S.T.E.A.M. Day

Dealing with transitions and separation anxiety

Transitions have always been a sticking point for young children. The constant changes in their daily routine might result in increased irritability, restlessness, and behavioural issues. That’s completely normal given that young children crave structure and seek patterns. With the resumption of face-to-face classes, our teachers have prepared some tips and ideas on how to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Plan ahead
Begin implementing daily school routines a week before school starts. You can start by talking to your child about returning to school to build up excitement  and curiosity. Then, introduce typical routines like specific bed time routines (story time, cuddles etc.) and morning routines (using the toilet, eating breakfast etc.).

Use visuals
You can consider using a calendar to help your child visualize and count down the days until school begins. You can also use visuals like a ‘routine chart’ so that your child can see what to do at each point during the day.

Goodbye ritual
A strong ‘goodbye ritual’ can be all it takes to help with transitions. Create a secret goodbye handshake, sing a goodbye song or share a hug and kiss – anything that you can do consistently before any goodbye.

Set realistic expectations on the first day
Your child may experience separation anxiety all over again during the first few days back at school. Make sure you set expectations such as whether or not you’ll will pick them up and what time you’ll be back home – try your best to stick to them.

Help with homework 
Your child may get frustrated when doing homework after a long period of learning from home, so remember to encourage them to persevere and provide guidance. It also gives you a chance to see what your child is learning at school, and you can also spend quality time bonding.

After school activities 
If your child’s school offers extracurricular activities, this can be a great way for them to explore new friendships and interests, especially after a prolonged period of isolation. Tutor Time’s enrichment program offers a variety of different classes to suit all types of learners. These programs are suitable for all nursery and kindergarten aged students.

These strategies not only work during class resumption, they’re also great for anyone dealing with cases of separation anxiety. We know that many first-time Nursery students take time to adjust to going to class without their parents, and these same strategies can come in handy then too.