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Very late separation anxiety?

(11 Posts)
NCingAgain Mon 20-Feb-17 20:03:51

My DD has always been a confident little thing but age 6 is having a right old speed wobble. She does a couple of after school activities but isn't wanting to go to them, to the extent that she's breaking down in floods of tears at school when nearly time to go. If I'm there and take her in myself, I'll make sure she's fine and she is. She's even - and this sounds harsh but I know my DD - chucked a couple of sickies where I've had to fetch her out of school (coincidentally, on activity days....) and is fine once she's back with me. Nothing's changed, no major stuff going on at home or school as far as I know. We spend a ton of time together as I don't work every day and generally am the one to pick her up, but I've had to leave work early to deal with this and really need to sort it out. Any ideas how to snap her out of it? TIA

kittymamma Mon 20-Feb-17 21:28:15

When you "make sure she is fine", is this a quick "in you go sweetie, I'll see you straight after" and off she goes or is it a long "oh but you know you like it... it's so much fun ... you are so good at it ... etc"? If it's the former then I would guess the issue is a security issue. My DD is nearly 6 and I find she goes through these stages of insecurity where she acts out and just needs a long cuddle and to know she is loved (the sort of parenting my mum frowns at so feel free to ignore). If it's the latter, I would say there is another issue here, bullying or teasing from other kids? Or perhaps she doesn't enjoy them and would rather be home.

mikado1 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:35:32

Really kittymamma? I have read the latter approach makes it much harder for them and they don't wabt to hear the rational/be persuaded, they just want to be heard i.e. 'I know you're saying you don't want to go. I will see you straightaway afterwards though and we'll do xyz' is the advice I've read so the separation is quick as this is the painful bit but you're reminding them of the 'hello' at the end instead of the goodbye if that makes sense.

That's assuming it is separation and there's nothing else upsetting her, which I assume you've looked into Op. It's very hard to know the right thing to do. Outside of these times I would probably give her extra one on one if poss and some tlc, 'looking after her' a bit more.

What do the supervisors say?

mikado1 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:40:28

Also, it's important, once you know it's nothing else, to be quite confident yourself about her going i.e. letting her know you're happy about her going and you know she'll be ok. Otherwise she coukd be reading your anxiety too..

NCingAgain Mon 20-Feb-17 22:28:52

I'd usually give her a kiss and tell her to have fun, then discretely watch for a few minutes to make sure she's happily joining in - generally it's not even an issue and there's no hanging back for long cuddles. If I thought she really wasn't enjoying it, I wouldn't make her go, but it really doesn't appear that's the case.

Supervisors don't suggest there is any issue once there and I see her coming out happily chatting, but the class teacher doesn't know what to do with her when she's a snivelling mess saying she doesn't want to go right before....

mikado1 Mon 20-Feb-17 22:33:37

Can they just let her have her cry and join in when ready? My worry would be that there is an issue that y2k don't know about but it appears in your dd's situation there isn't..

Can you talk to her about it outside of drop off time. Would she prefer to actually stop going and how would this make life better? Is there anything she'd miss? I always felt activities should be the child's decision but have a friend who wishes her mum had insisted she commited as she had no hobbies as a teen.

NCingAgain Mon 20-Feb-17 22:41:31

That's my main worry about telling her to just get on with it (nicely, obviously), that there's something going on that I don't know about. I've given her lots of opportunities to tell me but nothing so far.

mikado1 Mon 20-Feb-17 22:47:16

I'm out of ideas but hope she overcomes it. I had a little of this with ds1 and preschool this year and I was so torn but at least with school I felt it was non-negotiable and teacher reassured me he was happy once in. He still regularly says he doesn't want to go but then runs in... It's like a habit but it makes me doubt things every time..

m0therofdragons Mon 20-Feb-17 22:50:32

My year 1 5yo went through a stage of sobbing and teacher having to drag her off me screaming "mummeeeeeeeey!" in a blood curdling kind of way. She's never done it for dh when he did school runs but saved impressive dramatics for me. Teacher assures me that once I'm out of sight dd is completely fine.

I have 3dds and dd2 is the one who'd like to spend all day cuddling me on the sofa. Dd1 loves school and dd3 loves seeing her friends but dd2 is all about mummy. She was resuscitated at birth and rushed to scbu so I didn't meet her for 6 hours. I wonder if that made me behave differently as I felt so guilty she missed the immediate skin to skin, but of course that's probably completely irrelevant and just her personality. Ime it's a phase and will pass. Dd stopped when dh spoke to her and asked her why, told her firmly she had to go to school but if anything ever happens that makes her sad then she's to tell us and we'd be there for her. I have a pic of dc at work so considered giving dd something to go in her bag to make her feel I'm close but then she was fine so I never did.

mikado1 Mon 20-Feb-17 22:54:39

Yes, same here when his dad does drop off! That's interesting and significant/reassuring; it's the separation from you that's hard, it's the same when they resist bedtime. I did put a paper heart in ds' lunch once which he loved ha!

kittymamma Wed 22-Feb-17 21:37:26

mikado you are totally right, the latter if instigated by the parent does make separation anxiety worse. Obviously I didn't communicate my thoughts clearly, that's the last time I post on the app. I need to see my paragraph to see that it made sense. I was suggesting that if OP's DD was resisting and the OP was finding that she had to persuade and convince her DD to go in, then she would go in, then perhaps there was an issue with the actual activity.

To me though, as this doesn't seems to mainly be prompted by you leaving her as she isn't with you when she kicks off, well at least some of the time (or did I misread that?). This doesn't seem like separation anxiety. At least not to me. I hate to suggest something silly but could she just be tired? My DD is a nightmare if she is tired, she cries, sulks and can be overly dramatic for the slightest things. We found banning screen time from 6pm and sending her to bed at 7pm and giving her 15 minutes reading time made a massive difference to the quality of her sleep from when she would do as she liked then go to bed at 7:30pm. Probably not the cause but worth a thought if you can't find any other cause.

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