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Old 16.07.2011, 13:37
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Separation anxiety

My 4.5 year old has recently started to nag me not to go to work. She has also started bursting into tears when she goes to the childminder.

She has been going to the childminder since Feb so she is well bedded in and gets on with the other kids of the family she stays with. When I pick her up she seems quite content and happy so I am not worried on that front.

Working shifts and being a single mother is a bit difficult but is necessary in order to maintain a living. Would love a 9-5 job but cant get one.

Anyone else had to deal with seperation anxiety? The crying is a only in the last weeks but its making me feel so guilty.
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Old 16.07.2011, 13:41
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Re: Seperation anxiety

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My 4.5 year old has recently started to nag me not to go to work. She has also started bursting into tears when she goes to the childminder.

She has been going to the childminder since Feb so she is well bedded in and gets on with the other kids of the family she stays with. When I pick her up she seems quite content and happy so I am not worried on that front.

Working shifts and being a single mother is a bit difficult but is necessary in order to maintain a living. Would love a 9-5 job but cant get one.

Anyone else had to deal with seperation anxiety? The crying is a only in the last weeks but its making me feel so guilty.
have you tried asking if it would be better if you got a different childminder? at least would help to rule out if something related to the current one...
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Old 16.07.2011, 17:00
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Re: Seperation anxiety

My almost 3 years old started it this week. Her reason was that she missed her father (on a business trip) and I think she expressed it that way. Cries, screams and loads of tears when going at the daycare.

When I go to pick her up, she is smilling, happy and had a lot of fun. She will tell me all about it.

Did you have some change in your life recently? On the routine, work, home? Someone who is not around anymore?

It could be just that, a way of expression of her sadness about something else.

Nil
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Old 18.07.2011, 23:52
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Re: Seperation anxiety

My daughter was exactly the same roughly 14 years ago and I would say this is completely normal and a part of growing up. Don't worry.
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Old 19.07.2011, 07:16
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Re: Separation anxiety

My daughter did this around a similar age and one day my mother (grandma) put her onto the kitchen bench - sat her at eye height, and told her: "Daddy goes to work....Mummy goes to work (even though I work from home we call it 'work' too!), Grandma goes to work....Grandpa goes to work..." and she went down the list of everyone that my daughter knew.

Then she says "You go to 'school' - 'school' is your work".....

I can report that the refusal settled down after that....

Consistent routine is important, but if you can't have that then that's nothing to feel guilty about - your child will adapt. The main thing is that she gets the message that 'work' is not optional...

How many days a week care does she have ? When will she start formal schooling ? We just moved a little boy in my care from a 'flexible' three day to a two full and two half day pattern, and this gives him a predictable morning routine four mornings a week, and the difference has been very positive on both sides...

One of the reasons why it seems to come up again later (4.5 years) is that their sense of 'yesterday, today, tomorrow' has changed...can you maybe write a timetable for the week and make it clear when you are working and when she will have care, and what you plan to do on your other days...

I'd also make a time to talk with your carer (out of earshot of your daughter) and get them to tell you how it's going at care...just for your own reassurance.

I have absolutely no problem as a parent with simply telling the child that there is no choice. I have to go to work, I have 'meetings' and they can't come, so they need to go to school...(we call childcare 'school' or use the name of the place)...
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Old 02.12.2013, 10:31
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Re: Separation anxiety

I know this is an old thread, but my daughter is also experiencing extreme separation anxiety and general inability to control her emotions, and I'm curious to know:

1. Has anyone else experienced this in Kindergarten aged children?
2. Has anyone sought therapy for their kids/themselves in dealing with this?

My daughter is 5, in a full-day Kindergarten, and regularly has a meltdown when we drop her off (it's across the city, so she obviously can't walk there herself). This ranges from once a week to nearly every day, and there seems to be relatively little pattern that we can determine. Being tired makes it worse, but being well-rested doesn't prevent the behavior. Some mornings, she screams for a full half-hour.

I was also told that she's starting to act out in the afternoons, when some of the children go home. She's also starting to lose control of her emotions outside of school, which is something she'd been doing well with previously.

The after school care (Hort) is integrated (it's the same rooms as the KG, and there are no older kids there), so I know there's no bullying from older children. Except for the crying, she's doing well-she's not one of the youngest children, she understands Swiss German perfectly well, and is not experiencing any developmental delays (physical or mental). She's also been a Kinderkrippe child since 4 months, though this is a different place and she no longer is with her sister (who is 3). We don't travel for work, and our schedule is very consistent. The only major change is that I'm pregnant, but her behavior predated this change.

Basically, I'm concerned about the trend, which is worsening, and feel like we should resolve this problem before it gets completely out of hand. We've tried reasoning with her and using a rewards system, neither of which has worked. We've also been quite patient, but this has been going on since August, and I expect that her behavior will worsen after the Christmas break. Finally, we're expecting a third child in April, and I'd like to see some improvement before things get more complicated.

Basically, I think it's time to have some professional advice. Thanks in advance for any advice, and please feel free to PM if you have recommendations but don't want to post them publicly.

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 02.12.2013, 10:43
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Re: Separation anxiety

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The main thing is that she gets the message that 'work' is not optional...


I have absolutely no problem as a parent with simply telling the child that there is no choice. I have to go to work, I have 'meetings' and they can't come, so they need to go to school...(we call childcare 'school' or use the name of the place)...
Oh my goodness - how true is this! With my 10 year old (yes!) we recently had an issue where he did not want to have to go to lunchtime cover (mittagstisch) for one extra day a week - meaning he would have to go there a grand total of 2 days a week. When his constant whining to not go was met with refusal on our part, he started playing up at mittagstisch such that I got an email from the leiterin saying that if his observence of the rules did not pick up, he would be out. Apparently she had said as much to him and his response was "good -that's what I want"!!!

So a serious discussion with his father and me in his father's study ensued - the bottom line being "Mummy has to go to work". Of course at this age we could explain a lot more - the pressure it puts on Dad to be the only earner, the welcome change of pace for me after having spent the last 5 years being not just a stay at home parent but a carer for our disabled son etc. etc.

So no matter what age - be kind but firm. Mummy works. You go to the childminder. Unfortunately it makes you feel awful (it's designed too!) but any chink in your response will make her feel there might be a let out.

Plus another thing - tell her its ok to feel sad when you leave each other. You are a tight knit team against the world and it makes you too feel sad to go - but you still go, and you still have to go. I suppose I'm trying to say acknowledge her feelings - don't brush them under the carpet, tell her its ok to feel sad but that it doesn't change a thing.

Chris - in your case - are you being firm as well as patient? I know she sounds old to be doing this, but I feel in the absence of any other problematic behaviour (both on her part as in a regular pattern of not being able to control her emotional response as one would expect at her age or a problem on the outside ie. at KG), it really is just a strong personality trying to express her opinion. What sort of help were you thinking of getting? Pyschiatric/behavioural pyschologist? I can give you a good recommendation in Zurich if this was what you were after?
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Old 02.12.2013, 11:18
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Re: Separation anxiety

Honestly, part of the problem is likely to be that I'm unsure how "firm" to be before it becomes cruel. My daughter is generally a sensitive soul (and I mean this in a nice way-she doesn't like it when we give her sister a time out, hates it if one kid is "mean" to another one-even if it's not her, can always tell if I've had a rough day at work, and as soon as the cat meows she jumps up to feed him.

Because of this, it's hard for me to figure out how much of this is real and how much she's trying to get her way (though surely part of this is an attempt to get her way!). That's one thing I would like advice on-how firm to be with her. Behavioral therapy is (I think) what I'd like-someone to give her tools to manage her emotions better. I don't think we're dealing with trauma or an anxiety disorder (yet), but I want her to be able to work on this before it becomes more of a habit or progresses into something more serious. I'd also be willing to go to talk to someone without her to get some parenting advice.

PS: Thanks for the PM!
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