Have you ever experienced a meltdown when dropping your child off at a day camp or other place?
What can we do about this?
Some parents just decide to never leave their child’s side again until the end of time…
That isn’t going to work for you?
Well then, there are a few things we recommend:
- Remember that kids really take their emotional cues from us. We are wise to avoid displaying our own negative emotions (often guilt) about leaving them. If we convey fearful, anxious feelings about temporarily separating from them, they will pick them up faster than a WiFi signal.
- On a related note, resist the temptation to do too much reassuring. The more kids see us, reassuring them that it will be ok, the more likely they are to conclude that there must be something to dread.
- Keep goodbyes short and behave ‘as if’ they are going to be just fine. This message we send by NOT lingering and spending extra time reassuring them is powerful.
- Get going. If there is a meltdown, it is likely to be short-lived – and your child will have gained important experience getting upset and then recovering. We have also learned that it is much more difficult for the meltdown to break our hearts when we are not present to witness it.
Are our kids going to need to be able to recover from minor upsets in life? Is this a pretty safe scenario for that to happen (we are assuming that we are leaving them with trustworthy people)?
The last piece of good news we will share is that many perfectly healthy young children experience separation anxiety and have meltdowns. But, for the majority of kids, it is a relatively short-lived ordeal.
May the odds be ever in your favor!
We are sad to say goodbye for now – but we will be ok.😊
Find more solutions in the audio Love and Logic Solutions for Early Childhood.
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