Learning to separate ourselves is a lifelong process and an important part of growing up. However, Parents when you help your children learn to manage their separations from, and reunions with, their loved ones, they will learn to feel better understood and gain more self-confidence. Returning back to school each year benefits a child’s stage of early development and helps influencing the way he or she reacts to Hellos and Goodbyes as they get older each year. In part, because they these actions involve strong feelings, and saying hello and goodbye are opportunities for valuable learning experiences that affects all areas of our young children’s development.
When our child is separated from the Parent, our children learn more about themselves, friends, and others, they learn about their world, and learn to communicate better, as well as establish and maintain positive relationships with their peers, teachers and parents.
Things to Do for Successful Goodbyes:
- Take time to talk to your child(ren) about the new changes to come (including infants & toddlers) in their schedule or environment before hand.
- Explain and Prepare them with what to expect during the new transition.
- “Mommy and Daddy is going to go to work and you are going to go to school.” “Ms. Smith is going to take good care of you while Mommy and Daddy are working so no worries.” “We will come pick you up after school is over.”
- Establish a consistent daily morning routine and work to eliminating the rush during the morning before school begins. Rushing can cause additional stress on your child and put them on edge.
- Provide a family picture for your child to look at in his or her book bag if they become feeling upset.
- Take pictures with your child and their friends in their new classroom. This can provide another way to help children feel connected to their friends and others during the day.
- For those children who are having a hard time transitioning or adjusting to a new classroom or school, try leaving an object that belongs to a family member to remind the child that their mother or father will be back. You can say, “I’m leaving the new book we purchased with you today. Will you keep it with your things so we can get it to read later when I pick you up today?”
- Remember to establish a consistent drop-off routine with your child(ren) and ensure it always includes saying Hello and Goodbye to your child. Saying Hello and Goodbye offer opportunities to build positive, trusting relationships with other children and their families.
Infants – typically will show more of a preference than young infants to be with family members and special adults. At the age of 8-12 months, children can often develop anxiety about being separated from the Parent or special adults with whom they have bonded. However, helping a child through difficult separations may be challenging for both you and the child, but remember that this difficulty is a good sign that your child has a secure, healthy attachment with their parents.
Toddlers and Twos – may cheerfully wave goodbye to their families on some days. But on others, they may cling so tightly to their parent that you have to pull them off so that Mom or Dad can leave. However, if you have established a sound nurturing relationship with children and if they have a consistent routine, then, even on the most challenging days, the child will know that they can trust you to ease them through any difficult times.
Young Infants – who come to school before they are 6 months old may not have difficulty separating from a family member.