08-19-2013 08:30 PM
My son is 3 1/2 now and has been going to the same daycare since he was 1. It's been the same routine....drop him off in the morning when I go to work, and I pick him up at the end of the day (father is not in the picture so my son knows i am the one that only gets him). Well, for the last 3 weeks its been a crying, screaming mess when i drop him off. Every morning for the last two years, he gets a little sad when I drop him off but is excited to play with his friends all day. All of a sudden, it has becoming a tramatic event each morning and it breaks my heart. Is anyone else going through this? Is it the age? Does anyone have any tips to reassure him I come back every day (I have been constantly telling him and it's never changed over the last few years). There hasn't been any new daycare teachers or kids coming and going so it's not a change in atmosphere.
08-20-2013 12:43 PM
08-20-2013 05:51 PM - edited 08-20-2013 05:52 PM
Hi there I went through this with my son at three years old and unfortunately it carried over off and on into 4 years old as well. Is your child ok after you leave? How quickly does he calm down once you are gone? With my son, my teacher would have to pry him from my leg screaming "mama, don't leave". Til this day I get teary thinking about those times. It was so hard. I would just keep it brief and say, Mommy will be back later, you play with your friends and have fun. No that didn't calm him down but the teacher said within 5-10 minutes he was fine and totally fine the rest of the day. I couldn't understand why this started all of a sudden when nothing had changed and he loved his little preschool. Til this day I still don't know! My only advice would be to not drag out the goodbye, keep it brief...kiss...hug...mommy loves you and I'll be back later. Oh wait, one thing I did with my son is I would kiss the top of his hand. I would tell him he had Mommy's kiss on his hand with him all day and anytime he missed me he could look down at his hand and know my kiss was there and that I would be back. I told him that Mommy kisses won't wash off during the day so he wouldn't have an excuse to not wash his hands! Eventually we even did a shiny rock that he would keep in his pocket all day. Same thing...I would kiss it and sometimes he would too and if he missed me he could put his hand in his pocket and feel that rock and know he was ok. I wish there was a magic wand for times like this! It's so hard for us Mama's too!
09-14-2013 01:25 PM
09-15-2013 03:23 PM
09-15-2013 08:45 PM
I have been in child care for 26 years. This is a stage that most children go through at this age. Some it may be as mild as a few days of just being a bit sad, for others, its prying fingers out of children's hair and leaving crying about as hard as the child is. But, its also a good sign, your child is beginning to develop deeper connections with you as a parent. They are maturing and realize, although school is fun. Its you they really desire to be with the most. Now, for ideas to make it easier. Try not to begin talking about daycare too early in the morning. Wait until the drive, then build them up about what they are going to do. Tell them you wish you could go to daycare but you are having to go to work. Make it as boring as possible lol. I have seen others with ideas on things the child can bring with them, that is a GREAT idea. We discourage toys since a broken toy may also upset a child. We do encourage books (fits well in their to go home pockets on the door and when they no longer need it, has a place to go so it will not get broken or lost) or movies. A picture of mom is a great thing. Or even make them a small book of their favorite things, mom, dad, pet, house. put in ziplock bags and staple them together, put construction paper or index cards in with the picture to make it stiffer, staple the paper with the bags to strengthen the binding. During the day, they can go to their pocket and get their book if they feel sad. Tips on when you get there. Get your child to walk from the car, the seperation is much easier from the leg than around the neck. Say your goodbyes as soon as you come in the door so when you get to your child's teacher (the moment of the most stress for both of you) you can hand off and step back real quick. The quicker the seperation, the quicker the child will calm back down. We encourage our parents to stand out of sight till the child calms down. Its horrible to leave and hear your child crying. If you must sign in as we do, do that before handing your child off to the teacher, if you have forms for medications, try to ask for them the day before so they can be filled out before you get there to shorten the time for anxiety to grow. Place medication and forms in a ziplock bag so its easier to handle if your child fights also. If your teacher needs to know anything for the day (Aunt Suzie is picking up early, etc.) write it down before you leave home and hand it over with the child. Or tell the child to give it to their teacher as they go into the room. Sometimes having a job to do helps calm their nerves a bit. If your child is the type that does not quit crying quickly, or you do not have a place or the time to stand and wait until they quit, ask the director when would be a good time to call and check to see if they have quit (just to calm your nerves Your mind may tell you they are happy, but sometimes the heart does not listen to the mind. We have a "who is here today" chart that helps us. We use a pocket chart and index cards. We take a picture and either use packing tape or laminate it on one side and put the child's name on the other. When they get there they find their name and turn it to the picture side. It helps with name recognition and gives them something to do when they come in the room. We have also found that some children may get attached to a toy or stuffed animal at the center and we have it waiting on them as soon as they come in. Maybe you can talk to your center and see if that is an option. But he/she does not get the toy until they come in the door. If they have a favorite blanket (mine did and we still have them lol) if you can cut them, cut a small corner off and let them carry it in a pocket. Ask your teacher to
Things NOT to do (not saying you are, but these are things parents have done in the past that make it worse on the child in the long run) Do not sneak out, tell your child you are leaving. Sneaking out makes the child insecure and untrusting, they will learn to expect you to sneak out and when in situations that are stressful, will not leave your side for fear of you leaving them. Do not tell them you have to move the car and you will be right back. They will be constantly looking our the windows and doors trying to find you, again making them insecure.
I hope some of these ideas will help I hate when children come in crying, not for us, we are with him/her and see that they calm quick and get on with their day. We hate it for the parents, we are all parents and know how heartbreaking it is to have a child cry.