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separation anxiety(13 Posts)
My little one has been home nearly a year now (age 2) but still hasn't been left with anyone else for more than 45 mins; complete meltdown if I attempt to leave them (with relatives they see almost daily and love to bits). We have a brilliant bond (it's just the two of us-they settled really well. So my question is, how have people managed going out and leaving them with someone else/ going to nursery etc? When I have left them with relatives (for under an hour) they have screamed for a few minutes then been ok (except for the other day when sat by door waiting for ms to come back - was only 5 mins). Do we just plough on, like removing a plaster?
Aw bless her, I think she will be very frightened.
I'd just continue to chip away, little by little and the more she is reassured the more confident she will become.
I know it must be trying but with your patience she will improve.
I can remember being like this as a small child, I went to school fine with lots of chats about being a big girl now. I hadn't had any trauma though, but did suffer anxiety at either of my parents leaving/ Dad being late from work.
I can't advise from a parental pov, but hats off to you
My Mum wasn't allowed to work or leave us when we were small children, but there weren't many play groups back then let alone nurseries. There were also lots of adopted children, I had several school friends who were adopted.
It must be hard as my mum's generation had lots of sahm's and the children were socialised in small groups of neighbours.
How often do you try? I would be tempted to have a go once a week just for 30-40 minutes to see if she could be reassured you are coming back every time. Then start to make it a little longer.
I think that's a pretty normal phase for kids at that age, though adoption does add something to the mix. I remember my nieces and nephews really struggling at that age if they were left anywhere.
I think the only way is to actually leave and come back. At home let her be in a different room to you and come back to check on her, leave her with people she knows and come back again etc. Maybe giving her a security toy/blanket that smells like you would help? How is age once you've left? Does she keep crying or settle to play etc?
My approach was to choose just one person to leave DD with and work on getting her comfortable with her. We have no DGPs or other relatives close by so I chose the (lovely lovely) woman who'll eventually be her childminder when I go back to work (in a couple of months, sob).
I needed a bit of support anyway so I could do things like go to the dentist, because DP works more than full time and I really have no one.
DD and I visited her together once a week for about 8 weeks, going to playgroup, library, etc.
Then I left her for an hour, then two hours, and now she can do three hours. (I went back to work for a KIT day the other day). She cries for about five minutes and then she's fine.
She is and always has been very clingy when I'm around though - won't be in another room without me, etc.
We also did a lot of 'Mama comes back. Mama always comes back' and reading Owl Babies, which has that as its 'message'.
WOULD try ways of inclusions, stay and play groups, fun places, parents groups, think these would be a start, no doubt may be difficult at 1st just hang on transitions can be difficult.
Yes - just pick one person.
Yes - keep doing it for very short periods
Yes - lots of reassurance about Mummy always comes back
Give them a time - I will be back in 30 minutes and stick to that like glue
I never tried this but I was told that giving them something of yours (like your watch) to look after until you get back is an easier way for a very small child to understand that you are coming back
But also very very slow transitions - I think I did mine too fast, would take as long as I thought it needed if I were to get my time again.
ANd if it's still upsetting, back off for a month and try again.
Someone pointed out to me that they won't ever learn that mummy comes back if mummy never went anywhere to come back from.
We have a cuddly dog who gets a bit worried when mummy has to go somewhere, and LO has to look after the dog until mummy comes back.
Thank you for your fab ideas. I will persevere with grandparents and leaving something to be looked after. They loved nursery visit and are very happy mixing with other children at groups, so hopefully will get hang of it more. My mum in particular finds it very difficult like when yesterday they sat by the door waiting for me to come back, but I was only out ten mins so probably need to go for longer to give my mum chance to do something with them
Yes why don't you suggest your mum does an activity to make something to give you when you get back. Cookies, picture etc
I might be too early yet so if it doesn't work after trying these ideas, then ease off and try again in a month.
I wish I'd slowed transitions down - it's my major regret from those early days.
Just to update, if anyone is reading this in a similar situation.... We have tried a few situations of me going out and coming back again leaving them with grandparents both at our house and theirs. Generally been fine and happy 😊 Owl Babies book is gorgeous too
whereisteddy, that's a great update. I'm sorry to hear you've had such a hard time.
In your shoes I would ask my local authority for post adoption support and see if there is anything like theraplay that you could try to help your little one feel more secure. I don't know if it would help but it might.
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