Seperation Anxiety!

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

I'm a stay at home mom and my son is 21 months old. He rarely is ever apart from me which I'm finding is a detriment. I can't go downstairs to do laundry, I can't go throw out the garbage or get groceries out of the car without him having a meltdown over it. I can deal with him crying at home but now that I joined a gym, I also signed up for the kiddie care so he can get exposure to other kids. Problem is, I can't shut the door let alone walk away from it without him freaking out and crying until he chokes on his own tears. They have a rule that children can't cry for more than 10 minutes because it's a disturbance to the other children. I couldn't pry him off the door long enough to introduce him to the other children. The minute I opened the door he bolted and ran outside crying and was calm by the time he got into the car. Going to pre-school will be a hoot if I can't get him off my leg without him collapsing into an emotional heap. He really needs to spend more time with other children and have some Logan alone time just for him. Any suggestions of what I can do?

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[deleted account]

I talked my son through it a lot, "so when we get to the gym, we are going to go first to the day care and I am going to give you a hug, and a kiss, and we are going to high five, and then you are going to go play? right? you are going to have lots of fun! Are you going ot cry? that is right, NO CRY! etc...." Literally step by step what is going to happen. Sometimes he cried, sometimes he didn't. I always made a big deal if he didn't cry. If he did cry, I just proceeded as planned, a hug, a kiss, a high five, and I walked away. I did not linger, I did not make a big scene or a big production out of it. Just continue on assuming that he will stop crying after a few minutes.

children love routines and structure, so reciting what is going ot happen over and over again is helpful. Also remember, don't linger, this should be literally a low production, one step away from a drop and run, kind of thing. The bigger deal you make out of, the bigger deal he will make out of it. It won't take him long to figure out that his tears won't do anything.

Oh and - remember kids at this age don't have a sense of time, so saying, I will be back in an hour, means NOTHING to them. Rather, saying something like, "I am going to be back after your snack" is something they can actually comprehend.

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