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    Default Separation Anxiety in a 5yo

    Has anyone experienced this? My DD had quite bad separation anxiety from 9ish months until nearly 2. So bad I had to sleep with her or she'd be up a bazillion times per night, but she was usually more than happy to go to DC 1 day a week. But the rest of the time, she was stuck to me. She slowly improved and has been a happy, confident kid.

    She was fine last year at kindy drop offs except for 3 days the whole year when she was inconsolable when the bell rang, but I was able to calm her with lots of cuddles and staying until she was happy for me to go.

    But she's now in Pre-Primary, and the days I take her to school, she cries every time. When she takes the bus, she's happy to leave me and get on the bus, just not when I drive her in! It doesn't matter how long I stay. When I tell her I'm going, she goes from happy to sad in a millisecond. She's usually fine 5 minutes later (I ring to check) but it's heartbreaking for both of us - especially as one of her teachers doesn't want me to stay to comfort her

    DH picked them up from the bus stop yesterday so I worked a bit longer than usual. She was happy until I got home, and then there were tears because she missed me. Tears again today before she had a nap for the same reason. We are going out tomorrow night without the kids, and I'm worried she will melt down even though she knows we are going, and will be back later that night.

    I'm at a bit of a loss. I've tried talking to her, we do lots of cuddles, a kiss in her hand for later, etc etc, but she's still getting upset when I leave her, and her behaviour isn't that great either. She's been grumpy and easily upset the last couple of weeks. I assume it's all related, but don't know what else to do! Anyone got any tips or advice?

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    Default Separation Anxiety in a 5yo

    A few thoughts, apologies if I'm off the mark.
    1. Check there are not any significant reasons why this issue has come on again eg bullying
    2. Let her take something to school to keep in her bag as a comfort and reminder of you such as a special small doll you pick out or a photo of you both
    3. Look to teach her skills in resilience. There is courses and resources to facilitate this. Hope you have some progress x

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    Californication  (19-03-2017)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bel2466 View Post
    A few thoughts, apologies if I'm off the mark.
    1. Check there are not any significant reasons why this issue has come on again eg bullying
    2. Let her take something to school to keep in her bag as a comfort and reminder of you such as a special small doll you pick out or a photo of you both
    3. Look to teach her skills in resilience. There is courses and resources to facilitate this. Hope you have some progress x
    Thanks. She says she doesn't know why, and I don't think there's anything going on at school, but will ask her teachers again.

    I was wondering about her taking a comforter, but worried she would loose it and make it worse! She likes beenie boos so might try get one on a key ring that I can attach to her bag.

    She normally is pretty resilient, but I'll see what info I can find.

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    My DD went through cycles of struggling to say bye at the start of the day. It shocked me when it happened at the start of school as she'd been at daycare since 18m and went through it at 2yo - so I thought she was past it.

    She loves school, heaps of friends, enjoys the work and does well. It's always been like that but she's gone through phases where they had to peel her off me. Me staying for a bit never made a difference. I knew she was happy within minutes, but it's still horrible to go through.

    My DD is quite sensitive and we have worked on her overall resilience for this reason. The separation stuff was never about not wanting to go to school, she just didn't want to be away from me. She's always been quite articulate, so would say "I just love you so much mum, I miss you and I just want you to stay with me all the time".

    Check with the teacher about a comfort toy, most are OK with it at that age. We also used after school rewards for "no tears at drop off" (eg. A play at the park). Good luck!

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    Californication  (19-03-2017)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretched View Post
    My DD went through cycles of struggling to say bye at the start of the day. It shocked me when it happened at the start of school as she'd been at daycare since 18m and went through it at 2yo - so I thought she was past it.

    She loves school, heaps of friends, enjoys the work and does well. It's always been like that but she's gone through phases where they had to peel her off me. Me staying for a bit never made a difference. I knew she was happy within minutes, but it's still horrible to go through.

    My DD is quite sensitive and we have worked on her overall resilience for this reason. The separation stuff was never about not wanting to go to school, she just didn't want to be away from me. She's always been quite articulate, so would say "I just love you so much mum, I miss you and I just want you to stay with me all the time".

    Check with the teacher about a comfort toy, most are OK with it at that age. We also used after school rewards for "no tears at drop off" (eg. A play at the park). Good luck!
    That's what she says too. That she just misses me too much. One day her teacher caught her climbing the gate at recess because she wanted to come home and see me! We live 20kms away!!

    What "tools" did you use to build her resilience? Out of my 2, DS is more sensitive. She seems more able to cope and more resilient that he is, but a boost could be in order.

    Be interesting to see how she goes tonight while we are out. She loves our baby sitter, but she loves her teacher too. I predict tears when we leave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Californication View Post
    That's what she says too. That she just misses me too much. One day her teacher caught her climbing the gate at recess because she wanted to come home and see me! We live 20kms away!!

    What "tools" did you use to build her resilience? Out of my 2, DS is more sensitive. She seems more able to cope and more resilient that he is, but a boost could be in order.

    Be interesting to see how she goes tonight while we are out. She loves our baby sitter, but she loves her teacher too. I predict tears when we leave
    Yeah it was never anything about not liking the other option, just liking being with me more. DD was far to unadventurous to try and run away back home thankfully!

    For resilience we worked a lot of concepts like a catastrophe scale and fables like the boy who cried wolf helped her to learn to save her tears for the big things. It took a long time though and a few incidents where she hurt herself and was ignored (by me and by a teacher) for her to start to 'get' it.

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    Californication  (19-03-2017)

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    My boy is in PP too. Many of the children in his class have been struggling the last couple weeks. His teacher says it's something she commonly sees towards the end of 1st term...it's their first yr in full time school and they are all getting tired, ratty and clingy. Their little bodies and brains aren't used to learning and concentrating all day long and they are ready for a break. Maybe this sort of thing is contributing to your DDs new behavior?

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    Californication  (19-03-2017)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaybaby View Post
    My boy is in PP too. Many of the children in his class have been struggling the last couple weeks. His teacher says it's something she commonly sees towards the end of 1st term...it's their first yr in full time school and they are all getting tired, ratty and clingy. Their little bodies and brains aren't used to learning and concentrating all day long and they are ready for a break. Maybe this sort of thing is contributing to your DDs new behavior?
    It could well be. I know DS's behaviour at the end of term in PP was fairly average, but he never got clingy. And it was usually it the last 2 weeks where he would be difficult to get along with! We still have 4 weeks to go here, so I hope she doesn't get worse

    She had 2 days off this week as we had follow up medical appts, so will see if the less tiring week makes a difference next week.

    I've also been taking to her about being happy when I take her to school as no one likes being upset, so might implement a sticker chart as she usually works well with those.


 

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