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How to Deal with Child Separation Anxiety at Drop Off

Children cry due to a lot of reasons, one of which includes dealing with separation anxiety while being dropped off at school. Some children get scared of what will happen when they go to school. They wonder what the teachers do to the children and what happens to them.

How to deal with child separation anxiety?

Parents who go to work drop their children off at school. Some get emotional when they give their children a good luck hug and kiss, while others keep it short and prompt. Knowing their children go to preschool gives them a bittersweet feeling. They feel joy because going to preschool means another milestone that their children accomplished.

Now, Elite Preschool shares some tips that parents may follow to help them deal with child separation anxiety during school drop-off.

Enthuse them about school

The first thing that parents can do to manage separation anxiety is to enthuse them about school. Sometimes, school can be challenging for students, which is when parents often tell their kids about their own experiences with school. Some of those experiences may discourage kids from going. Refrain doing that.

Other conversation starters that parents need to avoid:

  1. Avoid sharing stories that school is a dreadful place to be. Refrain saying, “Yahoo! No classes tomorrow!” or, “You need to be in school, even if it’s raining!”

  2. Do not threaten them by saying you’ll take away their toys if they don’t stop crying.

  3. Lastly, avoid bribing them with treats.

It’s best to avoid arguments and instead talk about different engaging activities in school, how much fun would it be, and what books they could read.

Give them a comforting item

One of the best ways of helping them surpass separation anxiety is to let them bring their favorite item from home. It may be in the form of their favorite stuffed toy, bracelet, or an item that they have all the time.

For children, knowing that one of their favorite things is nearby helps them cope with the anxiety. They feel secure and gain peace of mind. Other times, parents give their children a piece of their own. It may be their old clip, handkerchief, or even a watch. The child holds on to it and think that they will see their parents after school.

Be more punctual than the other children

When the child arrives with all the other children in the room, this may give them a different feeling. Parents may try to send their children a little bit earlier so they’d be the first one in the room. This reduces their anxiety about talking to other children immediately, or find a spot that they liked before.

Arriving earlier than usual gives children a chance to talk to their teachers, share their thoughts about school, and settle in comfortably.

Walk the child through the first school activity

Sometimes, teachers assign activities to children and they get lost on how to do it. Before going to work, parents can teach their children on how to accomplish their homework. While sending them to school, parents may walk them through the hall and explain what they see.

Just like when parents ask their children to throw a piece of paper in the trash, they ask how it’s done. Parents tell them to pick it up first, walk towards the trash bin, and throw it there. Similarly, that’s how things work with walking them to their classroom, talking to their teacher, and introducing the child to the teacher.

Never leave without saying goodbye

Some parents tend to be in a hurry to leave for work and just drop off their child at the school lobby. When children experience this, they think their parents want to leave them there and just go as soon as possible. That cultivates their separation anxiety.

To reduce their anxiety, parents may give their children a hug and kiss before driving off. Other times, you can just say goodbye and that you’ll see them after their school. That reassures children and makes them feel loved.


School drop-offs may be challenging and can get emotional. However, managing it helps both parents and children find their peace and proceed with their day normally. Elite Preschool strives to help parents manage child separation anxiety, especially among toddlers who enter preschool.

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