We are into week three of Peanut attending her new daycare and I really can’t say that things are getting easier. I feel like we have some bad days and some not so bad days and I can’t help but wonder how long this transition period will last. It breaks my heart to see my baby so sad, especially when she’s crying and saying, “Don’t leave me Mommy!” “Mommy I need you!” – – oh Lord help me!!
After ten days of ‘winging it’ and trying to accommodate the little bugger, I’ve decided to search for some advice. And where else does the worried and anxiety/guilt ridden mom go for advice? (well, first i talked to my mom, but her advice was to take her back to Mary’s for another year and then to contemplate quitting her job to move in as a live-in nanny – – thanks anyway Mom) No, I turned to Pinterest.
Right away I found some really great posts about separation anxiety with advice from parents, day care providers and preschool teachers. You can check out my Pinterest board here.
Here are some of the ideas and tips that really hit home for me:
- DON’T LET THEM SEE YOU SAD – yeah, gonna have to work on that one. Especially after my full out melt down the other day when both Peanut and I were bawling on the floor and I told her she breaks my heart when she cries. Now, she is constantly asking me, “Did I break your heart Mommy?” Oh geeze…
- CREATE A ROUTINE – sticking to a routine that’s predictable should be a no brainier – Peanut has always thrived on routine. We are still a bit shaky on that, but I’m confident we will get there. I’m also going to create a little ritual for saying goodbye, like giving her a kiss on each cheek and an Eskimo kiss.
- REMIND YOUR TODDLER YOU ALWAYS RETURN – this has been number one for me; I’m always reminding Peanut that I always come back. I really like how this mom handles this one:
- When Anna Zirker’s twin boys were 2, she put her own twist on this trick: “When they’d say, ‘Mommy, don’t go,’ I’d ask, ‘What does Mommy do when she leaves?’ and they’d say, ‘Mommy comes back,’ ” says Zirker, of Bend, OR. Still works every time.
- DON’T LINGER – this one will be hard. For some reason I was thinking that maybe it would be better to spend some extra time with her at drop-off, but several sources have said that there should be a clear separation of home and school (daycare). Sooooo, when I sat with her and read her a book this morning… that wasn’t good??
- GIVE HER A JOB TO DO – I haven’t tried this one, but I think it could work pretty well because Peanut loves to be the helper. I might have to team up with her teacher to find out what kinds of things she could help with when she gets to school. Having something to do right away can help with the transition.
- BE ON TIME – I will NEVER be late picking Peanut up. I’ve reminded her countless times that I come back to get her after snack and I intend to keep that promise. One afternoon, I left work about 10 minutes later and she was a hot mess when I got there. Not gonna do that again – yikes!