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  #1  
Old 08-18-2018, 12:34 PM
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Default Extremely Anxious Parent

I work in a center, in the one-year-old room, so I have had my share of nervous, anxious, over-protective parents. Most of it is completely understandable; I'm not a mom so I can't imagine how hard it is to leave your baby in someone else's care. I have always done my best to make parents feel as comfortable as possible. However, in ten years I have never encountered a parent quite like this.
Dcg (15 months) was enrolled and set to start in my room in September. Dcm came with dgc to see the room a few weeks ago, and in the few minutes they were here, raised a few red flags. Dcg has now come for several drop in days, for a few hours each, to "get used to things" before starting full time. I am now very concerned about ever pleasing this dcm and making her feel comfortable.
The issues:
-Dcm become very emotional "at the thought" of her daughter ever getting hurt (we're talking typical childhood bumps and scrapes)
-dcm said she "can't stand the idea" of her daughter ever being upset
-dcm said she's not sure how well dcg will nap here because she breast feeds her to sleep at home
-dcm said she doesn't ever let dcg cry at home
-day 1 drop off was great, dcg went straight into playing/exploring the room, dcm was great about leaving right away. However, she lingered outside the room, and dcg saw here peeking in the window and became very upset. We could not get her to calm down the rest of the day.
-day 2 dcg became upset at drop off, but dcm was still able to take our advise and leave. We were able to get dcg to calm down and play for a while, though she was still upset on and off. The several times mom called and when she picked up mom was upset that dcg was crying here, even though we tried to tell her it was perfectly normal and that she needed time to adjust.
-day 3 dcm and dcd dropped off together. Dcd was going to drop off, but dcg threw a fit when he tried to take her from mom. Apparently this is normal, and dcg cries if mom leaves her with dad or grandparents. Dcm said she thought it might be better if she stayed for a little bit, even though we tried to dissuade her. She stayed for maybe ten minutes at drop off. Dcg was very upset when she did leave, and we could not get her to calm down, like we did the day before when mom left right away.
-dcg is obviously used to getting her complete way at home. She did not want to sit for lunch and screamed when we tried to sit her in a chair. She did not really eat much for us the times she was here

I'm just not sure what to do or how I can help dcm. I'm afraid she just isn't emotionally ready for this change, and her anxiety is making dcg upset. Anxious parents make for anxious children. I'm worried that dcg is going to take a lot longer to adjust, especially with dcm being visibly upset at drop off and pick up. Dcg's crying and screaming is hard to deal with, but part of the job. I just fear that I have to help mom cope before things will get better for dcg. Any advise on how to help dcm? Our directors have just said to "keep doing what we're doing" but I'd really like to find a way to help the situation improve.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:56 PM
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It’s disappointing that the directors are allowing this. If dcm insists on staying at drop off, I don’t see how the situation will improve. Dcm should consider a nanny—she’s clearly not ready for her child to be in a group care situation.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2018, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluemoon5 View Post
I work in a center, in the one-year-old room, so I have had my share of nervous, anxious, over-protective parents. Most of it is completely understandable; I'm not a mom so I can't imagine how hard it is to leave your baby in someone else's care. I have always done my best to make parents feel as comfortable as possible. However, in ten years I have never encountered a parent quite like this.
Dcg (15 months) was enrolled and set to start in my room in September. Dcm came with dgc to see the room a few weeks ago, and in the few minutes they were here, raised a few red flags. Dcg has now come for several drop in days, for a few hours each, to "get used to things" before starting full time. I am now very concerned about ever pleasing this dcm and making her feel comfortable.
The issues:
-Dcm become very emotional "at the thought" of her daughter ever getting hurt (we're talking typical childhood bumps and scrapes)
-dcm said she "can't stand the idea" of her daughter ever being upset
-dcm said she's not sure how well dcg will nap here because she breast feeds her to sleep at home
-dcm said she doesn't ever let dcg cry at home
-day 1 drop off was great, dcg went straight into playing/exploring the room, dcm was great about leaving right away. However, she lingered outside the room, and dcg saw here peeking in the window and became very upset. We could not get her to calm down the rest of the day.
-day 2 dcg became upset at drop off, but dcm was still able to take our advise and leave. We were able to get dcg to calm down and play for a while, though she was still upset on and off. The several times mom called and when she picked up mom was upset that dcg was crying here, even though we tried to tell her it was perfectly normal and that she needed time to adjust.
-day 3 dcm and dcd dropped off together. Dcd was going to drop off, but dcg threw a fit when he tried to take her from mom. Apparently this is normal, and dcg cries if mom leaves her with dad or grandparents. Dcm said she thought it might be better if she stayed for a little bit, even though we tried to dissuade her. She stayed for maybe ten minutes at drop off. Dcg was very upset when she did leave, and we could not get her to calm down, like we did the day before when mom left right away.
-dcg is obviously used to getting her complete way at home. She did not want to sit for lunch and screamed when we tried to sit her in a chair. She did not really eat much for us the times she was here

