MEMO FROM A CHILD TO PARENTS:

1. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me, I prefer it, it makes me feel secure.
2. Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.
3. Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly “big”.
4. Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private.
5. Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.
6. Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
7. Don’t be too upset when I say “I hate you”. Sometimes it isn’t you I hate but your power to thwart me.
8. Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need.
9. Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
10. Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. That is why I am not always accurate.
11. Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.
12. Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
13. Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.
14. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither.
15. Don’t ever think that it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.
16. Don’t forget that I love experimenting. I couldn’t get along without it, so please put up with me.
17. Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me, but please do try.
18. Don’t forget that I don’t thrive without lots of love and understanding, but I don’t need to tell you, do I?
19. Please keep yourself fit and healthy. I need you.
20. Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all I ask for- I’m only testing you.

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15 Tips for helping children overcome separation anxiety

This article provides you with practical tips for helping your toddler or preschooler overcome separation anxiety and have happy goodbyes during drop-offs at Gan Chamesh.

For many parents of preschoolers, child care is a fact of life. But young children often handle goodbyes with tears, tantrums and clinging, making separation stressful and frustrating for everyone. Here are 15 practical tips for helping your child overcome separation anxiety.

Explain to your child ahead of time what is going to happen so that they know what to expect. Be specific about what kinds of things the child will be doing at Gan Chamesh. Include things like sand play, gym, trikes. Also include things like eating, drinking, resting and bathroom using in your explanation so your child will understand that these basic needs will be met.


Explain where you will be and what you will be doing while you are away. State it matter-of-factly, as something grown ups have to do. Going to work or school is not a choice for you and going to daycare is not a choice for your child. You may mention that you will be out in the Gan Chamesh lobby until it’s pick up time. We will have coffee and cake for you.

Help your child learn to say the names of his teachers and the names of the other children in his/her classroom. Notice what he particularly likes in the classroom (a puppet, a doll) or from the classroom routine (games, parachute play, bubbles, giving tzedaka) and use it to build up his excitement.

Avoid a morning rush. Choose outfits and pack lunch bags the night before. Make a simple picture schedule to help your child learn what must be done in the morning before you leave. For example, a drawing of some clothes, a Netilas Yadayim picture, a bowl of cereal and a toothbrush will remind your child about getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing his teeth. Let him check off each chore as he completes it.

Your child may feel more secure if he has something of yours to hold onto during the day, like a scarf or glove. A photograph of you or your family tucked in his cubby or lunch box is comforting too. We will be b”h taking photos of you during orientation night.

When you bring your child into preschool, arrive early enough so you won’t have to dash off immediately. You may want to read a short book with your child or play with him for a couple of minutes before saying goodbye. Set a limit on how long you will stay. For example, you might tell your child that you will read one book or play with blocks for five minutes.

Let your child know when you will be coming back, using the preschool’s schedule to mark off chunks of the day. For example, you might say, “I will be back after you wake up from nap and have your snack.” Each class has a pictorial schedule for easy “reading” by the children so point to the time you will be coming back.

Don’t linger too long as this only adds more anxiety to the situation. Encourage your child to go to the window and wave to you as you leave. Never sneak out without saying goodbye to your child.

Develop loving goodbye routines. The “kiss-hug-nose-rub” has worked like magic in the past. Children enjoy it.

Invite children from the class over, so your child can forge friendships that will make the transition easier.

Ask your spouse or another family member to take a turn dropping your child off, or pick up one of your child’s classmates on the way to school, and your problems may disappear with lightening speed.

Avoid discussing issues with the teacher in the morning. Save conversations and questions for the end of the day.

Don’t be surprised if you solve the problem and it reoccurs after the holidays. By keeping an upbeat and positive attitude about your child’s school, teacher and friends, you will help your child regain his security and enjoy his time at school.

If an emergency comes up and your pick-up plans change during the day, call school as soon as possible and ask the teacher to explain the change to your child.

Separation anxiety means that a strong and loving bond exists between you and your child.
Overcoming separation anxiety takes time.
Your child will learn through consistent experience that each goodbye is soon followed by your happy return.