Most people think that young children cannot be anxious. They think that because children do not have much experience, they will have no reason to worry. But the truth is very different. Controlling preschooler anxiety is essential. About 20% of preschoolers have anxiety disorders. Anxiety can be linked to depression and behavioural and sleep problems. Due to this, it is very important to treat the disease as soon as possible. Join us for more information.
Separation anxiety is a problem that usually affects all infants and toddlers.
What kind of anxiety is most common in preschool children?
The child is very anxious and upset when separated from parents and family. Refuses to attend camp, group games, or go camping. Children with separation anxiety worry that bad things will happen after they are separated from their loved ones. It is very important to pay attention to anxiety in the preschooler.
Common symptoms of anxiety in children
To find out if children are anxious, look for the following symptoms.
Physical symptoms of anxiety in children:
- They complain of headaches or heartburn without any specific illness or medical cause.
- They do not eat snacks or lunch at kindergarten or school.
- They are not willing to go to the bathroom anywhere other than the bathroom.
- These children are restless, upset, hyperactive, or disturbed. (Even without Anxiety).
- They have severe tremors or sweating in certain conditions.
- They have constant muscle tension.
- They have trouble sleeping or falling asleep.
Emotional symptoms of anxiety in children:
- They cry a lot.
- They are very sensitive.
- They become angry or upset for no apparent reason.
- Even small mistakes scare them.
- Has panic attacks (or is afraid of having panic attacks). It’s important to properly manage the anxiety of preschoolers.
- They are worried about things happening in the very distant future, like worrying about schools starting next year.
- They are worried or scared when participating in a gathering (in kindergarten, school, relatives’ house, etc.).
- They have frequent nightmares about losing their parents or loved ones.
How do you treat separation anxiety?
Fortunately, you can do things to help your child with separation anxiety. Some of these solutions include:
- Practice separation!
- Before starting school, visit the school several times with your child
- Let the child see you go
- Keep calm
- Participate in the school entrance party
Prepare your child for short breaks before the first day of school approaches. Try to leave the room and leave the child alone for a while. The more you practice with your child, the easier it will be for them to separate on the first day of a nursery school in Dubai.
This practice helps the child practice being away from you and watching you return home. In addition, you can leave your child with a trusted person for a few minutes or hours to increase their readiness to go to school.
2- Before starting school, visit the nursey several times with your child
Anxiety in the preschooler needs to be managed properly. If you suspect your child is showing signs of separation anxiety, arrange a few school visits and meetings with teachers before starting school. In this way, children know who welcomes them in the morning and feel more comfortable in the school and classroom environment.
3- Let the child see you go
Say goodbye to your child, and do not leave the environment of the nursery secretly. Suddenly leaving the child may cause more anxiety because the child does ot know if you are still in the building. Have a quick, positive goodbye to tell your child that you are happy and excited for him or her to go to school.
4- Keep calm
If you are upset and worried about leaving your child, your child will feel the same way.
Keep your voice calm and gentle, and keep calm. Hug your child and tell them you love them. Tell your child that you will be coming back for him/her in a few hours to go home together. It is very necessary to pay engagement to anxiety in the preschooler.
5- Participate in the school entrance party
School celebrations usually create a happy and exciting atmosphere for children. These celebrations can reduce the child’s anxiety and upset and make them see the school as a happy environment. In addition, children can get to know their teachers and classmates during the celebration, which increases their readiness.
Let’s check these 8 tips to make the transition easier
Separation anxiety. You may have heard the term, but what does it actually mean? Your child may cling to you as you’re leaving the setting. They may cry, scream, shout, or run after you. As distressing as it may seem, this is all a perfectly natural response and is more common than you think. This is what is known as separation anxiety.
In most cases, children will grow out of their fear and anxiety of separating from their main carers, and as they familiarise themselves with the new setting and build secure attachments with their teachers and caregivers, you will notice a significant decrease in these behaviours. In this article, we will cover some of our top tips to ensure a smooth transition into nursery, and to reduce separation anxiety as best we can.
Tips for Easy Transition
It isn’t an easy transition for you or your child when they first begin at nursery, but with a little patience and consistency, you will both find the shift much smoother.
1. Be prepared for anything
When the day comes, you may find your child is fighting it even before they get to the gate, or they may stroll in completely fine, only realising after a few minutes that you are gone. Each day may be different. Nursery staff are highly trained on how to deal with these behaviours, so rest assured your child will be settled in no time.
2. Make sure that your child is aware
They should know that they will be attending nursery on that day, and try to keep your morning routine as consistent as possible. With familiarity comes security. Your child will be more mentally prepared for the day ahead.
