This week we are sharing tips and links to help you support your #children to manage their wellbeing and learning.

While the focus is traditionally on the first day of school, families are urged to look out for their children in the coming weeks, as they adjust to new experiences, friendship groups and the demands of learning.

Today we look at separation anxiety.

*If you need extra support, Centacare provides counselling to parents, families and children, and primary and secondary school students. Other support is provided through the National School Chaplaincy Program. For more information, please phone 8215 6700.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is often experienced by parents and children at the start of the new school year.

It is most common in early childhood but may be exacerbated after extensive family time in the holidays, and if your child is apprehensive about their new classroom routine and environment.

They may become upset before school knowing you will soon leave them for the day, and again at drop-off time when the separation occurs.

Most children will bounce back and be relaxed and happy at school but may become upset again at pick-up time when their parent or carer returns and they are reminded of the separation.

Mothers and fathers, too, can feel a sense of loss at leaving their little ones at school.

What can you do for yourself and your children?

  • Teachers are fantastic and usually highly experienced at working through separation anxiety. If your child is finding it hard to leave you, talk to their teacher and see what is possible in terms of supporting your child.
  • Always say goodbye! While it is often tempting to sneak out of the classroom when your child is upset, this will not build trust. Even if your child is upset, reassure them they will be ok and say goodbye. Indicate when you will return. In time, they will learn they are safe and that their carer will always come back.
  • If you are struggling with separation anxiety as a parent, talk to a friend! The school community offers a range of opportunities to connect with other mums, dads and carers. You can also alleviate some anxiety by getting involved with your child’s learning for small periods each week, such as helping at student reading time.
  • Keep a relaxed and happy look on your face when you’re leaving. Even if you are sad, give your child confidence by putting on a happy demeanour.
  • Once at home at night, try not to be negative about what may have occurred that morning. Instead, build your child’s confidence and resilience through positive reassurance.

For more tips and links, visit: