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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>What's Up With This Dad?
Ariana 09:22 AM 12-13-2011
I have a new DCG who started 8 weeks ago. She comes here 3 days a week. At first she loved coming here, was happy to see us etc. Fast forward to now and she cries and is clingy at drop off. Now to all you seasoned DCP's this is usually what happens. Toddlers are not the fondest of DC and they go through phases (part-time care is especially hard on toddlers). She has rules to follow here and at home she rules the roost (she's 18 months and picks her own clothes out in the morning!). She gets bored here easily because she's not very good at playing. She tends to simply stuff toys into things...carts, sinks, farm silo...over and over. I'm not really sure what to do with her.

Anyway the dad now is prolonging drop off because of her clinginess. It all started when she was off sick one day. The next day he brought her and she was in hysterics. He cuddled and cajoled with her until finally I grabbed her out of his arms and told him to leave. Now every single day since it's been the exact same scenario. The dad is making this happen. I feel like every time he comes to the door it's like he doesn't trust me or he's afraid to let her go. It's driving me nuts!! Before when she was happy to be here she'd just run in and wave goodbye and I could tell he felt insulted. I hate it when parents do this. Absolutely nothing is different besides this!!

Anyway how can I address this with him? I hate talking during pick up and drop off because my thoughts are all over the place. Should I even address it at all? I have a policy in my contract that drop offs and picks ups need to be "short and sweet". She's fine labout 3 minutes after he leaves...literally!!
MarinaVanessa 09:35 AM 12-13-2011
Okay, I'm relatively relaxed when it comes to most daycare situations however this is one of those things that really bugs me. I think that it's becase I see how hard it is for the child. In my experience the longer the parent stays here, the longer it takes me to console the child. Because of this I have dedicated an entire section to this very situation in my handbook. Here is what I have, maybe it'll give you ideas of how to approach the parent should you decide to bring it up.

Originally Posted by :
When a parent departs, the child may cry and protest. This is what psychologists call separation distress. It is part of the normal developmental process of establishing independence and autonomy. The intensity of a child’s distress seems to depend mainly on the child’s personality and temperament. It also depends on the way parents handle the anxiety and the way in which they leave.

Through experience the child care provider has found that it is in the child's best interest if, when arriving, the child is given a quick farewell hug and kiss, reminded that the parent will return and then followed by a quick exit. While there may be some tears, prolonging the departure only creates more stress on the child. While sometimes a stressful departure cannot be avoided, parents can however make it shorter. Children are resilient and adapt very quickly after a parent has gone and usually within minutes have begun to play.

wdmmom 09:39 AM 12-13-2011
If drop offs are going to be long and drawn out, tell him to do it in the car or outside BEFORE you open the door. Be honest and tell him that the time it's taking him to leave is taking too long and that you have children to tend to. He needs to start saying his goodbyes before they get to the door and once they get to the door, she walks in and he walks back to the car.
Heidi 11:05 AM 12-13-2011
call him at home in the evening when it's less stressful.

Make him a deal. If he keeps things short and sweet, you will text him the minute she stops crying. That way, he doesn't have to wonder and feel guilty.

If you have the ability to send pics, take one with her smiling or doing something silly (so, you might have to initiate that), and send him. "Having a fun day, Daddy!"

Parents do suffer a lot of guilt for leaving their children. He needs reassurance, too!
cheerfuldom 12:49 PM 12-13-2011
Dont let him in and do drop offs/pickups at the door. Force it to be short and sweet.

If he continues at the door, let him have his daughter and do their thing on the porch and then knock again when he is ready to drop her off
Christian Mother 01:20 PM 12-13-2011
This is going to sound weird bc I don't think a lot of people do this but If a parent prolongs the departure I get the parent involved in adjusting the child by putting them to work. They can get the toys out be apart of our routine and then when I've distracted them off they go. Eventually the child notices that the parent is gone and gets upset for a min but not long bc their already around their friends or toys. I then text message the parent or ask them to peek in the window to see how we are doing and how I handled it. I even will send a text picture if they've left quickly. If I see a parent is having a hard time leaving bc of the drawn out good by then I pick dck up and say it's time to say good bye and give a kiss and lets go see what we are going to eat or lets go get our toys out...bye mom/dad have a wonderful day. I don't normally have parents that assist in the childs behavior they leave pretty quickly. It helps get them ready for the day.
PolkaTots 01:21 PM 12-13-2011
Ugh...I've been there.
I once watched a little boy who's father thought it would help him transition if he stayed and played with him for about a half an hour before he left him. The child would cry for a good hour most days, and act withdrawn the rest of the day until he was picked up. The few times his dad was running late and didn't have time to play, this boy would cry until the door shut behind his dad, and go on to have a pretty good day. After almost 2 months of this, I had a talk with the parents that they need to keep drop off's short and sweet. By them continuing to linger is confusing for the child and not at all helping his transition. I even printed up some literature about showing the children they are comfortable with leaving them at daycare makes them more comfortable about staying at daycare...or something of that point. They said they understood, and saw my point, but the lingering drop offs continued. That's when I put my foot down and said they needed to be breif, and if that was something they weren't able to do, that they would need to find alternate care. At the end of that week, they told me they had, and I was so glad!!!!

Also, make sure you have the parent set the child down and not let them cling. Tearing the child away from the parent isn't a good habit to get into, then the child might feel you are the one taking them away from their parent.
Blackcat31 01:44 PM 12-13-2011
I have something similar to what Marina Vanessa said in my handbook as well.

If necessary, I picture-text the parent within 5 minutes of drop off so they can "see" for themselves the child is fine.

Dad is definitely making it worse by making drop off time so drawn out.
Ariana 04:24 PM 12-13-2011
I do e-mail them a pic and an update 5 minutes after he leaves showing her having a fun time and not upset. He tells me that he is appreciative but I guess I'm tired of having to "reassure" them that their kid enjoys it here because I'm not the one causing the issue. How many times do you have to convince a parent that their kid is not being tortured at daycare ya know?

Today he comes to pick her up and she's excited to see him and go home and he's like "wow she seems so excited to go home" and then something along the lines of not being sure if she should be here (can't remember exactly what was said). I told him "of course she's excited to go home 8 1/2 hours in care is a looong day for a toddler". I was wiped at that point!!
Ariana 09:24 AM 12-14-2011
Well today mom dropped off!! Plopped her in the entryway, said goodbye and left. Kid cried for quite a while but then settled and we started water play. I sent them an e-mail with a pic and thanked them for the quick drop off. They replied that they'd be now picking her up an hour earlier!! I think this is great because 8 1/2 hours is way to long. I'm glad dad got the hint.

I love parents who listen and cooperate for the benefit of their child
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