Podcast Episode 181: “I feel like I’m about to toss my daughter to the wolves” – Handling Separation Anxiety for the Back-to-School Guide Part 1

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

“With kindergarten,” a listener shares, “I feel like I’m about to toss her to the wolves.”

How are you handling the stresses of the autumn? If you’ve got a child starting school or preschool, or returning to school, daycare, or preschool, it can be really tough on both you and your kids.
That’s why today is the first of a 3-part series, the We Turned Out Okay Back-to-School Guide.

Today I share the ONE thing you can do to make your child’s separation anxiety better!

Please note: the Streamline Your Mornings Free 5-Day Challenge is underway, and thus closed to new participants.
If you want to get in on this challenge when I offer it next in October, go to weturnedoutokay.com/181 to sign up! (Go there as well for show notes and other key links to this Just You and Me Episode : )

Here is this listener’s full question:
“My oldest is about to start kindergarten two weeks. She has attended daycare/preschool since she was seven weeks old. Even though she would be accustomed to the routine we still frequently have a meltdown in the mornings about going to school. In the afternoons she always seems to have had a good day, but my daughter does seem to be an introvert and the mornings just always seem impossibly, unnaturally difficult.
I’ve had some level of control with daycare in being able to adjust the drop off time to a calmer time and being able to have teachers give her a task first thing as she seems to benefit from that versus unstructured play, but with kindergarten I feel like I’m about to toss her to the wolves.
It’s hard enough on the meltdown mornings for her to let me leave her in the classroom at daycare, but with public school I’m worried I will have to practically push her through the door. She is not my fearless, adventurous younger daughter. How can I help her overcome her fear and her habitual morning anxiety
I myself am an introvert so I’m not clueless about what she’s going through, but I don’t remember having the same sort of morning anxiety that she does.
Any feedback would be much appreciated!”

Fortunately, this listener is a participant in our Streamline Your Mornings challenge, so I’m addressing her concern in there, where I can help personally and interact with her (and the other participants) as they figure out how to make their mornings best they can possibly be.

If you would like to streamline your mornings, but you couldn’t get into this challenge, I’ll be offering it again in October, so Click Here to sign up now!

Whether you’re in the challenge or not, I created a page of my website sharing some Helpful Books about separation anxiety and a few other issues that come up again and again for parents. Click here to check out the Helpful Books page.

Lots of kids – I would venture to say, most kids – have some form of separation anxiety. What’s the single most important thing you can do to help your child feel better?

Validate your child’s feelings.

Please, please do not say “it’s not so bad,” or “you’re fine, get over it.” Or any version of those, because your child will hear those sentiments as “your feelings are invalid, not real.”

Instead, communicate that you know how hard this is, that you love them, that you understand what they’re going through.

Often, that’s enough – many children really embrace school or other new situations with ease.

If after several weeks, your son or daughter is still struggling, that’s an indication that you need to go deeper to figure out a solution.

Let me be a part of that solution – either by signing up up for the next free Streamline Your Mornings 5-Day challenge (Click Here ), or by joining the Ninja Parenting Community, where I help parents just like you handle all of the tough stuff that children bring up.

And here is a virtual hug as you work to figure it all out!

Key Links:

Here is the link to my list of Helpful Books.

Click here for my great conversation with Carey Andersen, a mom whose son really struggled with adjusting to school.

Click here to learn more about the Ninja Parenting Community, and Click Here   to join the next free 5-Day Steamline Your Mornings Challenge.