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Separation Anxiety - NOT 'just a myth'.

I remember 'way back when' I started Big School. I felt as though I was more than ready. I really didn't know what all the fuss was about, when I used to watch my eldest sibling crying her way out the door, day after day. By the time it was my turn, I couldn't get out the door quick enough.

I guess it's to be expected that by the time the fifth child goes off to school, separation anxiety won't be 'as much of a problem'. This was actually the case for my own three children. My eldest, a boy, found his first day of school the most challenging. Seeing me head back home with his two little sisters was like torture for the poor little guy.

As my three cherubs grew I began to notice that not only did the idea of separation anxiety subside, but I too felt less anxious. I'm sure this was because I had experienced my kid's life's firsts. I knew that our choices as parents were the right ones for our kids. As they walked off, still a little nervous, we had established the necessary strategies to help them cope.

Now, we have three adults, I have taken more notice of their first experiences - yes, that's right, as we grow, we STILL experience 'firsts' and these make us anxious. whether it was their first time sitting the HSC, their first real relationship, their first break up, their first day at Uni or their first day at work, I felt that anxiety just as they did. It reminds me of how often I hear parents say to me each day, "I'm happy they just walked into your room, but now I'm sad they didn't get a bit teary when I left." It's so true.

Whatever the 'first' and whatever the age, separation anxiety is REAL. It doesn't need to just be about the separation from the parent, grandparent, relative or nanny, it's just about the anxiety of separating from the comfort of what is known to them. As soon as children experience something new, all of their emotions are heightened. When we as parents see that, we feel that too. The challenge for us is to bring the child back to a level of calmness and reassure them that this change is great! (Then we can walk around the corner and burst into tears).

Where and with whom we leave our child needs to be as nurturing as what you would provide for them. On your child's first day of Kindergarten, there will be noise, bustling, bells ringing, voices over microphones, children crying, bigger children brushing past, parents and carers all trying to capture the moment; good or bad and then there will be their teacher. That first impression will set the tone for your child, just as it does for me as the teacher. I aim to make that all important connection with each and every child as though they are my own.

School Readiness is vital for many children, particularly if they suffer from separation anxiety. Many children are not ready for a class of 30 straight up. This is where Tightrope Learning is a perfect environment to start. Your child will enter into a happy, engaging and safe space and be welcomed by myself or another friendly educator in a small group of six children. In such a setting, we are able to teach your child the necessary strategies to prepare them for their first day of Big School.

Our Social Skills program encourages your child to have a voice, to ask questions, to engage in conversation where they listen to and share their own ideas. Tightrope Learning prepares children not only to be WANT to learn but be ready to make a friend.

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