4. Many parents find it helps to create a specific goodbye ritual that allows your child to detach. Sit down with them at an opportune time and together come up with an agreement as to what ritual will help them separate. (Involving them in the planning process makes it more likely they'll cooperate once the time comes.) Decide on a certain amount of kisses and hugs, a special spot where they can wave goodbye, a mantra or exchange of reassurances that are to be offered, and so on. This provides a sense of predictability and empowerment over separations.
5. Once it's time to leave, hold goodbyes to a minimum. When your kid has a habit of producing meltdowns, it’s easy for this to translate into anxious activity of your own. But continuing to return for one more hug can feet into your child’s fears that there is something to worry about, and it reinforces negative behavior. If you allow a child to delay and stretch out the process, it only encourages them to put up a bigger fuss in the future. Decide on a goodbye ritual according to the previous tip, and then stick to it, no matter how distressed a child is. If you let their reaction control your schedule, you're letting a child inadvertently manipulate you and rewarding the very behavior (crying and fussing) that you're trying to get rid of. When a child learns that throwing a tantrum or collapsing in a ball of tears gets you to stay longer, you can expect to see such behavior every day.
6. Researchers note that "positive and negative reinforcement patterns surrounding the child's distress at separation may reinforce or escalate fears." (Choate et al., 2005) So be sure to praise brave behaviors while not responding to anxiety related behavior. Talk about how happy it makes you feel when they act brave, and acknowledge their fears without giving credibility to them: “All these tears are rather silly when both you know and I know that I'll be back to get you in just a little bit.”
7. In extreme cases, some children may find a reprieve if they can make a midday phone call to a parent. However, this should be dependant upon their cooperation in fuss-free separations, and may not always be feasible.
8. Many kids will be helped if you provide them a photo, small photo album, or other memento that they can keep with them during the day in order to feel closer to you. Try combining this with a reassuring phrase or note, such as writing on the back of a photograph: “I'm thinking about you and will see you soon!” Some families turn this into a ritual, taking a new picture every week in assorted settings/poses and then retiring it at the end of the week for a new picture and a new reassuring message, letting the child keep a photo album at home with all the pictures as a symbol of all the times they've managed and survived without you.
Another method is to give them a keepsake of yours to carry along with them. Many kids will be comforted by being able to carry around your scarf or an extra pair of sunglasses or something else that belongs to you.