Separation Anxiety

Sarah - posted on 04/12/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Recently at a counselling session it was identified that my little girl who is 18 months old is showing the signs of separation anxiety which I think has been going on for a little while now.

When my husband was asked what his thoughts were on this he said that he believed that I had created this myself so basically it was my mistake and it is for me to fix. The counsellor did state that this really isn't a helpful attitude.

It has gotten to the point now that Maisie is also now being clingy to me when daddy is home, if I go out and leave her she crys a fair amount of the time that I am gone.

I read the section on Separation Anxiety in "The Mighty Toddler" by Robyn Barker who believes that sneaking out is really not the right thing to do as it will create trust issues. I told my husband that I wanted to read to him what I had read but due to his lack of interest I haven't bothered. I did explain that what I had read said sneaking away is really not the answer, so on the weekend I went to do the grocery shopping, leaving her with her dad and step brother and two step sisters and what did my husband insist that I do.....yep sneak away. And yes she cryed most of the time I was gone and asked for me.

It breaks my heart to see her little face when I get back when she has a look of panic on it.

Maisie will go with my mum, gets a little upset at first but mum says that she is right within a couple of minutes. Mum says to her that they are just going to the shops or whatever they might be doing and then they will come back to me. My mum says that if she got really distressed that she would bring her back to me straight away.

My mother-in-law on the other hand is a different story. I generally get along well with her but when Maisie won't give her a kiss when she arrives, then freaks out if she is going to go somewhere with her my mother-in-law says "I don't know why she doesn't like me" " I haven't done anything to her." I know that she wouldn't have done anything to her, I don't doubt it for a second but I get tired of hearing "I don't know why she doesn't like me" Then to make it worse "Well what is she like with your mum"

It is really starting to get on top of me, I have been advised by the counsellor that I need to make arrangements to have someone have her one day a week on a regular basis, be that with a family member of daycare as I need to have some of my own time and we need to teach her that mummy isn't going to leave her. Daycare at the moment just isn't financially possible and family members aren't seeming very enthused to committ to a regular day a week.

Does anyone have any advise how to deal with this issue??????

3 Comments

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Nade - posted on 04/15/2010

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my lilttle boy had a hard time with separating with me at his childcare..it got to a point where he missed me soooo much that he cried whole day and had no food or water....what th ecarers suggested was a photo album with photos of alll the familiar family members for him to look at when he is sad...what you can do is get your husbund to take of you and her different photos eg playing together,reading a story etc at least while you are away she ill lokk at the pictures and your husbund can speak to her about them...good luck

Sarah - posted on 04/14/2010

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Thanks heaps for your response Gillian. What you have said is exactly how I feel especially when it comes to "sneaking out". I do not agree with doing this but the problem is trying to make my husband realise that this is not the best way to do things. He feels that sneaking out is the better option I guess cause he then doesn't have to put up with her intial crying that I have left. I did do it the way that you have mentioned as this is exactly what my book said & it made sense to me. The next time I went out (which let me tell you isn't often) is when my husband said that he thought it was best if I sneak out. We really can't agree on anything, another reason for counselling unfortunately. I have said to him that I don't agree with the whole sneaking out but whilst she is in his care I will do it his way but I WILL NOT do it like that when it comes to anyone else. I will be raising this issue in counselling next week which couldn't come soon enough. Thanks again for your prompt response :-D

Lady - posted on 04/12/2010

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Sneaking out really is not a good thing to do. I have worked with a lot of children in nurseries and at home and we always got the parents to say goodbye, it is a trust and abadoment issue because if you sneak away they will feel like they have just been left. You tell them mummy is going out for a while but she'll be back shortly. The best way to get her used to it is for the first few times you only are a way a short amount of time, then as she gets more and more used you going then you can start to lengthen the time you are away. The real key is to be firm say you are going say goodbye then GO!! DO NOT hang about, do not let her try to manipulate you into staying by crying and hanging on - this only makes it worse, and be back when you say you are going to be. By going then coming back in a short amount of time she will get used to you going and start to realise that it's not all that bad and that mummy will return.

But remember she is still very young, being clingy to mummy is quite typical at this age and they will usually grow out of it. But I suspect there is more going on the house hold though if you are seeing as counsellor so all of that may be effecting her too, children pick up on everything and then reflect it back. Hope this has been of some help good luck!

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