When the time comes for your child to start at nursery, there are bound to be nerves regarding this separation. For many children, this is likely to be the first time that they have spent long periods away from their parents, and this can cause many issues. One of the most common concerns to arise is separation anxiety, a mental health disorder which affects about 4%–10% of children. Equally common for both boys and girls, this disorder can occur at a very early age and continue throughout the formative years, affecting their development and ability to act independently. When deciding upon the nursery you would like your child to attend, it is important to consider factors such as distance from home, training of staff and quality of environment – luckily, Little Acorns are a friendly local day nursery service with a reputation for a caring team and warm, enriching atmosphere. We take special care to ensure each and every child is comfortable, happy and healthy, with regular attention given to address problems big and small.
Continue reading for more information on separation anxiety, how it may affect the behaviour of your child as well as how Little Acorns Day Nursery and our staff are equipped to help you with this concerning occurrence.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
It is completely normal for children to feel worried from time to time, especially when experiencing drastic change such as starting school, or moving to a new area, but separation anxiety differs from the occasional incident, affecting their behaviour and thoughts in everyday life. Far more common than you may first imagine, separation anxiety becomes less noticeable in older children but can still manifest in later life if not treated correctly, making it important for parents and caregivers to spot the early signs of this disorder.
A child with separation anxiety will become upset or worried when confronted with the idea of being apart from family members or other close people, and this can cause them a huge amount of distress and concern. A child may be fearful of becoming lost far away from their family, or they may fret that something bad will occur in the absence of parents. When coping with a child who is suffering from separation anxiety, never theorise that their suffering is in any way your fault – as anxiety disorders can be caused by both biological and environmental factors. A child may even inherit a tendency to be anxious from one or both of their parents.
Signs That Your Child May Be Struggling
There is not one set way in which a child will demonstrate their anxiety, with some little ones likely to internalise their feelings of worry or dread. This makes it increasingly important to communicate with your children, asking about their thoughts and feelings when important steps are taken in their development, such as a first day away from Mum and Dad. The NHS have identified a number of indications that suggest a child could be dealing with separation anxiety, which can be seen in more detail below:
Disrupted Eating Or Sleeping Patterns
If a child is suffering from constant intrusive worrisome thoughts at the prospect of being separated from parents and close family, they may stop eating as they once were, or have difficulty sleeping through the night. Though these sudden changes may be the byproduct of another underlying issue or concern, sudden changes to routines and set behaviours may be the result of an anxiety disorder in some cases.
Unnecessary Anger And Outbursts
Children who have outbursts or tantrums may seem angry and confrontational, but this may in fact be the result of pent up anxiety and worry. As mentioned earlier, anxiety can manifest in a number of ways, and if a child is unable to express their feelings verbally, they may act in such a way that seems aggressive. Such behaviour may merit consultation with a medical professional.
Noticeably Fidgety Or Clingy
Body language can be as much of an indicator of separation anxiety as a change in behaviour, and if you have noticed a sudden change in the way a child is fidgeting or clinging closely to Mum or Dad, this may suggest an unwillingness to be left with someone else.
Other signs that your child may be suffering from separation anxiety include:
- Struggling to concentrate
- Using the toilet often
- Constant crying
- Complaining of feeling unwell
Childcare Help And Guidance
If your concern is growing that your child may be suffering from an anxiety disorder then it is important that their daily environment is able to cater for their needs. This should be prioritised alongside help from a trusted medical professional such as your local GP. Separation anxiety usually won’t go away without treatment, and may even lead to panic disorder and other anxiety disorders transitioning to adulthood. Sticking with a recommended treatment plan will help prevent recurrences or worsening of the symptoms. At Little Acorns Day Nursery, our biggest motivation is to guarantee the ongoing wellbeing and emotional nourishment of every child put into our care, so we aim for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy with all staff within nursery and holiday clubs.
Our professional staff team aim to support parents and other carers to help their children settle quickly and easily, giving consideration to the specific needs and circumstances of each child. By taking this approach, we get to know each child on an individual basis, helping with their particular needs and circumstances. Introducing your child to our nursery environments is made easier by planning settling in visits and introductory sessions, while we welcome parents to stay with their child during the first few weeks until your little one is settled and you feel fully comfortable. By allocating a key person to each child, we will make sure that the nursery introduction for you and your child is much more relaxing. A key person welcomes and looks after their assigned child, ensuring that their care is tailored to meet individual needs.
Half-Term And After School Nursery
Understanding that you will have your own routine and daily errands, Little Acorns Day Nursery provide extensively trained staff for after school care, as well as half-term school holiday periods. If your child is suffering from separation anxiety or has additional needs, our employees are well-equipped to deal with challenging behaviour. Book sessions for a time that suits you at our friendly Eastleigh location. Our enthusiastic childcare practitioners go to great lengths to plan and arrange fun holiday activities and ongoing projects that any child will love, removing the stress of finding childcare arrangements. Simply sign up today to secure your place, and keep yourself informed of the fun parent’s events and community initiatives we offer.
Little Acorns Day Nursery: A Welcoming Nursery And Holiday Club
Our friendly team at Little Acorns Day Nursery are proud to cater for 160 children across two distinct facilities, each with a welcoming and happy atmosphere. Children in our care are supported by committed and highly trained staff, who take their roles seriously as caregivers. Positive Ofsted reports, an outstanding local reputation and countless award nominations make us the ideal nursery to choose for your little one. Our environments are ideal for developing children in a caring and flexible manner, as we understand that parents are constantly on-the-go. In the demanding world of work, it can seem impossible to strike the right balance when it comes to childcare, and this is why we offer nursery services, an after school club and holiday club for those hectic half-terms.
You will no-doubt want to feel reassured that your nursery of choice is regarded well within the local area, and at Little Acorns Day Nursery we provide a nurturing setting which is stimulating and educational without forgetting about fun! Experienced staff, comprehensive facilities and plenty of toys, books and play equipment mean that we have been recognised within award nominations. Living or working around the Hedge End or Eastleigh area? Feel free to pass by to give us a visit! Alternatively, contact our friendly staff today for additional information on the services we provide.