Picture this: You’re at the door about to go to work and *clunk* “WAHHHH NOOOO”. Your kid has a case of separation anxiety gone nuclear.
Sound familiar? Ever wonder how to actually make it easier? As a nanny that babysits from time to time, I can tell you that hands down without fail — my job is 100 times easier the sooner you leave. Parents are always relieved to hear that it never takes longer than 5 minutes (ever) to get the kid to calm down. Of course, this is only true if you’ll just leave the house.
Pro Tips: 1. Prep your kids the night before by walking them through your day. The sooner they remember, “Daddy/Mommy go to work after breakfast”– the sooner it’s normal.
2. DO NOT SNEAK OUT. Kids with separation anxiety will learn to never take you out of their sight.
3. One Hug — One Goodbye, I love you and I’ll see you later.
4. Straight face, silent, turn around and leave.
5. Leave the people that are caring for your kid, alone. They need to focus on calming your kid down, not calming you down.
It’s a personal pet peeve when parents make a big production out of leaving. If you’re not shipping off to Nam’ — cool it. Kids want to know that everything is going to be fine. Big emotions inside little bodies mean that those emotions need to be soothed — not poked.
If your kid has made it to the middle of First Grade and absolutely cannot get their separation anxiety under control at ANY time (not just school) — seek professional help.