Ongoing Separation Anxiety in 3 year old

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Ongoing Separation Anxiety in 3 year old

Post by AMH » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:45 am


I work with a little girl who has been attending my centre for quite a while. She is continuing to become very distressed at drop-off i.e. screaming, kicking, crying etc. She does settle down within the space of half an hour and is able to reflect on her emotions but we are having a difficult time breaking this cycle. I have spoken to Mum and having better drop-offs would make a huge difference for her. Throughout the day, the child is fine. We speak to her regularly about her drop-offs, ensure the room is welcoming and comfortable, she is familiar with her educators and has good relationships with them, Mum is positive and happy at drop-off. We have read books about going to school as well so we're getting to a bit of a loss of what else we can do to help her.


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Re: Ongoing Separation Anxiety in 3 year old

Post by Tomhanks5 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:10 pm

From what you have mentioned i concluded that maybe the kid is suffering from ADHD.

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Re: Ongoing Separation Anxiety in 3 year old

Post by Lorina » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:19 pm

I don't we need to jump to the conclusion of the child having ADHD, just because drops off are difficult...

You need to get the child and mum into a routine. It has to be quick and mum shouldn't hang around too long which prolongs the goodbye causing more stress for the child. Get the child and parent into a predictable routine.

1) Mum and parent comes in places bag in the cubby.
2) Mum hands child over to the educator.
3) Mum leaves.
4) The educator takes the child to the window to wave goodbye to mum.
5) Mum waves goodbye.
6) Educator settles child with a story/activity.
7) When the child screams and cries, leave her, don't stop her and don't pay "attention" to it. Let her know that you are waiting nearby until she is ready to join in.

This routine or similar needs to be consistent and soon enough the child will settle down. Having the Parent trying to settle the child and hanging around is actually worse off. So, it needs to be done quickly.

I've had a few children in my room that have taken them a while to settle during drop-offs. I remember a child that had taken months to stop crying and screaming when being dropped off. Like your situation, the child was absolutely fine during the day and 10 minutes after his parents left. Sometimes I feel that a child enjoys the attention they get from both mum and the Educator when crying and screaming as we work frantically to try and settle them. Just let them be, let them know you are near and give them space to settle on their own.

See how it goes...


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