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Caring for the Little Ones - When Parents have a Hard Time Separating/They Don't Want to Go Home

by Karen Miller
March/April 1996
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/caring-for-the-little-ones-when-parents-have-a-hard-time-separating-they-dont-want-to-go-home/5010836/

I have discovered a non-threatening way to help a parent who is having trouble separating from his/her child.

You begin by explaining to all the parents that you would like to capitalize on toddlers' ritualistic behavior for the purpose of relieving separation stress. We've all experienced this ritualism, whether it's a toddler refusing to drink from a red cup when he usually uses a green one or gobbling up a sandwich cut in quarters but refusing one cut diagonally. With so many things in a toddler's life being out of his/her control and unpredictable, it's no wonder many of them cling to what is familiar and secure!

By working to develop a comfortable separation ritual, you can add predictability to a stressful situation. Some parents will want to come up with - or may have already unwittingly established - a separation ritual; for example, waving at the window until mom is in her car, or using funny words for hugs and kisses. Others may want to use one of the rituals listed below that you can suggest. Ask the parent to come up with a specific routine and communicate it to you so you can support ...

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