Friday, January 18, 2013

School Aged Separation Anxiety

Since winter break, R has been asking me to walk him to the door at school rather than just dropping him off at the playground.  Often, he is in tears when it is time to say good-bye.  He tells me that he’s crying because he’ll miss me.  At soccer, he often feigns illness so he doesn’t have to go or when we get there, he again is tearful and tells his coach that he doesn’t feel well and we end up going home early.  R LOVES soccer and begged to be in it – so why does he not want to go?  Again, when asked, he says he misses us.  I don’t understand this because we are right there, watching from the grandstands.

He was fine before break but this is not unusual.  The same thing happens year after year when we have a break.  I thought this year would be different.  He seemed happy before break and was even seeking out his independence in telling me he was responsible enough to walk home by himself and that he could go to the park by himself.  I had not walked him to his door at school since the first day.

Hubby thinks we need to back off on the cuddling and treat him like a big kid, and that sounds right – I mean, kids live up to your expectations, right?  But something in me says that he needs more love and assurance right now and gestures showing our love might be what he needs.  Truly, I’m at a loss.  Internet research, here I come.

I'd love to hear from another parent, has anyone else experienced this with their elementary school-aged child?  How did you handle it?  What would you do differently, if anything?

Take Care, D

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