Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Short Goodbye Means A Short Cry

Separation anxiety can be hard on everyone, not just the child.  Parents are often the ones who suffer the most.  The problem is that separation anxiety is a normal stage children go through.
A typical 10-month-old will all of a sudden start to cry when dropped off by parents.  This baby may have been in your care for almost his whole life, been dropped-off with no issues, then start to show anxiety out of the blue.  It's because this is a natural stage babies at this age go through.
Separation anxiety and problems at drop-off may appear at different ages and stages, too, for a variety of reasons.  Everything from changes at home to changes in the daycare setting can set off this behavior.
Redirecting the child's attention, singing a song, or asking another child to come play with the child that is upset usually does the trick to get the child settled down.
I find dealing with the parents the hard part of this stage.  Parents can feed into it and make it worse.
I always have the rule of dropping off children in less than 5 minutes, but during an anxiety stage, I strictly enforce it.  I remind the parents "A short goodbye, means a short cry."  If parents linger or try to console their child, it fuels the fire.
Another thing I tell parents is to drop off their child, then linger right outside the door and listen and take note about how long their child continues to cry.  It's never more than a few minutes.  This usually puts a parent's mind at ease.
How do you handle separation anxiety?  Please leave me a comment below.



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