Help Separation Anxiety

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Grammy Teacher, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Mar 22, 2011

    I have a 4 year old girl in my class three mornings a week. She started out with anxiety when her mom brought her, but improved. She is starting to show signs of extreme distress over her mom leaving again. She doesn't cry for her dad or her grandma. Her new routine is to get mom to take her to the bathroom, always telling her she has to go potty. This is all to make mom stay longer. Mom finally leaves her crying and as long as mom is there, I can't distract her into anything else. After mom leaves, she has a GREAT day, no tears, totally has fun. About a half hour before mom picks her up, she starts in crying again and I can't get her to stop. Mom picks her up and gives her lots of attention, asking her what's wrong, hugging her, holding her. I see it as a way to get lots and lots of mommy time. What do you see?!
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 22, 2011

    Normal behavior for a 4 year old. I would talk with mom about leaving sooner.
     
  4. MissAbbeyMarie

    MissAbbeyMarie Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2011

    Definitely normal four year old behavior. Talk to mom about whats going on and maybe even have someone else pick her up and drop her off a few times. See how that goes.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 23, 2011

    This is mommy advice, not teacher advice, since it's not something I face with my 14 year olds.

    Mommy should drop her at the door, give her a kiss and say she loves her, and leave. You are more than capable of taking the child to the bathroom.

    Perhaps a picture of the girl and mommy would help for those times when she feels blue?
     
  6. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    Mar 23, 2011

    Yep, mum needs to say goodbye and leave as quickly as possible.
     
  7. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Mar 23, 2011

    We do allow parents, even encourage them to "stay and play". That said, we institute a long "one hug, one kiss" policy for children currently suffering from the shakey drop off. This is typical behavior. Tell yourself and her that it is all ok, and that you will get through it. Tell the mom it is normal and until you reach the other end of it you will need her to stick to the one hug one kiss.

    Our outside time is right before pick up....that might relax things for the little person at that right before pick up blue period.
     
  8. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Mar 23, 2011

    This is so common. I think that sometimes educating the parents is the most important part of the process. She probably wants mom because that is the person she spends the most time with and has the closet bond with. For preschool children time is an abstract concept so they have trouble understanding that their parent is coming back and they feel abandoned. I encourage my parents to talk to their child at breakfast time and let them know how long they will be at school and reassure the child they will always come back for them. I would tell mom to give one kiss and one hug and then say goodbye and leave. Often parents try to creep out and dont properly say goodbye which will only prolong the problem because the child will feel left behind. The more parents discuss the fear at home and reassure the child the quicker the problem will end. As for pick up time I would let mom know that she is fine and that she is just missing you. Try and convince mom not to play into it to much if possible. Some parents panic because they think something is going on at school so if you explain that it only happens the last 30 minutes before go home time you can help them feel better too. Parent stress can often complicate anxiety because the child picks up on it. That is why I usually start with the parent and work my way to the child.
     
  9. momof4

    momof4 New Member

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    Mar 23, 2011

    I have several children in my class that will cry at drop-off. My parents are good about hug/kiss/goodbye but even still we have one or two that will cry. One of the parents has a handkerchif that they kiss and put in their child's hand when they leave and the child is allowed to carry that around--usually it gets put in within 10 minutes. We also have a "kissing hand" book that we have made for our classroom. Every child has a picture of their parent/caregiver and an outline of their hand with a heart shape sticker or lipstick print of lips on the hand. The kids can look at this whenever they feel like they need mom.
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Mar 23, 2011

    Thanks Everyone. I found good information for the mom to read, about the very things discussed above. Today she said good bye, gave her a hug and I took the little girl to a play area. She cried for a second and was fine. To reassure mom, I wrote a note telling her who she played with and that she was very happy all morning. It was a good day. I believe mom needed just a little "nudge" and reassurance that all is well.
     
  11. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Mar 23, 2011

    I do occasionally call/email or text a parent for a couple days that the child has stopped crying and is playing. The point being that their messge comes in often before they have even gotten to the car. It has helped.
     
  12. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    Apr 21, 2011

    I agree with the "one hug, one kiss" routine but I also let parents know to always say, "See you soon" or "See you later", never good bye. I want the child to know that the parent will come back. Good bye sounds so final. I also have the privilege of taking pictures and printing them out for the parents to see that their child does do great throughout the day.
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Apr 22, 2011

    The mom always say, "I'll see you at 11:00!" and then she leaves. The little girl is now doing awesome!
     
  14. new2twos

    new2twos Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2011

    I have this issue with 2 of my 3 year olds. One will run to the corner and will come out in about 5 mins and be ready to play. The other will cry for 10 mins. We try to engage him. We have brought his fave toys in, even from home. He will cry and then be fine for a little bit then start to cry again. Then at the end of the day cry again. I think some of this is b/c mom is having a baby in June. But the rest is just normal anxiety.
     

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