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On Overcoming Separation Anxiety.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On Overcoming Separation Anxiety.

Miss E lasts a little less than 15 minutes in the church nursery on Sundays. We've had just one time that she managed to make it through the entire service in her fourteen months of life so we are getting quite used to seeing our family number flash on the screen at church.

Her first day of ECFE class was much the same two weeks ago as well. She did great with the initial separation until she actually realized I was gone and then she cried. And cried. And cried some more.

And then week two, not even five minutes into parent discussion, Miss E was missing me.

This is not something I am used to. H, has always separated willingly and maybe even wantingly. He has, never given a babysitter trouble or cried deliriously over us leaving. I was not a mom at preschool being clung to last fall, instead he waved and pretty much booted me out the door.

I have joked a time or two that I've got one child who can live without me so much it hurts and another who can't live without me so much it hurts. It is lose-lose, isn't it?

All that said, we've been there and done that just a touch with M when she was little. I recall when she was 4 and I was pregnant with H, the dropping off process at preschool was anything but fun. Those arms of hers were strong even then and clutch my neck she would do. More than once I would peel her off of me, walk backwards out the door, hearing her shrill scream all the way out of the building.

But it was short lived. And we made it past the hump. And if anything, she could at least talk and tell us what the deal was and we could converse, problem solving together. And she made it. Now she's fine.

But Miss E, all we get are cries.

She is such a mama's girl and I'm not sure what to do. She is with me most of all, it's true.

I hate to admit it but I have cast much judgement on other parents who's babes have had these same issues in the past. Claiming pridefully that it's the parents. It's the mom who has the trouble separating, which is why the baby is upset. I've said on more than one occasion.

And now, I've seen and learned, the hard way, that that is so not the case.

My E just wants me. All. The. Time.

And who am I to resist this cuteness?

There are a few that make her list, if she's in the mood, that is. If you're not on the list, be prepared for the fat lip, the sorrowful eyes and the cry that makes your heart hurt.

I know, or hope, it's only temporary and I do so love my girl and I admit, its flattering to feel needed all the time.

But I love people and I'd really love for her to love other people just a tad bit more.

Help a mama out here, what advice or thoughts do YOU have on helping E learn how to separate a little better?


Blogger Stacy said...

Madison has never liked the church nursery... ever! So honestly... we stopped going to services all together because she wouldnt be quiet in ther service either ( we would just hit sunday school and then home), up until about 8 weeks ago. Now we go every sunday. I bring a bag of goodies for her to play with, and we sit near her little friends, and shes good!
Now granted, Madison is 4.5, and E is.. we will say 1.2. Maybe when your family number comes up, go comfort her, and then tell her good bye and go back to the service. You know she is fine, and being well cared for, all she might need is a little reassurance that you will come back.

February 9, 2010 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

How is she around other people if you're also there? For example, if you have someone come over to watch her, but you're in the house just not in the room? Sort of a slow removal process. (This is coming from a non-parent with very little kid exposure, but I was a clingy kid.)

Good luck!

February 9, 2010 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I have the exact same problem! It is getting better though, I think. It seems if someone watches B at home she does okay but if I take her somewhere she looses it when I leave, calms down and then looses it again after a little while- in fact once I took her to the childcare at the gym and she cried so hard she puked and I was only gone 6 minutes before they called me back. I wish I had better advice but I think it will get better on its own and they will grow out of it naturally. All we can do is reassure them and one day they will realize we always come back.

I love being home with B but I do think the separation anxiety has been so bad with her because we are always together so it might just take longer to get over- I hope:)

February 9, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger LutherLiz said...

It may not help for all things but at the church nursery I would have your husband drop her off alone. If you are already gone before she gets to the nusery maybe she won't be so quick to look for you? That's all I've got. Baby Goat couldn't care less who is giving him attention so long as he's getting it these days so we don't have that issue right now.

February 10, 2010 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

We used to get called out of church every week to pick up our sobbing daughter. She only wanted mom. It was hard for her because there was a different person in there every week. When she got to 2 yr old Sunday School, she did better because her teacher was the same each week. It was still a rough start each week, but she adjusted better with the consistency. I'd also recommend that dad drop her off and pick her up. At least, he gets to be the hero then at pick up time. At 17, our daughter is on the go ALL the time, but she still likes her time with mom and makes it clear she wants time with me...still. Love it!

February 11, 2010 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger lindaquist said...

Ike is doing that for me also! My mom watches him while I work and always has, so he is very good for her, but anyone else....freaks out! I pray it too will pass, and like Henry, Laney never struggled with it. Let me know if anything works!

February 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger The Gatzke Family said...

Hi - I can't remember how I came across your blog... but I enjoy reading it and laugh and cry along with your journeys of motherhood.

I have a 2 year old who REFUSED the nursery for several months! We were persistent and kept bringing her even if she only lasted a few minutes. Then I started bringing along a "lovey" (blanket, Dora doll, Abby doll, her stuffed kitty) and I'd let her bring one lovey and we'd put a piece of masking tape with Amaya's name on the back of her lovey (just like the sticker she gets in the nursery for her back) and we'd talk about all the things she would have to show Dora. "Do you think Dora will want to play with the trains or read stories?" etc. Once she became responsible for showing her lovey all around the nursery, it was a piece of cake getting her to stay in the nursery.

Good luck!

February 15, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

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