2 TOP Tips to transform your GOODBYE routine
TOP TIP 1: Practice the goodbye
- Separation anxiety can be minimised if a child is exposed to other caregivers. Start with a few hours per week to gently get your child used to drop-offs and pick-ups.
- Practice the drop off and pick up in a playful way. Use puppets and then later yourself to act out the scene. Model the desired behaviour.
- Remind your child that parents always come back. Simply say: “I will be back later to pick you up. Parents always come back.” Repeat the same language pattern over and over at each drop-off.
TOP TIP 2: Develop a routine & FOLLOW THROUGH
- A kiss and hug + “I will be back later to pick you up, parents always come back,” is enough.
- Be as specific as you can about when you will return. “You are going to have such a fun day. I have to go to work, but I will pick you up at 16:00. Parents always come back. I love you!” Give a hug and kiss and be on your way.
- Do it the same way each time JUST as you practiced.
DO NOT sneak off or lie to your child. This is confusing and will amplify the anxiety.
DO NOT hang around. A long emotional goodbye is not going to help your child anxiety.
DO NOT get lured back. Coming back only gives your child incentive to cry harder and longer next time.
If you need to come back, repeat the goodbye ritual and remind your child that you will come back. Only do this once if it is an absolute necessity.
REMEMBER: As hard as it may be for you, try to remember that not giving in to the meltdown is the right thing to do to help your child’s development.
Click here for the “Grownups Come Back: Strategy Song andActivity”. A very useful resource I found online. Something good to practice with your children!