Are your toddlers showing signs of separation anxiety when you try to leave them in daycare or with a sitter?
Do you get tantrums, hysterical crying or screaming when you try to part with your toddlers? I’m sure if you ever experienced this, your heart felt like breaking. Been there, felt that way.
Today we would like to offer several solutions how to ease leaving toddlers with another person, both for you as a parent and for your toddler.
At day cares and when leaving at playgroups, we were always told to kiss good bye and leave. Don’t turn around and don’t show emotions, is what I was warned with. With our first one, I thought that advice was cruel but honestly, I realized after a while that that was the right thing to do. Prepare the child in advance of course. Tell them before hand where you are going, how much fun they will have and that you can’t stay with them. Talk about all the fun so they look forward to it and when the time comes just kiss them, step back and leave.
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When it comes to leaving my kids, honesty is always my policy. I tell them I will not leave without saying goodbye. I tell them how long I plan to be gone, or when I will be back, and offer a big hug and kiss. We also have read “The Kissing Hand”which has been helpful too…I will “recharge” their kissing hand before leaving! If the kids are staying at home, they like to wave goodbye to me as I head down the driveway. Other than that, I try to focus on how much fun THEY will be having so they get their minds on fun ASAP.
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We are struggling a bit with this issue right now. What I find helps is to label my son’s feelings. I read about this strategy in the book “The Whole Brain Child.” Apparently if you name the upset feeling, it physiologically helps them calm down and I definitely see that happen with my son. I’ll usually say something like, “You seem nervous to go to daycare this morning. It can be hard to be away from Mommy sometimes, can’t it?” After I acknowledge those feelings, he often says, “Uh-huh,” and I give him a big hug and reassure him I’ll see him soon and I know he’ll have fun – all the other usual things moms say!
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My youngest has just started going to nursery two mornings a week and we are using a technique which worked well with my two sons as well when they started. They take a “little piece of home” with them, this could be a little toy or teddy to keep in their bag whilst they are away. I always have to give my daughter a kiss and a “high-5” as well when I say good bye to her and this signals to her that I’m leaving.
author at MultiCraftingMummy.
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One of the best things I’ve done is arrange a play date or two with the caregiver before I actually need to leave my child. This helps the child get used to the caregiver and the new environment.
author at Mommy Crusader and her Knights and Ladies.
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I’ve only dealt with separation anxiety with one of my children. I found that being honest and letting her know that I will be back was a big help. Once she seen that I come back the first day she was okay after that.
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It always helps to talk about big changes well in advance, such as starting school. Toddlers also need to be made aware that you will be back for them, even when they can’t see you. Always emphasize the ‘coming back’ part.
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