Ask Rainbow

Do you have questions about your toddler's development? Rainbow Kidschool can help. Send us your questions via Facebook at Learn more about us at Credit: Rainbow Kidschool

Do you have questions about your toddler’s development? Rainbow Kidschool can help. Send us your questions via Facebook at Learn more about us at
Credit: Roxeanne Marberl

Compiled by Roxeanne Marberl

My child cries every time I leave her, what can I do to help her with this?

Separation anxiety is a common occurrence in children of all ages, especially toddler and preschool children. Whether you are leaving your child for the first or the hundredth time, there is a good chance your child has cried when you left them. Toddlers especially will cry when left by their parents as they often do not have the language to express how they feel. Preschool children may also cry, but typically they verbalize their feelings by asking you to stay or to play with them.

Talk to your child before leaving them home with a babysitter or extended family member or before bringing them to a child-care centre. If possible, have the babysitter come to your home a couple of times and play with your child(ren) while you are there. Likewise, take a couple of visits to the child-care centre with your child the weeks before they start. This helps your child become comfortable with their new environment and caregivers. They also begin developing a relationship with their new babysitter or caregiver while still having the reassurance that you are close by.

When it is time for you to say goodbye to your child, tell them where you will be going. Reassure them you will return. Let them know when they can expect you: “You are going to play with Jane while mommy/daddy is at the dentist. Then, after you eat lunch, I will be home.” Allow the child to express their feelings by crying. Let them know you understand they will miss you, but that you will return to them. While you may feel the need to stay and be the one to offer your child comfort, don’t linger. Allow the caregivers/babysitters the opportunity to continue building the relationship they are developing with your child and be their support at that time. As you begin to leave your child more often, the separation anxiety should begin to lessen.

If your plans change while you are away, let the caregiver know as soon as possible so they can explain the changes to your child. Everything you do to help your child build healthy relationships at an early age is important for their development.

Send questions about your toddler’s development to the educators at Rainbow Kidschool. Rainbow (Carleton Preschool) has been a community leader in child development and preschool since 1967. Rainbow also offers an after-school program for kindergarten and school-aged children.

Submit your question via our Facebook page: For more information about us, visit

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