STARTING SCHOOL: 4 ways to combat separation anxiety

27 January 2016
Reading time3 mins

Do you have a little one starting school/pre-school this year? Here’s how to make it positive.

As we approach the new term, children may be feeling nervous about starting a new school, or even returning to classes.

As parents, we may also feel some anxiety about leaving our child.

  • Will they be safe?
  • Will they be bullied?
  • Will they like their new teacher?
  • Will they cope with the curriculum?

Whilst it is common for children up to the age of three to suffer anxiety when separated from their caregivers, some children continue to suffer from separation anxiety even into high school.

So, what can you do?

Put together this little toolkit of happiness to soothe your child’s nerves:

  1. Flower Essences
  2. Affirmations
  3. Positive stories
  4. Essential Oils

1. Flower essences

Flower essences can be of great support for children who have separation anxiety.

A flower essence is preserved in an alcohol base and a couple of drops can be diluted into your child’s water bottle for them to sip throughout the day. They are easily purchased in pharmacies or health food stores. Just ensure to keep the bottle out of reach of children.

Red Chesnut

The Bach Flower Essence Red Chesnut is used for over-concern and worry about others which can be very helpful for children who feel anxious about leaving their caregiver in case something should happen to them. Although this is not always apparent, this can often be the case. The essence helps them to cope with good-byes and trust that the other person is safe. It can be very useful if you feel sad leaving your child too.


The Australian Bush Flower Essence Bottlebrush helps the mother-child bond so a child feels secure, which eases separation. Separation anxiety can result when a person feels a lack of attachment, and this essence helps fix that.

2. Affirmations

Affirmations are also helpful as positive statements that you can say to your child, or that older children can repeat to themselves.

Try the following:

  1. It is okay to leave mum, she doesn’t need me to help her.
  2. I trust that mum will always come back for me.
  3. The world is a friendly, welcoming place.
  4. I am safe wherever I am.

If you child is worried about starting school, try saying them each night and morning for the week before school starts and continue for as long as your child needs.

3. Positive stories

Reading your child traditional fairy tales or stories about starting kindy or school can be helpful, as these often cover the issue of separation and what to expect at school. For example, Hansel and Gretel, although lost, finally triumph and are reunited with their father, and there are many books also specifically written about going to school/kindy. Reading stories like this can help teach your child that however hard life seems, he can stand on his own two feet.

4. Essential oils

Smells are closely related to attachment.

A couple of drops of Lavender, Neroli or Fennel Oil can be easily popped onto your child’s clothes to help ease anxiety. These essential oils are great for calming nerves.

Again, remember to always keep oils out of the reach of children.

In addition, if you child is feeling a little fearful about going to pre-school/school, you can always pop a little of your perfume on your child’s teddy or clothes so he can smell it and be comforted by a memory of you.

Good luck ...

By using a combination of these simple supports, the journey back to school can be an exciting, joyful experience for both your children and yourself.

Good luck! It’s the start of a whole new era.

For more information on getting your little one school-ready, check out our 6 steps to starting school successfully, our top 4 tips to avoiding nits5 of our easy lunch box favs and our back to school guide of ideas for the new term. 

Is your child starting pre-school or school this term? How do they/you feel about it?

Written by

Elizabeth Hughes

Elizabeth Hughes is the founder of Your Body Has The Answer Pty Ltd and was Head of Progressive Kinesiology in the United Kingdom. She graduated from Warwick University in England, with a B.A. Honours degree in Psychology and Education. As well as running a busy private health centre, Elizabeth teaches the nationally recognised Diploma of Kinesiology, Anatomy and Physiology, Reflexology and Nutrition. She is an Advanced Australian Bush Flower Essence practitioner, has studied Craniosacral Therapy and Aromatic Medicine. She is also the author of the comprehensive self help series of books YOUR BODY HAS THE ANSWER and YOUR CHILD’S BODY HAS THE ANSWER, which serve as a guide to the most common medical conditions and how to treat them naturally.

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