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Emmasdaddy
Emmasdaddy asks:
Q:

My daughter is in her 3rd week of kindergarten and still crying and throwing a fit when my wife drops her off. How should we handle this?

It is a tricky situation because she has diabetes and we are still working on getting everything figured out and under control with her school and her Doctors. My Wifes Mom dropped my Daughter off on Friday and she was fine, no crying no fit she just went in and sat down and was ready for class. This morning however when my Wife dropped her off she was back to throwing a fit. We are frustrated by this and want to handle it carefully and go about it the right way. Can someone help me with some advise, PLEASE?
Member Added on Sep 20, 2010
I should add that we have a 2 year old Son and we are expecting our 3rd child in December which does add some stress to our lives.
In Topics: Kindergarten readiness, Discipline and behavior challenges, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Sep 21, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

This does sound like a tricky situation, but I am confident that you and your wife can sort out the drop-off situation before details are settled with the school surrounding your daughter's diabetes.

I assume that you and your wife are getting your daughter qualified for special education benefits. Is that right? Once she has been qualified for special education and all of the appropriate supports are in place, I imagine that you, your wife, and your daughter will all rest a little easier, but in the meantime, I would encourage you to work out what you can to make certain that she is safe at school (meaning, she has everything in place should there be a problem with her medical condition).

When you and your wife are confident that your daughter will be safe, it should be much easier to confidently drop her off. Here are some steps to take in order to make the drop-off go easier:

1. Sometime in the evening or on the weekend, talk with your daughter about the school drop-offs. How does she feel about school? What does she think about getting dropped off at school? Does she have any concerns? Listen and reassure your daughter as appropriate. Empathize with her feelings and concerns and let her know that you would like to be with her, too, but she must attend school and you also have obligations during this time.

2. I would invite you and your wife to think about your own feelings related to dropping your daughter off at school. If there is any reluctance or worry surrounding school and your daughter being there, your daughter will pick up on that in an instant. If a child's parent has any anxiety about school, their child instinctively interprets the fear as a threat and begins to think, "Well, mommy and daddy seem to be worried about dropping me off at school. There must be something to be afraid of there! I don't want to go!" Thus, you and your wife should prepare your best optimistic attitude and smile when preparing your daughter for school in the morning and dropping her off. She will be safe at school. You just need to convey that to your daughter.

3. The key to a smooth drop-off is to detach with compassion. Do your best to avoid a long, lingering, clinging good-bye. Bring your daughter to her classroom, greet the teacher (signaling that she is someone friendly and safe), get your daughter settled, give her a hug and a kiss and when departing say something like, "I love you, and I can't wait to see you when I pick you up at 2:30 today" and then walk out of the classroom. Do not go back to the classroom if she starts crying and do not extend the goodbye. You can email her teacher later in the day or call to find out how things went after you left. Most likely, your daughter's teacher will be able to settle her down and distract her with an activity in no time.

You may do well to discuss this plan with your daughter's teacher, and I have little doubt that she will support you in this process.

Good luck!

Warm regards,

Laura Kauffman, Ph.D.
Licensed Child Psychologist
Education.com JustAsk Expert
http://www.drlaurakauffman.com/

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