Drop Off Separation Anxiety — The Bump
Pre-School

Drop Off Separation Anxiety

DD1 has always had some separation anxiety.  DH was deployed for 8.5 months (Dec-Aug) and I would leave her once per week with a sitter and then leave her at Sunday school.  She was doing fine with being dropped off at Sunday school and preschool for a couple of weeks, but then it went downhill.  For the past month, she's been upset every time (she goes to preschool 2x per week and it's the same place as Sunday school).

She always has lots of fun at pre-school and Sunday school, but the dramatic fit she pitched this morning pushed me over the edge.  We always talk in the car about how much fun she is going to have at school and the great things that she gets to do.  I point out to her that I'm going to do boring stuff like clean, so she doesn't think that I'm having fun without her.

Anyone have any tips for a smooth drop off?  I was thinking about doing a sticker chart and if she can get three stickers for a smooth drop off giving her a prize. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Re: Drop Off Separation Anxiety

  • I have posted this a lot, but I am still swearing by the book "the Kissing Hand".  Also don't feed into the drop offs.  Leave her pitching her fit.  Once she doesn't get the reaction from you it will get easier.  DS2 was having issues when DS1 started 4K.  The little stinker gave his teacher a kiss good morning today instead of a kiss goodbye kiss to me.  
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  • I have surprising not had this issue, however the teachers at my son's preschool tell the parents to just give them a kiss say I will be back to pick you up and leave. Don't look back. The more you feed into it and try to calm them the worse it gets sometimes, especially if its not the first day and they know the routine.

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  • DD goes in and out of this.  She'll be totally happy going to school for a while, then we'll have a month where she cries and doesn't want to go.  Her teachers always say she is fine a couple of minutes after I leave.  I agree with the previous poster about just keeping a short and sweet drop off routine.  If your DD is anything like mine, it will just be a phase that she'll grow out of.  Good luck!
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  • I never know what kind of day it will be -- easy or hard dropoff. She's just always been like that. Lately, she's been reacting well with either or both of these little rituals: 1 is the kiss to keep. I give her a kiss on her hand or her cheek or whatever, and she does the same with me. We pretend to lock it in with a key so we each have our kiss for the time we're apart. The other came from when I had to leave for a work trip for a few days. I have two matching bracelets, and I gave one to her, and I kept the other one. I told her any time she missed me, she could just think of me wearing the same bracelet as her. That idea has morphed into other things, for example, last week she brought me one of her stuffed kitties and told me that I could keep it with me during my day at work in case I missed her. And she put one of the other little kitties into her backpack to do the same.

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