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Severe separation anxiety?

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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby Annikki on Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:33 pm

We went through the same thing. We knew DD would not be ready for Kindergarden if we didn't do two years of preschool. The teachers were great, it was heart breaking leaving your child crying with a stranger.

It got easier! It took about a month until she was fine going and it helped her get over her fear of people.

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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby Samandemma on Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:17 pm

As a mom and a preschool teacher, my approach is staying with your child until she/he is ready for you to leave and although this may take time (could be days, weeks or in some cases a few months) your child will ultimately feel confident in her/himself and in being at preschool without a parent being present.
Insisting that a child maintain the separation when they are clearly not ready to do so does not IMO help a child to feel confident, secure and solid in being able to participate fully in a preschool programme. Once a child feels secure in the teachers/caregivers (as you have noted about your DD who is happy to stay with grandparents, aunts etc) she will have a positive sense of her capacity to be present on her own at preschool. JMHO (and from a parent who needed to stay for months with our child when she was at preschool. She now loves school and has great confidence).
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby nolan's mom on Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:49 pm

I highly recommend you look at the website http://www.anxietybc.com/ and look under the parents tab. It has a lot of strategies on dealing with anxiety that any one can use. I find it very helpful when dealing with my ds anxiety as well as my clients. There is also a book called dealing with your anxious child? something like that, that I also recommend to parents when they have a child with anxiety. Sometimes children will outgrow their anxiety and sometimes they will struggle with it through out their lives. Giving a child strategies to deal with their anxiety early on can be very beneficial for your child.
Good luck.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby NPern82 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:00 pm

Eeekkk, that broke my heart reading that. I agree with one of the above posters to stay with your child until they are ready for you to go. There is no way I would let someone block my child from seeing me, when they are upset like that. I don't quite understand that approach.
Perhaps bring her over to some toys, play with her and talk with her and let her know that Mommy has to go soon and she will be staying with the teachers and friends. Repeat that as many times as you need to. A good time to go is when you can walk away without her crying and when she is happily playing. It's best if she is playing with other kids and/or a teacher, she would be better distracted that way. DO NOT leave without saying goodbye first. You don't want her to look around and all of a sudden not see you.
Before you know it, you won't have to do it anymore. I'm sure your teachers will understand. Some kids need that help adapting.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby StitchedUp on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:38 am

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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby nolan's mom on Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:36 am

I think that even though your child is smar,well adjusted, ect, she obviously has some predisposition towards anxiety and giving her strategies to deal with that would be helpful for her. As you has stated once she warms up to someone its fine, however there are many situations a young child will have to deal with suprising changes in their routine. For instance a new swim/skate/gynastics or whatever instructor or something that always throws my ds for a loop is when a substitute teacher opens the door in the mornings for class, I can see the anxiety in him as it is a new person so the separation anxiety kicks in at top notch. We have had to work over the years to give him skills so he can help manage his anxiety when it comes out because we can't always be there and he does have to learn to deal with it on his own. Not saying you shouldn't support her by staying in the classroom temporarily, however I think you should put building blocks in place to help her help herself. She may breeze right through this however not all kids do and certainly whether a person has a full fledged anxiety disorder or just experiences occassional situational anxiety, we all experience anxiety and having some coping mechanisms isn't a bad thing.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby edcuator on Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:52 am

Maybe she is not ready for the separation that is required in preschool. I would ask to stay with her until she is ready for you to leave. She is just a baby! If the preschool is not prepared to accommodate those needs, then maybe it is not the right place for her - as good as the preschool may be.
As a Kindergarten teacher, I always expected a few children to start the year this way - if after three weeks they were still have difficulty with separation, we would go this route - that happened with 3 children that I can think of during my entire career.
At her age, she needs your support and needs to know that you will protect her: that is why she is worried.
I also would not be concerned that this is foreshadowing things to come unless she shows anxiety in many other areas.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby mommyx7 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:58 am

