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  1. #1
    Shy CountryMommy's Avatar
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    Sudden Separation Anxiety

    I have had a pair of siblings in my care for a little over 2 months now. They are 14 months and 3 years old. The little one cried or whimpered at drop-off for about a week and she's been fine ever since. She comes here in the mornings, stretches her arms out to me, and smiles. The older girl was great from the first day. She'd say bye to mommy and go off to play.

    Last week, the older girl started crying at drop-off saying she wanted to go home. When her mom told her she had to go to work, she'd cry and say she wanted to go to work with her (mom's done this before so she knows it'd be a possibility). Today she clung to her mom again and cried at drop-off again. Her mom said her daughter has never done this before in the couple of years she's been in different dayhomes. She was very nice, not accusing at all, and said she didn't think it was me, but she was obviously concerned that she was acting up at drop-off. Five minutes after mom left, she was her happy, laughing, talkative self again. I texted mom and let her know she was fine now. She was nice about it and assured me that she thought it'd pass soon, as long as there was no real reason for her anxiety.

    I can't help but feel it's me considering she's never done this before. I have been wracking my brain to see if I can remember what happened last week, if there's anything negative that could have happened, to make her not want to come here anymore. I can't think of anything out of the ordinary, nothing negative that happened. She's been with mom more often lately though. Last week, mom got sick and stayed home with her kids. This weekend was a long weekend so she got to spend some fun time with family for Thanksgiving. I don't know if that's it, that now she has loved spending some time with her mom so much that she wants more of it. Or whether I'm doing something wrong at my dayhome, like not fun enough activities for her, etc.

    Her mom was sweet and assuring to me, but I know that if it were my child acting up suddenly I'd have a very hard time leaving my child at that place until I came to the bottom of the issue.

    I have a hard time believing that my dayhome isn't fun for her because as soon as mom leaves, she calms down and has a blast at our place. Then she always tells me, "Will you tell my mom that I want to come again tomorrow?". We get along well and she compliments me, says I'm the greatest, etc. So why is she suddenly acting up at drop off?

    Has this ever happened to anyone?

  2. #2
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    I would say its the time spent with Mom. I think its normal I've had kids do this at different points during thier time with me. I have one little girl and any change in routine will set her off. She attends preschool Mom dropped her off instead of me she cried and whimpered most of the morning she doesn't even cry when I take her to preschool. Last year they were in swimming lessons one afternoon a week Mom got off early to come swim with she wouldn't let go of Mom the whole lesson whereas with me she was off to lesson no problem. Children go through changes and sometimes have bad days and even bad weeks, I wouldn't worry about it. Let Mom know it is normal.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountryMommy View Post
    I have had a pair of siblings in my care for a little over 2 months now. They are 14 months and 3 years old. The little one cried or whimpered at drop-off for about a week and she's been fine ever since. She comes here in the mornings, stretches her arms out to me, and smiles. The older girl was great from the first day. She'd say bye to mommy and go off to play.

    Last week, the older girl started crying at drop-off saying she wanted to go home. When her mom told her she had to go to work, she'd cry and say she wanted to go to work with her (mom's done this before so she knows it'd be a possibility). Today she clung to her mom again and cried at drop-off again. Her mom said her daughter has never done this before in the couple of years she's been in different dayhomes. She was very nice, not accusing at all, and said she didn't think it was me, but she was obviously concerned that she was acting up at drop-off. Five minutes after mom left, she was her happy, laughing, talkative self again. I texted mom and let her know she was fine now. She was nice about it and assured me that she thought it'd pass soon, as long as there was no real reason for her anxiety.

    I can't help but feel it's me considering she's never done this before. I have been wracking my brain to see if I can remember what happened last week, if there's anything negative that could have happened, to make her not want to come here anymore. I can't think of anything out of the ordinary, nothing negative that happened. She's been with mom more often lately though. Last week, mom got sick and stayed home with her kids. This weekend was a long weekend so she got to spend some fun time with family for Thanksgiving. I don't know if that's it, that now she has loved spending some time with her mom so much that she wants more of it. Or whether I'm doing something wrong at my dayhome, like not fun enough activities for her, etc.

