Being a Nursery Coordinator at a church, I have dealt with alot of crying. I have noticed in the last month a lot more infants have been coming into the classrooms crying after they have been dropped off. If your child cries when you drop them off to the volunteers at your church or maybe at daycare, you are not alone. Separation Anxiety if very common in children.I know I have talked about this topic before but I thought i would write about this again. 🙂
If your child is dealing with the whole ‘Stranger Danger’, you might get paged out of service at your church. Don’t feel bad. My daughter was paged when she will little almost every weekend at church. I felt bad for the volunteers in the nursery since when I handed over my daughter to the volunteer the crying and the tears began. I felt like just keeping her with my husband and I in service . Well I didn’t, we keep bringing her to her room and you know what? After awhile we stopped getting paged out of service to pick her up. Please don’t give up on brining your children to daycare or into the nursery at church. They will get use to it and with each time it should get better and better.
I have noticed that it starts at about the 6-9 months when the separation anxiety starts. I know that its different for each child. I read in an article that your baby begins to distinguish one person from another and starts forming strong emotional attachments to his parents and caregivers. He’s also coming to understand the concept of object permanence: When his mother leaves the room, he remembers that she left and wonders when she’ll return. When you add these two developmental advances together, you’ve got the perfect equation for separation anxiety.
Tips I found at :
How to Survive Separation Anxiety
- Create quick good-bye rituals. Even if you have to do major-league- baseball–style hand movements, give triple kisses at the cubby, or provide a special blanket or toy as you leave, keep the good-bye short and sweet. If you linger, the transition time does too. So will the anxiety.
- Be consistent. Try to do the same drop-off with the same ritual at the same time each day you separate to avoid unexpected factors whenever you can. A routine can diminish the heartache and will allow your child to simultaneously build trust in her independence and in you.
- Attention: When separating, give your child full attention, be loving, and provide affection. Then say good-bye quickly despite her antics or cries for you to stay.
- Keep your promise. You’ll build trust and independence as your child becomes confident in her ability to be without you when you stick to your promise of return. The biggest mistake I ever made in this regard was returning to class to “visit” my son about an hour after a terrible transition. I was missing him, and although the return was well intended, I not only extended the separation anxiety, we started all over again in the process. When I left the second time (and subsequent days) it was near nuclear.
- Be specific, child style. When you discuss your return, provide specifics that your child understands. If you know you’ll be back by 3:00 pm, tell it to your child on his terms; for example, say, “I’ll be back after nap time and before afternoon snack.” Define time he can understand. Talk about your return from a business trip in terms of “sleeps.” Instead of saying, “I’ll be home in 3 days,” say, “I’ll be home after 3 sleeps.”
- Practice being apart. Ship the children off to grandma’s home, schedule playdates, allow friends and family to provide child care for you (even for an hour) on the weekend. Before starting child care or preschool, practice going to school and your good-bye ritual before you even have to part ways. Give your child a chance to prepare, experience, and thrive in your absence!
Facts about Separation Anxiety
- Infants: Separation anxiety develops after a child gains an understanding of object permanence. Once your infant realizes you’re really gone (when you are), it may leave him unsettled. Although some babies display object permanence and separation anxiety as early as 4 to 5 months of age, most develop more robust separation anxiety at around 9 months. The leave- taking can be worse if your infant is hungry, tired, or not feeling well. Keep transitions short and routine if it’s a tough day.
- Toddlers: Many toddlers skip separation anxiety in infancy and start demonstrating challenges at 15 or 18 months of age. Separations are more difficult when children are hungry, tired, or sick—which is most of toddlerhood! As children develop independence during toddlerhood, they may become even more aware of separations. Their behaviors at separations will be loud, tearful, and difficult to stop.
- Preschoolers: By the time children are 3 years of age, most clearly understand the effect their anxiety or pleas at separation have on us. It doesn’t mean they aren’t stressed, but they certainly are vying for a change. Be consistent; don’t return to the room based on a child’s plea, and certainly don’t cancel plans based on separation anxiety. Your ongoing consistency, explanations, and diligence to return when you say you will are tantamount.
Never feel bad when dropping your child off when they are dealing with separation problems. You are not alone and they will outgrow it!