- Do your best to show enthusiasm, even if you are nervous for your child. Oftentimes, the child will mirror your emotion and it is important to give off the message that going to school is fun and exciting. We want to confirm to the children that the school is a great place to be at.
- Come up with secret handshake together with them on the spot and tell them how excited you are to do this again in the afternoon.
- Be confident, kind but firm about the separation. Depending on your child’s age, they might struggle with leaving your side and they might say things along the lines of “I don’t want to go to school” – it really isn’t about school, it is about them not wanting to separate from you, so offer them hugs and kisses and assure them that you will wait for them right there in a few hours to pick them up.
- Be very cautious about prolonging the separation process, as it will only get more difficult. Ask a staff member to help you out if needed. While logical arguments and explanations are reasonable for older children and adults, little ones do not have the cognitive abilities to understand your reasoning, especially in a stressful situation where they are separated from you.
If your child is having a particularly difficult time separating, as harsh as it sounds, as soon as a member of staff has come over to bring the child into school, just leave. Staying will not make it easier and neither will be bargaining with them.
If you are having a particularly difficult time with the separation process, please let me know so I can offer you all the support you may need during this time.
Ilinca Vlaicu, School Counsellor at Verita International School