Children feel safe when they are with family or others they know well. Even though child care is much more familiar for children these days, young children (ages 0-5) may occasionally have a hard time when they are away from their families for extended periods of time.
Generally, as children reach the age of three, they begin to get a confident sense of their own separateness from everyone else. It’s not surprising then that during the early years, separation from family members (the people whom a child feels closest to and even feels part of) can be very upsetting for a child.
In this set of resources, we will focus on how you can help children work on feelings about separation and independence, memory skills, developing self-control, and expressing feelings.
Watch the videos about Separation and think about how you could use them as a part of the classroom activities or throughout the year as children work on being away from their families and remembering.
Episode: Daniel Goes to School
Daniel joins his friends Prince Wednesday, Katerina Kittycat, O the Owl, and Miss Elaina at school, but doesn't want his dad to leave, until Dad Tiger reminds him that "grownups come back." Miss Elaina is missing her mom and has lost her special locket with her mom's picture in it. The children help Miss Elaina fi nd her locket. Before long, the school day is over and, just as promised, the grownups come back to take their children home. (11 ½ minutes)×
Clip #1: Strategy Song: “Grownups come back.”×
Clip #2: Learn what happens when Sadie starts school.×
Use these resources to further explore the topic of Separation in your classroom.
Share these resources with the families of your students, so they can continue the conversation at home.
Just as Daniel Tiger and Miss Elaina are learning how to go to school and be away from their families, the children in your classroom are learning these same skills. The separation may be easier for some kids and more difficult for others, but having a plan in place for gradual acclimation and strategies the children can employ throughout the day can help children learn to be more independent and remember that grownups do come back.