Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to Tell if Your Child Has Difficulty with Transitions

Leaving the House
You are getting ready to leave, going through the same routine as usual.
Child is squirrely.  (Those who have children who also get squirrely will recognize this as a word).
Babysitter arrives, same time as usual.  
Child is happy to see her, as usual.  But still squirrely.  
You put on your coat, grab your bag and your laptop.
“Mama!  Mama!  Are you leaving?  Mama!  I love you!”
“I love you too, sweetie.  I’ll be back right before lunch, just like always.”
“Right before lunch?”
“You bet.”
“Okay.  I’ll see you at lunch-time.”
After a hug and a kiss, you head for the door.
As your hand touches the knob, you hear:
“Mama!  Mama!  Wait!  Mama!  I need a kissing hand.” *
You pause, bend down and repeat the kissing hand sequence.
“Okay Mama.  Bye Mama.”
“Bye Honey.  I’ll see you at lunch-time.”
You once again reach for the doorknob.  This time you make it half-way out of the door.
“Mama!  MAMA!  I’m blowing kisses!  Mama!  I’m blowing kisses!”
You turn around and blow several kisses through the window.
You then turn around and make it as far as the garage door.
“MAMA!  WAIT!  MAMA COME BACK!  I need to give you a HUG!”
And you turn back to the house for another  goodbye hug.
You tell your child that you love them.  Madly.  And repeat once again that you’ll be home at lunch-time.  You make it to the garage and open the garage door.  You pause ever-so-slightly to see if you will be recalled.  Hearing nothing, you step across the threshold.  
You thrust a waving hand out of the door so they can see it and make a run for the car.
* This is a term borrowed from the children’s book called “The Kissing Hand,” by Audrey Penn.  It’s a bit corny.  But it works well for kids that have separation issues.  Also highly useful in this regard is “The Invisible String,” by Patrice Karst.    

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