You're not my mom! What to do with a Child Who has Separation Anxiety)

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It can be hard to care for a child who isn't used to being away from their mom. Everything can be a fight or end in tears. Here are some tips and tricks to ease the transition and make everyone happier.

Redirection

Redirect the child's attention away from the fact their mom is gone. When they say things like "I miss my mom". Acknowledge and validate those feelings, but offer something to do to keep them occupied.

Example: "I know you miss your mom. She probably misses you too. Let’s draw her a picture to give her when she gets home".

Engage in an activity before their parents leave

As soon as you get to the shift, start doing something fun. Take them outside, start an art project or play a game. This way the child is already having fun and not so focused on mom or dad leaving.

Remind them that mom and dad will be back.

Example: "I'm sorry mom isn't here right now, but we are going to have so much fun! I am sure mom can't wait to hear all about it when she comes home tonight" or "I know you like when dad helps you get dressed. I'm going to help you now but dad can help you with your pajamas for bedtime".

Find something they're excited about and go with it!

Ask them what their interests are. Try to find an art project or activity that goes with their interests.

Example: If a child likes dinosaurs, make craft paper dinosaurs, bury toy dinosaurs in the dirt and dig them up or find videos about dinosaurs (if screen time is permitted).