i went through this issue with kg, my son was the same way and they wanted us to leave i said no way i new what was best. day 1 i stayed i just told him i would stay and sit in a chair where he could see me but he needed to be with his class he did come and see me if he was nervous and i encourged him to go be with class the next day i stayed but sat farther away and also told him i had to go pee i would be right back and i was than 10 min after that said i needed a drink so i did that 10 min after that had to go change his brother, by day 3 i sat in the cloakroom for a few min and said i was going to be back in a few had to go get something left for 30 min and checked in after that i said i will be back to get you soon e was nervous asked if i was leaving i said i just gotta get a few groceries and i would be back i was there a few min befor the end of class he was fine those 3 days were half days so it worked , first day of full school i dropped him off but told him i would be back after i asked his sister to check in on him at lunch and left numbers for the teacher and said do not let my child get really upset and if u half to call me call me ,he never did half to call me but anytime he looked nervous or a little upset the teacher would get him busy (we had a great kg teacher mr samson) u know your child and whats best and if thats u being there and doing it slowly do what works and if the preschool is not ok with that leave and never go back
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby NLMD on Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:45 pm

My son was in a preschool last year that had a similar policy. I told them I was staying one day and I could tell they didn't like that idea what so ever. Things didn't work out at that preshool so I pulled him out. This year I have him in Carrot Seed Preschool and it is AMAZING! It was reccomended to me on KIV and I was quite iffy at first because I always thought that preschool should introduce structure. Carrot Seed is a different preschool. They have a great open door policy and if at any time you have a concern they are their to hear you out and help. Today was the first day and it was a day where mom or dad could come too. The next day is a "see how it goes" day. The teacher mentioned to me that they have had parents come for MONTHS before a child is able to work through seperation anxiety and they are perfectly accomidating. The old preschool he was at compaired to this one is like night and day. We don't like anywhere near Carrot Seed but it is so worth the drive.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby Brenda N on Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:23 pm

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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby Annikki on Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:46 pm

DD always did better when I didn't do the drop off. She woukd scream when I did it but be happy and fine with Pappa. Can some else do the drop off?

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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby Samandemma on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:32 pm

Thanks for your kind thoughts mominvic6. One thing that I didn't express directly, but I also really think that preschool needs to be fun. There are always some challenges, however, it really is about having a positive experience that a child needs to be ready to experience.
Best of luck tomorrow! You will come to a decision that feels right for your DD and your family.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby StitchedUp on Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:03 pm

This would be an easy decision for me. I just can't wrap my head around a preschool having such an inflexible attitude towards a child so young. If this were my child, I'd feel like the teachers' goal was to break her spirit, not help her to adjust, and I'd be looking for a different school.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby TazDevil on Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:30 pm

How old is she? My DS is like this. He is 6 and it is the first year without tears. Last year he screamed every morning all year for K and the previous 2 years for daycare.

Basically I realized that if he had his way he would never leave the house. I had to teach him it was OK. He still doesn't do ANY extra curricular because I can't force him for stuff that is not necessary.

Basically I bit the bullet and just dropped him and left or DH would do it because staying longer or me there made it worse. He had a lovey with him and it went a long way to help.

It did get better as he got comfortable and a good caregiver will know distraction techniques. Maybe find out her favorite thing at preschool and have them offer that to start.

It will get better.

If it isn't her last year before K though then you can think to wait a year or two? With my DS, daycare was not a choice and neither was school.
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Re: Severe separation anxiety?

Postby Sugar&spice on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:02 pm

How's your little one doing? Did you decide to postpone till next year or keep at it?
Although, I don't agree with this method of teacher directed philosophy they are right she will eventually settle in. It's a matter of time. She does need you to feel confident in your decision when leaving her though. If you are unsure she will pick up on that and be confused/anxious.
Many other preschools (Reggio Emilio inspired philosophies, child led learning centers ect) offer a gradual entry style and parents are partners in helping the child feel comfortable.
Good luck. Hope it gets easier soon.







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