I'm just not sure what to do or how I can help dcm. I'm afraid she just isn't emotionally ready for this change, and her anxiety is making dcg upset. Anxious parents make for anxious children. I'm worried that dcg is going to take a lot longer to adjust, especially with dcm being visibly upset at drop off and pick up. Dcg's crying and screaming is hard to deal with, but part of the job. I just fear that I have to help mom cope before things will get better for dcg. Any advise on how to help dcm? Our directors have just said to "keep doing what we're doing" but I'd really like to find a way to help the situation improve.
I refuse to let parents stay because it just makes it worse, plus they are around other babies that might get upset because of strangers- also, this parent hasn't been background checked, so in many states, staying for more than 5 minutes in the daycare is a No Go. It sounds like mom needs a Nanny in her private home so she can call the shots. The director allowing this is just making it harder for you ( BTW, I do 18 months and under only care, so it is something I deal with all the time)
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:28 PM
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She would need a nanny to have the kind of care she wants, but if you want to try to help her adjust, you have to put your foot down and explain to her that dcg will get used to it best if dcm just drops off and leaves. Dcm needs to choose between doing daycare by the rules (written for a reason) or getting a nanny.
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2018, 04:25 PM
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I agree they would probably do better with a nanny. I just wish I could tell her that. I feel like my hands are tied with what I'm allowed to say. I can suggest that she leave quickly, encourage her, tell her it would be better for her daughter, but if she decides she wants to stay, she can. We have an "open door" policy so parents can come, go, stay as they please. Years ago I had a parent stay the entire morning with their child.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluemoon5 View Post
I agree they would probably do better with a nanny. I just wish I could tell her that. I feel like my hands are tied with what I'm allowed to say. I can suggest that she leave quickly, encourage her, tell her it would be better for her daughter, but if she decides she wants to stay, she can. We have an "open door" policy so parents can come, go, stay as they please. Years ago I had a parent stay the entire morning with their child.
Yes, but is it actually legal for that parent to be around the other children for a few hours without a background check; I get a few minutes, but all morning? I won't even allow that.

Open door doesn't mean you have to allow unlimited access to others, just your own child and this center needs to get on board with it - my door is locked unless I am expecting a parent to drop-of or pick up; Why? because I don't want some random stranger just walking in wanting a tour of my childcare. It doesn't mean I won't allow a parent in, but I limit how long they can stay just because most aren't background checked (I have had a policeman and a FBI security person in the past - pretty sure they were safe lol)

I know in many states you can't even volunteer in your child's school without one, for the mere fact you are around other kids besides your own. Might be worth mentioning to the director as a safety measure
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:48 AM
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This mother is a selfish mother.
Everything she is doing is for her and not her child.
If she truly wanted her child to adjust she would be doing things to make it easier not harder.

If your director can't give more assistance or additional advice other than to just keep doing what you are doing, I would go to her every single time the child arrives and ask that she step in for drop offs. Once the child has been dropped off and is comfortable, the director can hand off duties to you.
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2018, 10:05 AM
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Sounds like the mother is not ready for daycare. She is sabotaging any chance for her daughter to acclimate. She needs to feel needed so she lingers even when things are fine until her daughter becomes upset so she can say "See?? Little suzie isn't ready for daycare"
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
This mother is a selfish mother.
Everything she is doing is for her and not her child.
If she truly wanted her child to adjust she would be doing things to make it easier not harder.

If your director can't give more assistance or additional advice other than to just keep doing what you are doing, I would go to her every single time the child arrives and ask that she step in for drop offs. Once the child has been dropped off and is comfortable, the director can hand off duties to you.

This!
She probably wants to stay home and is trying to this to get her way.At that age separation anxiety is difficult if they have never been in daycare. I have babies that age that never cry and do not care because they have been with me and built that trust. This poor baby will not adjust if mom does not let her.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:59 AM
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This is a mother that wants to see her child upset because it means she is loved. If her child is not upset, well that means she is not loved. I remember dropping my kid off at preschool praying my daughter would not cry and I was so happy that she didn’t! I do not understand parents that want their kids to be upset when they leave.

The best thing to do here is to educate her. Explain attachment styles and what they mean (a good attachment to the mother means the child is able to explore on her own, will get upset, or not, when mom leaves but can easily be comforted and move on). Also explain that her not crying, or being easily comforted, is a good sign that she has a good attachment with mom which is a GOOD thing. People really do not know this! Also let her know that by mom not feeling safe with her in care, baby will not feel safe in care....so mom has to leave quickly and confidently. I would flat out ask her “do you feel safe with her here? If you don’t you may want to think about putting her somewhere else”.

I had a child who was very insecurely attached. She cried and was very difficult to console all day long. Dad was a VERY anxious parent and coddled her a lot, so at first drop off went ok but as soon as she started crying at drop off, dad was asking to stay for a bit. I had to explain all of the above to him. He started dropping off quickly but unfortunately because she did not have a secure attachment she never could recover. I termed two weeks in as it was just too difficult on me and the other kids.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2018, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Sounds like the mother is not ready for daycare. She is sabotaging any chance for her daughter to acclimate. She needs to feel needed so she lingers even when things are fine until her daughter becomes upset so she can say "See?? Little suzie isn't ready for daycare"
YES!

"see husband, I NEED to be a stay at home mom."
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
YES!

"see husband, I NEED to be a stay at home mom."
DING DING DING! Winner winner chicken dinner!
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2018, 02:18 PM
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I wouldn't worry about helping the mom with her anxiety. I would just acknowledge it and offer the suggestion that she talk to the director about having a staff member just for her daughter that she would pay for. If she had her own adult then mom would feel so much better. I'm sure the owner could hire someone to one to one her child. As long as she was willing to pay the center tuition and the staff assistant she would be so much less anxious leaving the child.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2018, 02:39 PM
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I would tell the mom that since it's the child's first time in daycare and that the main separation anxiety age is 9m-18m that it can take 2-6 weeks for her child to adjust. That having a positive attitude about daycare and being confident and happy about it at drop-off and making it short and sweet (versus lingering) can help a LOT with a child feeling safe and eventually not even minding being dropped off.
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