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seperation anxiety wham !

(8 Posts)
meandyouplustwo Tue 19-Apr-16 20:28:42

Ok i could do with some advice from people who have walked this path.
DD is 2 years 1 month, came to us at 11 months and has shown healthy attachment development in the 14 months since she started living with us. confident with others but checking in with us.

I have returned to work this week and in preparation she has been attending nursery starting slowly and building up to full days 3 weeks ago , im working 3 days a week.

I take her to nursery at breakfast time , food has worked really well as a distraction , nursery staff said until this week she was really settled , she would look for me and have a few tears but be comforted and she gets very excited when she sees her nursery bag and happy to go in , very excited . but she has started to say mummy stay . I reply "no mummy is off shopping you can stay play with your friends and mummy see you later" ( she doesn't like shopping trolleys). this has worked very well for 3 weeks

However the last two days she has been really upset , shouting out for either me or daddy.she is still excited and goes in happily

Nursery staff have suggested we drop her and leave, but i really don't know what to do for the best, this is new to me and Im feeling pretty raw and confused about what to do .

Thankyou for reading

CrazyCatLaydee123 Tue 19-Apr-16 22:51:55

Perhaps the novelty of nursery is starting to wear off, and even with building up her time in nursery slowly maybe full days are too long for her at this point. It might be the realisation that this nursery lark is a permanent fixture in her life and she'd much rather be with you!
I doubt drop and run would help, especially with an ac. Is there any way you can see her in the middle of her nursery session, or even send a little note in for staff to read so she knows that you are in her thoughts and will be back soon?

tldr Tue 19-Apr-16 23:06:47

I could have written that post when I returned to work! Same age, same timescale, more or less. I agree with catlady that DD is mostly upset at realising its permanence.

We did drop and run, mostly because we were absolutely certain that LOs attachment was as close to normal as it could be and we saw no other changes in his behaviour to cause us alarm. It was horrible, but it probably only took 3 drop offs before he stopped. And he loves it now (year+ on) though, like all of us, sometimes would prefer to stay home.

If you're at all nervous about attachment though, there's probably a better way. (I wouldn't have done this with my other child, for example.)

Is there anyway you can shorten day so she still gets lots of time with you? For ex, if you have a DP could they start early and collect early or drop off late? We pay for a ten hour day but he's very rarely there more than 6.5.

Poppystellarcat Tue 19-Apr-16 23:18:22

Just a thought but perhaps rather than saying you are going shopping say you are going to work. You will obv need to explain what work is but I wonder whether her thinking you are going shopping without her (even if shopping isn't something she hugely enjoys) she might be feeling that she is missing out on time with you. Whereas if it something adult only that you have to go to then she may be happier to be at nursery with friends. Of course this may be total bollocks as she is only 2 and may not process it like that but I did it with my LO to show that this was something I had to do my own rather than just not wanting her there (if that makes sense?) and it helped a little bit.

On a practical level how about a favourite teddy going to nursery with her to keep her company? it could have s special mummy kiss or something in its tummy that she could rub anytime she missed you. Or plan to do something special at the end of nursery so she has something concrete to look forward to (park, painting, trip to library etc) Or a little reward sticker chart for being a big girl and going to nursery if she likes stickers?

Also lots and lots and lots of reassurance that mummy is coming back and make sure all nursery staff know she has experience of someone leaving and never seeing them again so they need to be aware her anxiety levels are going to be considerably more heightened than other children. It's a difficult one because on the one hand you want to help them adjust to the natural separation of nursery / school but on the other hand you are very very mindful of the huge losses she will have had in her life so far and how traumatic therefore any separation could feel. I don't have any magic answers just my own experience which is that it does get better, eventually! Hang in there x

MrsH1989 Wed 20-Apr-16 07:07:03

All children, adopted or not do this when they start nursery. My birth son did it for about a month and I used to be crying when I left him. He has started doing it again recently and since my adoption training I haven't had the heart to just leave him. Instead, I make sure we arrive with plenty of time so I am not in a rush to leave and I explain to him that I have to go to work to earn money for nice treats. We talk about what we want to spend he money on and I set him some tasks to do whilst I am gone (draw certain pictures). If this doesn't work one of the other kids can usually convince him with a comment like "I let my mummy go" and then I dont even get a goodbye!

meandyouplustwo Wed 20-Apr-16 20:23:07

thankyou , lots of great ideas as usual .
Hi poppy , yes she takes her favourite dolly which she walks around with but has started putting it down when playing so thats good.
This morning she was saying no nursery all the way there , and very clingy and i could hear her crying as i left her.
i worried about her all day , but when i went to collect her (early ! ) she was playing happily and chatting with her friends about their peppa pig tops ! she gave me a smile , ran round , gave me a hug and went off to play .......... good ending !
I think shes going to be alright xxxx
thanx mummies x

Poppystellarcat Wed 20-Apr-16 22:08:44

Glad to hear things are going ok. And I smiled in recognition at you stressing about whether she was ok all day, only to return to find her happily engrossed in playing. That was a very familiar scenario in our house on nursery days... grin

Chicklette Wed 20-Apr-16 22:42:48

Glad things are going well. We had simelar issues with AS when I returned to work although he was almost 3 and had been with us for about14 months. Things that helped- Loads of chat about what we would do after we picked him up, a bit of chat after Nursary about how I missed him and he missed me but emphasising how it wasn't too bad in the end. He took favourite toy and one really useful thing was a photo of him hugging me and another of him hugging my partner. We made them into a keyring. He kept it at Nursary on his trousers to begin with and could have a look at it whenever he liked or felt wobbly. There was sometimes tears and sometimes he was fine and he always told me at pick up that he had had loads of fun! Nursary always encouraged us to leave quicker but that didn't feel right for us or him. Sometimes we did have to leave when he was crying but we still spent quite a bit of time settling him in which long term I think was the right thing. Oh, and "Mummy and Mama aaaaaaaalways come back" is a staple mantra in this house and was said about 100x a day at that time!

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