What NOT to do when leaving your child at school…

It’s almost a month now that most of our kids are in school for the very first time in their lives. Some adapt well, some are still having separation anxiety.

What do YOU do if your child clings on to you and refuses to let you go each time you drop him/her at school?

2 way out…

1) Tell your child you’ll watch over him/her from behind the door and ‘shoo’ him/her into the classroom with the pretext that you’ll wait for them there. Once the child is safely inside you sneak yourself out from the school.

2) Tell your child clearly that she/he needs to get into the class and you’ll be there again by the time the class is over. Give him/her a hug and a kiss and say your Goodbyes and leave.


Never ever attempt No 1. Why?

You’ll be lying to your child. By telling your child that you’ll wait for him/her outside the classroom will only make it worse. The child will constantly be on the look out for you. Once they discovered that you are no where to be seen, they’ll get agitated and restless. They won’t be able to concentrate in class and will keep on looking for you. They will feel betrayed and find it hard to trust you ever again. THIS indirectly promotes ‘lies’ in your relationship with your child…

Whenever you say Goodbye to your child in the future, he/she will be filled with fear that you’ll disappear… You won’t want that to happen, would you?

Always try No 2. Why?

Always treat your child as an ‘adult’. Trust in him/her. Never underestimate them. Talk to them before hand. Tell them tomorrow they are going to school. Ask them if they like school and if not, ask them why. Talk things through with them.

Tell them clearly that they need to be in the class and reassures them that you’ll be there again once the class is over; they’ll have the comfort of knowing that if they go through the lessons, they’ll be able to see you again after class. They are also assured with lots of love that they are not being ‘abandoned’ and Mommy/Daddy meant what they say.

When you say Goodbye, they will feel loved and not betrayed…


The above are just my personal opinions. Now that I’m teaching again and the kids are as young as 18 months old, I’ve SEEN what No 1 and No 2 do to them. Trust me, No 1 works for a short period but over the long run, No 2 RULES!

Kids need to know WHY they are going to school. They need to LOVE going to school. They need to feel SAFE in school.

Ask yourself, what are you doing to make all those a reality? Lying to them is definitely not helping…

By the way, Ethan is doing fine in school without me and I’ve overcome MY separation anxiety. You see, I published this post while Ethan is in school right now :D

About the Author: Merryn Tan

21 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    thanks for sharing.. yet to get to that stage, but good to start learning now.. I always tell Princess I going to work, and she need to be at home.. :p

  • //

    Great advice

  • //

    Thanks for sharing. Myself, like Cynthia too, have yet to reach that stage. So far when I go to work, my son's OK with it, we bye-bye each other happily and that's it. I hope when it's time for him to go to school next time, it will be just like how we depart when i go to work.

  • //

    *sigh* u got a lot to catch up, Merryn…. lol…i had to face even worst than saperation anxiety… temper tantrums when sending the boy to school, and I ended up telling him, if he dun stop and behave, he'll be sorry cuz I'll be feeding him to dinosaur! It works more well than talking and coaxing. *SIGH* It's a lie… but I bet he'll remember this better when he's my age! Cuz i was extremely clingy too, and my dad told me that every 8-4pm, there's a boogeyman who comes to clean up the house, and every damn day, i look forward to go to school, even on Sundays! I remember this one more than anything else.

  • //

    I totally agree although coaxing kids can take a whole lot of patience. So i tend to force it on my girl like threats and so on but for school, i found a great excuse for her that is by using my brother which she is afraid of. I told her if she doesn't want 2 go 2 school, the only one that is free to look after her is my brother and since then she always said "i want to go to school!". lol!

  • //

    Thanks Merryn!! I am already starting to compile all these infos :)

  • //

    Agnes – LOL.. Maine is way too young for you to gather info NOW lah :PRyeli – U threaten ur girl! :D My boy doesn't work that way.. wat to do? :)Cleffairy – One day… when the going gets tough… the tough will get going.. then I'll call u for advise! :DAlice – The fact that you can bye bye happily is a very good sign dy :)Ivynana – Though different ppl have different approach lah kan? This works for me.. mebe not for others :)Cynthia – Next month u see how lah! hahha

  • //

    Noted :D

  • //

    I'm really is waiting for Gwen outside the classroom at the school office. At Gwen's kindy, I can see the maids waiting for the children to finish school and they lepak at the office ler. I will go for a drink or either wait at the office lor. If I were to go home, I need to walk or take taxi so I might as well wait for Gwen and take the taxi home together. If I were in KL, I will definitely use the No.2 attempt. I will never lie to Gwen. :D

  • //

    Good advice. Definitely no. 2 is the better option. In fact, most day care centres promote no. 2. I know it seems like you're a hard person, but really 2 seconds after you walk out the door, the kid's fine. It is important to keep the promise that you will be there to meet them after school. Kids understand more than we parents give them credit for.

  • //

    entri yang bagus,memng betul apa yang meryn katakan…tapi masih juga ada masalah yang x dapat d atasi di mana ada murid yang berperangai begini hingga AKHIR TAHUN.. BAYANGKAN!

  • //

    Totally agree with you. No.2 better :)

  • //

    true, just leave the children with the good hands of the teachers. They will be fine.

  • //

    GOOD POINT!! Totally agree. If we parents are kids one more time, do we want to be treated with no.1 or no.2? kekeke

  • //

    Ethan is a good boy! Yes I believe in no.2 too. I also talk to Jayden like an adult, cos I know he understands :)

  • //

    I will tell my son as No 2 but I think I will do as No 1!! :-DDD

  • //

    Nice post! Totally agree with you, can not lie to the kids.

  • //

    Thankfully my kids dun give me much problems when leaving them in sch. So dun hv to worry abt wat "tactic" to use. :)

  • //

    Yes! I learn a good lesson here.I will apply this rules (2) to my daughter as well.Arigato!

  • //


  • //

    Thanks for sharing this info, Merryn and it is so good to know that Ethan is doing well at his school. Merryn, what do you think when I faced this situation:I have sent Sarah to music class since Dec and all the while she was fine till recently…she cried during half of the class. She started with uneasiness and later, she will cried out loud. I have asked her the reason and she seems can't tell me the reason. Actually, she is not alone in the class; I will be in the class with her. And she only needs to attend the class once a week for 30 mins. Now, I really do not know should I stop her from cont the class or how yeah? Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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