Roma Norriss, a parenting consultant and mother of four, has challenged the common practice of quick school drop-offs and instead advocates for addressing separation anxiety in children with warm and comforting goodbyes.
Roma believes that offering children warm hugs and emotional support during the drop-off process can lead to increased confidence, improved learning, and eventually shorter drop-offs. She suggests ignoring the advice often given by teachers and caregivers and prioritizing a child’s emotional needs.
According to Roma, it’s essential to acknowledge and validate children’s feelings of distress when starting school or transitioning to a new class. She argues that merely leaving a child at school while they are upset doesn’t address the underlying emotions that make separation difficult.
Roma points out that leaving a child at school when they are upset can result in reduced learning capacity, self-doubt, and ongoing separation anxiety. Children may appear to settle when repeatedly left upset, but this is often due to learned helplessness rather than addressing their emotional needs.
She emphasizes that humans, especially young ones, are wired for connection and feel safer when they are with loved ones. Rushing a child through drop-off can bring their need for connection and reassurance to the surface.
Roma advises parents to take their child aside and give them as much time as they need during drop-off, listening to their concerns and tears. Instead of quickly leaving, she recommends opting for a long goodbye. This approach allows parents to reassure their children and build their confidence over time.
Roma believes that investing time in comforting children during the first weeks of the school term can lead to confident and independent children who are better prepared for learning and play throughout the day.
In summary, Roma Norriss advocates for addressing separation anxiety in children by providing emotional support and warm goodbyes during school drop-offs, challenging the common practice of quick exits.