    Her mom was sweet and assuring to me, but I know that if it were my child acting up suddenly I'd have a very hard time leaving my child at that place until I came to the bottom of the issue.

    I have a hard time believing that my dayhome isn't fun for her because as soon as mom leaves, she calms down and has a blast at our place. Then she always tells me, "Will you tell my mom that I want to come again tomorrow?". We get along well and she compliments me, says I'm the greatest, etc. So why is she suddenly acting up at drop off?

    Has this ever happened to anyone?
    She could have done something off schedule on weekend and sometimes that extra snuggly day with Mom is all it takes. Don't sweat it she could also be a little under the weather and is just more clingy!

    Don't take it personal!

  4. #4
    Shy CountryMommy's Avatar
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    In the morning I had a hard time not taking it personally because her mom said she'd never done this before with anyone else. But at pick-up the little girl didn't want to leave! I had to promise her she could continue with her play tomorrow before she even went and said hi to her dad.

    I hope it really was just that she got the extra cuddles and attention from the family gatherings and holidays, going to bed late, etc.

  5. #5
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    Today, the same thing happened with one of my dck who had started back in August - she has been absolutely a joy in the mornings and then today, was all upset with tears. This caused her Dad to be very upset at drop off time.

    Maybe with all the extra time of Thanksgiving weekend with M&D at home, it just made her a bit sad to leave home. I wouldn't worry too much about it - we all have bad days and don't "want to go" - lol - to school, work or daycare!

    Lots of snuggles and a bit extra attention usually makes it all better. I email a photo of the sad child happily playing, to Mom/Dad with a note attached that he or she is feeling much better. It definitely puts the parent at ease!
    Last edited by lori123; 10-11-2011 at 09:54 PM.

  6. #6
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    Wouldn't worry too much. As long as she seems to enjoy the majority of the time spent with you, it seems completely normal. Most kids suffer some sort of anxious-ness at drop off, sometimes it stays but it almost always disappears eventually.

  7. #7
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    I have noticed a trend in 3 year olds that after months of coming happy every day they start to go through separation anxiety big time again and there can be severe moodiness at daycare, tears at drop off, agressiveness towards the parent at pick up, etc. It is actually considered "normal" behavioiur and has to do with the child's increasing awareness of their independence. After spending so much time with parents and then suddenly back to separate places all day can set them off for sure. If you google separation and three year olds you will probably be able to find some articles to share with the family. Be careful to treat the child matter of factly and not put too much emphasis on her feelings or she may think there really is something to be upset about - just go about a normal day in a normal way but mention the child my name more often or ask her to do something for you, serve a favourite food for snack, do an activity she likes but in a way that she doesn't realize you are doing it for her.

  8. #8
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    I have a 5.5 yo who occasionally cries at drop off, sometimes shes tired, sometimes shes just had a rough morning, but shes fine as soon as mom goes. She also cries EVERY time her mom drops her off at school, she is in SK (usually I drop her off and its no problem) she also cried when her mom dropped her off with me at my daugthers birthday party. I think sometimes no matter how fun a dayhome is, kids just want their moms!

  9. #9
    Shy CountryMommy's Avatar
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    So when I picked the girl up from preschool yesterday, she greeted me with a smile and was great the whole day with me.

    Her mom sent me an e-mail thanking me for the care I give her daughters and telling me not to take her crying at drop off personally.

    Thank you all for your reassurance.

  10. #10
    Euphoric !
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    Always good to get an email like that. Sounds like mom either did some research or talked to friends with kids and found out it is more normal than she thought.

    As with so much one of the signs of abuse or a bad daycare situation is your child cries at drop off and that will be on any list she has read so of course when tears happen she was ingrained to think the worst. Some kids just cry cause they want to. Glad the parent is feeling better.

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