3. Bring a comfort toy or blanket
Bring anything that may be special to your child which may help settle them. For nap times, it may be useful to provide an object which smells like home.
4. When the time comes to say goodbye, be strong, firm and fair
Be strong even though you may be falling apart inside and try to keep it short. You may feel that hanging around for some time may help, and while it does to some extent, the same reaction will inevitably occur when you leave. Say goodbye, assure your child that you will be back and leave with a smile on your face (however hard that may be).
5. Always follow through on your promises whenever you can
Try not to say “I’ll be back in a minute” if you won’t. For those who understand, you could say “I’ll see you after lunch!”
6. While it may feel like the easy option, try not to sneak away when your child is distracted
This applies especially if your child has been showing signs of separation anxiety. Your child needs to learn that you will come back and suddenly disappearing sends the opposite signal. They don’t know where you have gone, and whether you will return.
7. A shorter transition period could be beneficial if your child is really unsettled
You may want to start with 30 minutes, then 1 to 2 hours building up to a half or full day in the nursery. Take it slowly and step by step.
8. Encourage Practitioner involvement
It is important to have dedicated staff who provide a calm and caring environment that aids in building positive attachments with the children in their new setting. In some cases, calm music may be played and breathing techniques implemented as part of the daily routine. Practitioners will provide constant reassurance to your child. They may sometimes use a visual timetable to help your child to understand the daily routine, including when to expect their carer to return. Sometimes children respond negatively to contact by touch, in these cases practitioners will use distraction techniques. This may be by engaging in stimulating and inviting activities with other children to spark curiosity, that can initially help your child settle, then work on reassurance once calm. Lastly, the staff must always keep you updated on your child’s wellbeing, you should be welcome to call or message as often as you need to.
If you need any additional support, please feel free to contact The Little Dreamers Nursery.
Don’t miss this article: How to help your child prepare for school?
How the Little Dreamers Nursery supports children with making the transition to Nursery?
Starting nursery can be a challenge for children and parents which is why we would like to share some key pointers to support with the transition.
Helping children to gain an understanding about the transition to Nursery – The Little Dreamers nursery recommends parents take the time to initiate conversations with their child about their new nursery, reflecting it in a positive light. There are also many children’s books that can be purchased with fun stories about children’s day at Nursery, these stories could be read during the bedtime routine. It’s also nice to share the Nursery prospectus with the child, although they may not be able to read they can still look at the photos of their new nursery to help with their understanding.
Settling in policy – The settling in policy will be shared with parents highlighting how children and parents are supported through the transition of starting nursery. Features included in the policy are ‘All about me forms’ which helps the nursery Teacher to get an idea of the child’s routine, interests, challenges, habits as well as likes and dislikes. Settling in observations, baseline assessments of development and health information is also included.
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Settling in periods – The little Dreamers Nursery organizes settling in periods before a child actual start date. This helps the child to gradually become familiar with the nursery environment in a way that reduces stress levels and is not such a shock.
Comfort Objects – We encourage new children to bring something familiar from home, this could be their favorite cuddly toy or for babies an item of mummy’s clothing with her natural body scent. Something familiar from home can help to bring a sense of comfort. As the little Dreamers Nursery focuses on creating a home away from home feel this supportive method resonates with our philosophy.
Separation Anxiety – Many children experience separation anxiety which can be one of the key challenges when leaving a child at nursery. Some parents feel it is fine to slip away once dropping their child off at nursery, but this is not the best approach. When parents just slip away it can often create even more anxiety for the child and they will not want to let the parents out of there sight on their next visit to the nursery. Parents should always try to say bye giving reassure to their child that they will be back and will see them later. Once a child knows their parent will return the anxiety levels will be reduced after time.
Parents may also feel anxiety but should be optimistic and keep in mind that children can frequently take up to a month or more in some cases to settling into nursery. Its important to stay positive for throughout the whole process as once the child begin to flourish parents will see it was all worth it.
If you are thinking about settling your child into nursery, please feel free to contact or visit The Little Dreamers Nursery on +971 50 566 7982
The Little Dreamers Nursery, a British nursery in Dubai invites parents to visit and experience the warmth and magic first hand through a nursery tour, we can then support you in completing the next steps for enrolment after checking out the curriculum and enrollment as follows:
- Nursery Tour
- Application Submission
- Tuition Fee, Documentation, and Enrollment
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I did not know anything about anxitey for children. Thanks for useful article.
We are happy that fathers also read articles.