Several months ago, one of our 4 year old little girls ran up to her teacher and burst into tears. The teacher got down to her level to try to see if she was hurt or what was wrong with her. Through her tears she muttered, “I don’t want my mommy to die like my daddy!” The teacher held her and consoled her until she had calmed down. Later in the afternoon the little girl had the same outburst and was inconsolable until her mother was able to pick her up. After speaking with her mother, she did confirm her daughter’s father did recently pass away and the entire family was struggling, but especially her 4 year old.
These outbursts continued everyday for weeks, until we realized our efforts may be helping her, but not to the extent she needed. We had exhausted all of our resources and materials for coping with the loss of a family member and we were realizing that we needed to try something different. At that time we were in need of a new teacher, so we proposed the idea to her mother to come on board to work at our center. This, we felt, would be the best way to help secure her daughter’s emotional needs, as well as help our center. Her mother had been a long time employee for San Juan Regional Medical Center, but without hesitation, she jumped at the offer. After just a few short months her daughter’s separation anxiety faded away like a bad dream and she is currently thriving in her classroom preparing for kindergarten.