likely they will be dealing with separation anxiety.
But this should not get you worried because separation anxiety is completely normal. In fact, anxiety is a very useful stage in your child’s development. Think about it. Your child has an inborn instinct to fear separation from his or her immediate caregiver. As a parent, you are also conditioned to feel panic when your child is far away from you or being cared for by someone else.
Now, the trick to navigating this is to understand when there is no real danger and to dismiss the unnecessary anxiety. Here’s how:
Pre-visit The Childcare Center
When battling separation anxiety, your kid might act out in several ways. One way to reduce the reactions is to first introduce your child to the child care centre that they will be going to during the day.
If the centre allows for scheduled visits, take advantage of that to get your child and family used to the place. Most of the facilities that provide child care in Lindfield, North Ryde, Chatswood and other nearby suburbs allow parents to make pre-visits.
It’s also helpful to establish the route that you will use to get to the centre each day. If you and your child love nature walks, take the route will expose them more to the natural world. You can repeat it a couple of times with whatever mode of transportation you'll prefer.
If you can walk to the centre, walk the route several times so that your child becomes familiar with it.
Meet your Caregiver Before the Daycare Starts
Most times, providers of childcare in North Ryde, Lindfield and Macquarie Park will schedule an official meet with you before your child enrols in their facility. If the daycare doesn’t provide that, organise a meet-up with a suitable caregiver within the facility
Ask if they can meet you and your child so that your child is familiar with the new environment and will feel more comfortable with them.
While you and your child are visiting the childcare, take the time to see where toys, snacks and activities are located. This reassures you your child will feel more comfortable with the new environment.
Talk to your child the Night Before
Preparing for the inescapable separation can go a long way in reducing the emotional pain felt on both sides.
The night before taking them to a daycare centre, talk to your child about how the day is going to go i.e. how long you will be gone, what to expect while you are away and so on.
Note that this doesn’t always work for all children as some kids may be more anxious if you talk about it too much. You will need to judge your child’s personality to know how much you should share with them in advance.
Set the Pace
One of the most important things to remember is that your children will always look to you for guidance. They will take their suggestions from your behaviour or anxieties. So, if you are feeling uncomfortable about the upcoming separation, try not to let it show. Stay positive and remind them of all the great experiences they will have with their new caregiver.
Have your go-to support system on stand-by to listen to your fears and hesitations. It’s important to maintain a strong front with your child and show them that you have the utmost trust in their new surroundings.
At the end of the day, the bond between you and your child is always going to be indestructible, but separation doesn’t always have to be so overwhelming. Most importantly, use that facility providing childcare in Macquarie Park or any other suburb as an important partner in this process. Their experience can be worthwhile and make everything run a lot smoother for you.