Golden Seeds

How to best support your child in managing separation anxiety

Managing separation anxiety in your little one can be challenging but with patience, consistency, and understanding, it can be overcome. Here are some strategies to help support children who display signs of separation anxiety, especially during morning drop offs and saying goodbye.


Firstly, we highly recommend establishing a consistent goodbye routine. Consistency and predictability can help alleviate anxiety in young children. Establishing a routine for drop-offs and pick-ups can provide a sense of security and stability.



Our educators have lots of great ideas that we can tailor to your child and their unique little personality. Some examples we have seen work very well in the past have been, creating a ‘goodbye’ window, reassuring your child that you will come back after “afternoon tea”. Using the word “afternoon tea” rather than “this afternoon” ensures clarity and ensures that your child understands when you will be arriving to pick them up. Remember that children cannot read the time, but use their routine to predict what will be coming next throughout their day. By using a part of their daily routine allows them to feel confident and provides clarity on what time of the day you will be arriving.


For some children we have created a family photo book which include photos of your child playing and engaging in activities they enjoy throughout their day. This may include painting, dancing, outside in the sandpit with peers or with their educators. Reading this book when they are in care and having a copy for you to read at home gives your child positive reassurance of all the fun activities they enjoy. It also reinforces their routine, who their educators and peers may be and embeds a strong family partnership with their educators.



It is important to talk about the activities and experiences they can look forward too, perhaps encourage your child to create something special like a painting so that you can place somewhere noticeable for them to the proud of like the fridge. Talk positively about their educators and “how much fun” they will be having while you’re at work and always provide reassurance that you will always come back.


A comfort toy, blanket or even a special book that your child might really enjoy from home is a great option to pack while they transition and build their sense of security and confidence in their new environments. For older children or those that do not usually have a comforter, please don’tfeel that y ou will be creating a bad habit if they do not need this when they are home. This is usually only used temporarily and our educators will only use their ‘comforter’ to provide reassurance and give your child a sense of belonging. A family photo is also a wonderful resource for educators to show and reference too when your little one may be feeling a little upset, giving them confidence that you will be coming back and how we are all working together.



Always do your best to stay calm and confident. Children can pick up on their parents’ emotions, so it’s important to stay calm and confident during drop-offs. Keep goodbyes short and positive. Together with your educators, a consistent routine and with time your little one will build confidence and establish a strong connection with their new learning environment and educators. Familiarity will grow and they will becoming increasingly confident to say goodbye and enjoy their day. Always ensure that you keep communication open with their educators so that they can
support your child as best as possible as they transition into care.


Remember that every child is different, and it may take time for your child to adjust to separations. Be patient, consistent, and supportive, and eventually, your child’s separation anxiety will improve.


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