Trust Your Child, Free Yourself

Help, My Toddler Can’t Play Without Me!

Even if you have anxiety about leaving the presence of your child (including drop-offs to daycare) you should try to avoid passing that apprehension on to your child. Children can sense your moods and emotions, and will generally behave according to the model you set. I had many troubles with anxiety at drop-off – from parents and children – when I worked at large Montessori schools. Anxiety in children was heightened when parents behaved as if they did not want to leave the child, giving multiple hugs and kisses, and generally prolonging the departure. Unknowingly, parents were exhibiting distrust in the teachers and in the environment in which the child was being left. The children of such parents typically had difficulty getting calm, trusting and interacting with teachers, and trusting and interacting with friends.

It’s difficult to leave a child who appears to be in distress, but showing trust in your child’s ability and in the environment that you have chosen and/or prepared for your child to be able to entertain him or herself independently of you, can increase independence and self-confidence in your child. It frees you both from stress, and frees you both to do your own activities. Build trust, build freedom.

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