All of us have experienced the tears that sometimes flow as we drop our children off in the nursery. There is nothing fun about it. Check out these eight strategies for helping children cope with separation anxiety.
1. Schedule brief periods of separation with a trusted family member or close friend to allow your child to develop ease in your absence and trust that you will return.
2. Ensure that your child is well rested, healthy, and fed prior to the church service.
3. Stay calm and assured during the separation. Since children naturally absorb insecurities, remain confident in your child and in the nursery workers’ care.
4. Do not sneak out of the room, but do leave in a timely manner. Belaboring the process accentuates emotions.
5. Develop a special goodbye routine. It could be a silly tickle, a high five, a hug, kisses in the hand to keep, kisses thrown in the air to catch, or a favorite phrase such as “Goodbye Crocodile” and “See you later Alligator.” Say goodbye in this way on a regular basis.
6. Realize that this is a natural developmental phase.
7. Pray for your child before the separation and throughout the church service.
8. Celebrate small victories and encourage your child in love.
Helpful stuff. You can read the full article by Kristin Charles here. She also includes eight strategies for nursery workers to utilize in an effort to help you help your children deal with separation anxiety.