Default Style Register Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Does this sound like separation anxiety?
Mom2Two 05:49 PM 05-22-2017
I have a 3 year old (barely 3) who started maybe 6-8 weeks ago. Mom warned me in the interview that the girl was super hard, but somehow I've found that how parents find a child and how I find a child are two different things. That, combined with the fact that she was three and therefore trainable to some extent, made me decide to take her on. I figured that if I see improvement that it would be fine. And she's only three short days a week (9:30 til 4pm).

The hard behavior is crying a lot (esp at drop off of course) and temper tantrums (not too often--maybe one every other day, usually at drop off). She is super delayed in speech, but still very smart (understands instructions easily).

Well I have seen improvement. So often the way these kiddos act is partly temperament (or special needs) and partly behavior. I taught her that it's fine to cry but she needs to do it on the calm-down sofa (which is covered with a sheet). I had to put a show on for the first week the whole time she was here to help distract her. But really, she has improved a lot.

So I figure that I've helped her a lot with the behavior part, but still, she's a sad child who cries easily. She hardly ever smiles let alone laugh. During the day she often (maybe every hour or so) starts tearing up and says "Weh ah oo mama" or "ah wu oo mama." At this point, if she sounds like she's going to start crying, I ask her if she wants to go to the sofa, and she has learned enough that her answer is usually "no." If she's just walking around wimpering while she plays, I don't say anything.

Soooo...does this sound like separation anxiety? Struggling emotionally due to speech delays? She has an older sib and one with learning disabilities. Mom is a bit of an extrovert and dad comes across as a bit touchy-feely himself.

Any thoughts?
trix23 09:28 PM 05-22-2017
I've had a few like that. Usually It's because they are used to being the center of the show and in daycare there are multiple kids. Or the issue I've run into is that the parents hold/carry/coddle their kids wayyyy too long. I give even babies a sense of age-appropriate independence and freedoms to help them adjust. Cause I can't give 100% attention all day- got too much to do! And I am not a child-centered mom.

Have parents work on her doing independent play at home, less holding/carrying, and more of the child walking holding mommy's hand, etc.

A child that has never been given independence to play cannot do so easily.
Ariana 07:14 AM 05-23-2017
Agree that at this age if they have been at home they are used to getting one on one adult attention constantly, coupled with screen time and being dragged here and there for play groups. You will basically need to train her to play, as sad as that sounds . I deal with this all the time. I am not sure I have ever had a kid over aged 2 that was able to play when they first began. I always instruct the parents to encourage independant play at home and let them know what is happening in my home.

Kids who cannot play get bored very easily and have no clue how to help themselves through creative imagination. Boredom is crucial for stimulating imagination. Just hang in there, ignore as much as possible and model some play and leave her to continue. Build upon that and ask the parents to do the same.
Mom2Two 08:49 AM 05-23-2017
Wow, yeah, I hadn't really thought of it that way: that she might just not understand how to play. I hope that's it and that she's figures it out.

In my OP, I mean to say that she has an older sib who is severely autistic and one with learning disability.

She is the youngest and does get a ton of leniency at home. At first, she had no idea of boundaries about food--just grazed and took food off other kids plates and used any drink cup (my dcks all have their own color cups). I talked to mom and dad about this and they agreed to give her a bit more structure with her eating.

In the meantime, she sure is a sad sack! She's mostly okay now, but even if I leave the room she starts falling to pieces.
Ariana 08:56 AM 05-23-2017
I have the exact same 3 year old right now! He used to just graze when eating as well and say he was done before he was actually finished and then say he was hungry a few minutes later....basically very annoying behavior and constantly seeking attention.

I had a very candid talk with mom because unfortunately he started hitting to relieve his boredom. He completely has no idea how to play with toys and luckily his mom agreed that she plays with him too much at home. I started an 22 month old in 2015 and she was the same. It took a long time for her to start playing on her own. I had to pretend to read a book and say "go play" ober and over ignoring the whining and crying

Hopefulky she gets over it quickly!
Tags:child development, training courses
Reply Up