Your child loves you and wants you to know that he/she wants you to always be there. How wonderful! However, as adults, we all have responsibilities. We also know that a quality preschool environment is best for a child’s socialization, learning opportunities, skill development, and independence. It takes time for a young child to understand first, that you will return, and second, that he/she can trust that you will return. I emphasize the trust factor because too many parents feel the need to ‘sneak out’ while the child is being distracted. This sends the message that you cannot be trusted. It is better that the child cries because he/she wants to be with you and eventually stops and engages with teachers, friends, and activities that are enjoyable rather than feeling betrayed with a fear of abandonment without explanation. Separation anxiety many times is more stressful for the parent than it is for the child. The child is simply sending you the message that he/she loves you so much that he/she doesn’t want you to leave. Stay calm, explain that you love him/her very much, that you will be back, and leave as quickly as possible. The longer you stay, the longer it will take your child to find other options to have fun. Severe separation anxiety may take up to 2 weeks to overcome however in most cases only a day or two. Yet unless the child is truly upset about the school environment for other reasons, your child will learn to let go and happily kiss you farewell. Be happy about where you have chosen for your child to learn, and your happiness will reassure him/her whether it is with you or not.

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