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6 Year Old - Drop-off Anxiety

(3 Posts)
doitall Sun 11-Sep-11 20:19:13

Can anyone offer advice? I have a very bright, articulate, lovely 6 year old daughter who I just cannot ever leave at drop-off parties, other people's houses etc. She basically goes into meltdown if I, or my DH, have to leave.

To be honest it's now getting really embarrassing being the only parent hanging around at kids' parties (with my DD attached to my leg silently crying), and her friends just want to avoid her when she won't join in. No fun for any of us. And I don't think I can simply drop and run as I don't think it's fair on the host to have to deal with a traumatised child. It's quite heartbreaking as I think she's not getting invited to after school play dates because of it.

Most days at school drop off she's the same; tears at the gate, and she has to be peeled off me into the arms of a teacher. The school has helped with her general confidence over the year, but the separation side of things is just awful. Needless to say she's fine once she is in school for the day.

I just don't know what to do. If I sit down and talk about it she just gets really stressed and upset. I don't want to have to resort to bribery.

exoticfruits Mon 12-Sep-11 07:57:35

I would tell her that parties are optional, she doesn't have to accept the invitation, but that it is very rude to the party person to say that she will go and then make the fuss.
Next time she gets an invitation say that she must decide what she is going to do, but that if she wants to go she will have to stay on her own because you will be dropping and picking up. If she can't do that she must say that she isn't going.
It won't hurt to miss some parties-she can go when she is older.
Could you not see the teacher at school with DD -sit down and both ask her why she does it? Ask her what would make it easier since she has to go to school however much she cries in the morning.
If you don't want to do this I would sit her down and say that she is going to school whatever and start a star chart with a star for every morning she goes in without tears with a treat when she gets so many. It doesn't have to cost money-just something she likes doing. Reassure her with a run down of what you are doing while she is at school-make it as boring as possible.

nickschick Mon 12-Sep-11 08:09:08

She is still very young.
Has she always been like this?
Has something happened at school that makes her feel vulnerable?

Theres several ways to address this

* the short sharp shock one.
You take her wherever it is and simply leave or ask someone else to drop her off.
(I dont like this idea,but if shes is connecting you going with her feeling vulnerable in situations she has previously been alright with then its a possible route)

*the gradual leave.
You tell her for example one school morning that you have a busy day ahead and you cannot hang around -you drop her at the door (hopefully the teacher will be responsive and perhaps offer to give her an 'early morning job') once youve done it once you can gradually wean her down.

*go over everything
this way you go over everything that could have upset her and keep reassuring her and keep accompanying her everywhere until quite literally she finds she doesnt need you.

Im inclined to think the gradual leave is the way forward coupled with finding a 'specuial pal' and enlisting the class teachers help - many a upset child has their morale boosted by being 'in charge' of feeding the class hamster every morning or cleaning the black/white board.
Weve had a long summer holiday and she probably feels unsettled.

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