- If you have a parenting 911 emergency,
family physician and parenting expert
Dr. G, well she is here to the rescue.
(audience applauding) And she joins us now.
We're gonna start with this all too common question
from Lissette in our audience.
What's your mom-ergency?
- Hi, I'm Lissette.
I have a three-and-a-half year old
and an 11-month-old and one on the way.
So, Samir is my three-and-a-half year old,
our oldest, he's always been a leader
since day one of preschool, kid's club, you name it.
He was the leader and a rockstar and suddenly,
I've seen a new side of him.
He cries when we drop him off at school,
meltdowns at his kid's club, doesn't want to go anywhere,
and when we pick him up,
he scopes my car for cups and to go trays.
"Mom did you go somewhere without me and Milan?"
I said, oh no, I got caught.
So then he has another meltdown until we take him
back out and make him feel like he's part of the group.
So, my question is, what do I do and how do I address it?
I know he's not being hurt at school or his kid's club,
but I really wanna make sure I'm doing the right thing.
- This is totally normal.
A lot of kids somewhere around
two or three years old who have been rockstars at getting
dropped off have been like, see you later or you come
and they're like why are you here already?
All of a sudden they don't want you to go.
It's actually their sense of their own autonomy.
Like, oh I'm starting to be able make
more things happen that I want in my world,
I don't want you to leave.
Also, a lot of kids that age genuinely believe that
you drop them off, sit in your car until it's time to
pick them up, then come in.
They don't realize that you have your own life,
that you're going to.
It can be easy, I don't know if you feel this,
I feared it as a mom of four boys, that if they cried,
did that mean they weren't a leader and that kids were
gonna look down on them?
Did that make them a mama's boy?
Did you worry about that?
- [Lissette] I did, yes of course.
- [Dr. G] And I just want to reassure you,
that is absolutely not what happens.
- Okay, good.
- He needs to know that you can take whatever
emotion he has to express and just like we know that
babies in the first six months, when they cry you just
go and pick them up, they end up with a stronger foundation,
and easier attachment, that kids end up separating more
easily as they get older if you can hear they're upset.
Like, yeah that bothered you.
I understand that it frustrates you
that we do actually do other stuff when we're here.
I know you don't say you don't wanna
be here right now, that's all totally normal.
The more you can accept his emotions without allowing
him bad behaviors, he doesn't get to hit, he doesn't get
to throw toys when he gets there because he's angry.
But that you can accept his emotions, the stronger
he will be and a better leader he will be.
- Okay, awesome, thank you.
- I mean is the crying part of it okay?
- Crying is absolutely okay.
But you can make it easier actually.
You can make it easier on yourself and
easier on him if you have a strategy.
You need a Drop Off strategy.
You can absolutely just say, hey, what's?
He can have a role in that.
You could say, what do you want to do first?
He puts his stuff in his cubby.
Maybe he shows you one thing he's gonna do
that day that he's excited about.
Two hugs, a kiss and you're out.
And do the same thing every time.
- What's wrong with being a mama's boy?
- Asking for a friend!
- Absolutely nothin'!
And I'm hoping my boys are watching.
But, the thing is, what we worry about as moms is
are we giving our kids the strength they need to
handle it on the playground and to handle it
on the field and to be who they need to be.
And we used to feel that allowing them to express
emotion was setting them up later for failure.
And now, we know the opposite.
They can express their emotion.
That builds resilience as long as they then
move towards some kind of action plan
and that's our job to help them with that.
Be confident as you leave, you do hear his emotion,
I know you're gonna have fun
with Ms. So-and-So today and I will be back.
And then every time you leave and come back,
you're building his confidence.
- Are there any indicators that
there is some type of separation anxiety that
has gone too far?
- So, separation anxiety, Lissette asked the right question,
she said, I already know he's not being hurt at school.
I already know it's not a sudden fear, and often,
you can sense in your kids the difference between
sadness, anger, frustration, a little bit of
why aren't I the boss today, and fear,
please don't leave me with these people.
I'm not saying that a three-year-old has never
learned to pull that,
but that does make you want to look twice, ask around.
Is there a particular teacher that you're comfortable with?
Ask really good questions.
- To make sure there isn't an underlying cause.
- Right, that something didn't
all of a sudden happen.
- That's causing anxiety.
- Because sometimes kids that age can't say,
but if I stay, that kid's gonna
keep poking me with a pencil.
- [Andrew] Right.
- Always full of great advice.
- Thank you! (audience applauding)
- Do you want Dr. G to weigh in on your
parenting 911 emergency?
Please visit thedoctorstv.com
and just submit your question.