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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3203
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Hi! My gal is turning 3 years old coming May. She has been

Resolved Question:

Hi! My gal is turning 3 years old coming May. She has been attending daily nursery lessons for nearly a year. When she first started, she cried consecutively for 2weeks whenever my mum dropped her off. She was doing well after that.

2 months ago, I enrolled her in a weekday enrichment English lesson. 1st lesson was fine, she told me she enjoyed it and wanted to attend the lesson again. But 2nd lesson onwards, she cried whenever I dropped her off. But the thing is, on our way to the lesson, she showed no signs that she was relunctant to go. When we reached the classroom, waved goodbye, that's when she started crying. I am not sure what went wrong. I tried leaving the classroom after our usual goodbye routine. But she will cry for the next 45-60mins (lesson was only 90mins). I also tried staying with her for awhile longer, but it didn't help either. What should I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.

JenKMom :

Hi Good day.

JenKMom :

You child is experiencing the normal aches and pains of separation anxiety.

JenKMom :

She most likely is crying not because something went wrong but because she misses you and feels the loss when dropping her off. I like to suggest that shorter goodbyes work well as the longer they are the more anxiety builds up for her.

JenKMom :

I understand your desire to stay with her a while longer but this sends the message that if she cries long enough you will stay thus making the separation that much harder.

JenKMom :

If she senses your confidence she will begin to rely on that and her own confidence will develop and drop off will get easier. I am also interested in knowing how the teachers are helping you with this. This is not a new experience for them so they should be able to provide the comfort she needs and distract her with fun learning games after your departure.

Customer: Hi
Customer: Thanks for your Response. The teacher and I have tried long and short goodbyes but none worked. The teacher did hElp to carry her but she went On crying for next 40-50mins. I am just concerned thaT she is DisturbiNg the lesson
Customer: And that the teachEr'S patience iS running low. It has beeN aboUt Eight lessonS
Customer: I really wonder how long more we need to go through this.
JenKMom :

The teacher needs to have as much patience as it takes. It is hard to predict how long it will go on but I definitely recommend short good byes and a sign of strength and reassurance from you. Some kids take longer to separate but it will happen if you stick with it. You are not harming her in any way and this is part of normal development.

JenKMom :

The more you give her this independence now, the better off she will be as she continues to mature.

JenKMom :

I do know of parents who pulled their children out only to have continuing problems year after year after year, but that is a judgment call only you can make as you know what is best for you and your child. I can only reassure you that this is normal separation anxiety and this stage gives her some very necessary skills for the rest of her life.

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