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Old 04-28-2013, 12:23 PM
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Default Separation Anxiety 13 Month Old

I just got my first call from a parent today! Yippee!

The problem is that she had issues with her previous provider (supposedly the provider took too much of some kind of medication and the 13 month old was locked in a room all day. At one point the provider carried her 13 month old and fell and injured them both slightly).


According to the parent, her 13 month old now has severe separation anxiety due to the situation.

My question is....

Is this way too much to take on for a first client? I don't know *really* how severe the anxiety is, though, as we haven't met or had an interview yet. Also, is 13 months an age where separation anxiety occurs anyway? ALSO, ha, how would I deal with the anxiety if I did decide to take them on?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:35 PM
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I've dealt with the separation anxiety on several of my kids. One because she's spent so much time in e hospital and is an only child and was never separated before she got here, another because also I'm her first provider, a sibling group because their parents daycare hopped at some point and they preferred and were encouraged by mom to act up at drop off.

Depending on why and how severe, sure I'd take it on. I think the key is getting on the same page as mom and gather a game plan. The easiest way for me, is at interview to show the child my house and let them meet me. Then, on e first day, make drop off as quick as possible. Kiss goodbye and out the door. A lot of times, the parent is the reason the child has anxiety prolonging drop off and projecting their anxiety.

So, quick drop off for mine were key. My daughter had anxiety when she was little if I even left her with her daddy. It wasn't the separation itself but the act of watching me leave. So my husband got her distracted with an activity, and I simply disappeared. That worked awesome with her and two of my current clients. At first, mom would bring in, sit them down, they'd be distracted with my dogs wagging their tails and kissing their hands, and I'd get between them and mom at the doorway and out mom went, the kids never knew they left. By the time they realized it, they were off playing with toys and it was just a fleeting thought.

So, distraction, quick drop off, and not letting them see mom leave are my top three techniques for that age group.

Hope that helps??
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:47 PM
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That does help, thank you! It makes me feel a whole lot better. She's bringing this baby and her 5 year old for an interview on Thursday so we'll see how it goes.

If anyone else has any tips they think would help, I'm all ears!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftymissbeth View Post
That does help, thank you! It makes me feel a whole lot better. She's bringing this baby and her 5 year old for an interview on Thursday so we'll see how it goes.

If anyone else has any tips they think would help, I'm all ears!
Good luck!! Feel free to pm me if there is anything I can help with...
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:48 PM
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Her child is at the height of the separation anxiety stage right now. It is entirely possible she will grow out of it. I've had babies develop separation anxiety. In each case I was able to help the child form a secure attachment to me as well and we were able to get through it together until they outgrew it. Good luck.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftymissbeth View Post
That does help, thank you! It makes me feel a whole lot better. She's bringing this baby and her 5 year old for an interview on Thursday so we'll see how it goes.

If anyone else has any tips they think would help, I'm all ears!
I would just second that. Having music, taking her and dancing her around while mom slips out unnoticed may work, too
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:06 PM
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I have this article saved. It has good advice about it......

http://www.babycenter.com/0_separation-anxiety_145.bc
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:20 PM
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You guys are great. Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:46 PM
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I would never recommend to anyone to slip away or sneak out no matter what age. You need to reassure the child you will return

In my experience you make it short, sweet and simple. Don't hang around, say good bye once, give hug and kiss and tell your child who will be back to pick them up. Then hand over the child. Don't hang around and stay positive about your decision to leave.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:03 PM
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Sneaking out doesn't mean the child doesn't think the parent will return IMHO ... For some kids the act of them walking out is e trigger. For instance, my special needs little one is perfectly fine unless she sees her mom walk out the door. Yes, if she appears concerned later or acts like she misses her, I say she's at work and will be home soon. It's my job to build trust with them and re assure them. But, were all different and all have different methods. For me, that's been the best option. Separation anxiety isn't necessarily due to the child's reasoning that the parent won't return.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:38 PM
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I think as long as DCM is ok with it I'm going the route of say a quick goodbye, wave while smiling, and scoot out quickly.

If she slips out without the baby seeing it, I would hate for the baby to suddenly realize she's gone and freak out for the rest of the day.

I had another talk with the mom and she said the baby screams bloody murder for hours on end
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:11 PM
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Saying a happy but quick goodbye is absolutely the way to go IME. Sneaking out leads to greater mistrust. Distraction after the goodbye is great though.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lavender View Post
Saying a happy but quick goodbye is absolutely the way to go IME. Sneaking out leads to greater mistrust. Distraction after the goodbye is great though.
I agree. Do not sneak out—sneaking out will cause your child confusion when they discover you are gone and breaks down trust...

It's always harder for the parents to say goodbye and let go than it is the child.

Well this is just my two cents.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lavender View Post
Saying a happy but quick goodbye is absolutely the way to go IME. Sneaking out leads to greater mistrust. Distraction after the goodbye is great though.
My youngest daughter was SEVERELY attached to me as an jnfant/toddler.i mean so bad I could NOT leave her sight without a melt-down until age 5. We did trick her a couple of times so Hubby and I could have a night alone by taking her and my older 3 children to my sister's and waiting until she was distracted to sneak away. Now she is 19 and STILL remembers us doing that. She is STILL upset by it. If I knew then that it affected her so deeply we NEVER would have done it.

After this I would never advise sneaking out. It may be easier for the parents....but not on the child.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:04 PM
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I guess the important thing is that every child is different. Discuss the options with mom and decide which option to try first. The method I'm referring to is to not trick them. Simply not let them see the parent actually walk out the door. Mom says bye I'm going to work, kiss, hug etc and then distract etc so the child doesn't actually SEE the parent walking out. That isn't tricking the child. I've been using that technique for 20 years and never had the first problem. Granted, it's not the first resort.

I have no idea where anybody said for the parent or provider to trick a child. Myself and a knew others said for the parents to say goodbye and then slip out.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:20 PM
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If you take them, make sure you have a trial basis set up. I do two weeks with the understanding that either party could back out of the arrangement at any time (but I dont give refunds for work I already did). One time I did let baby go after two days, it was that bad. Yes, kids do cry but there should be some progress after two or three weeks. When you have taken care of kids for year after year, you get better at knowing right away if you think something has the potential to work. For that one kid that did not make it thru the trial basis, I knew right away that she did not belong in daycare. I was the second or third provider for this family and I straight out told the mom that it would be best to figure out a way to stay home herself or hire a nanny. She kept saying that other people would not tell her the real reason why they would not keep her child so I did (usually I dont state specifics). Anywho, I found out later that she did stay home with her child and started babysitting herself to make ends meet and i think that worked out well for her daughter.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:10 PM
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I think separation anxiety is common at that age. We do a quick goodbye at the door and then quickly get engaged in play. I make sure parents understand prior to the 1st drop off that they need to leave quickly, not linger, not try to comfort child, just go. Since mom is admitting that child has struggled with this (but you never know if her story about the other provider is true or exagerated) and can cry for hours on end, I would make sure to take the child on a trial basis only.
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