Q: Is there a way to leave my daughter at a playgroup by herself, without giving her separation anxiety?

A: Starting a playgroup can be a great step for little ones, but it shouldn't be a source of stress. Some kiddies love playgroups and preschool while others are more cautious and shy, both perfectly natural reactions.  Go at your daughter's pace -- the first few days, sit with her for the whole time. When she knows the other children, teachers, and parents, start to pull away. Try stepping outside the room to take a call or tell her you're going to the bathroom (alone). Get her used to you coming and going.  Eventually, lengthen your absences while also talking about how she'll start to spend the whole time with her teachers and friends. If you follow her readiness, she'll show when she's feeling comfortable enough for you to leave.

Answered by Dr. Heather Wittenberg



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