Can I cry too?

I had a completely different post all set up for this morning but I preempted it to make a cry for help from fellow parents, teachers and military families.  My pediatrician friends could chime in too.  And child psychologists or family therapists.  Priests and other religious.  Yes, I’m desparate.

My daughter is going through serious separation anxiety.  Every morning she cries and clings to me when I drop her off at school.  Today was especially difficult.

Okay, so to some that may not seem like a big deal and I may sound like a whiny mom.  Maybe it’s not and I am.  Believe me, I’ve been reading up on separation anxiety so I know it’s normal and that it’s a phase that will eventually pass and all that.  Every morning I’m cheerful and calm and consistent.  I’m sweet yet firm as I wipe her tears and pry her fingers loose.  And I’ve learned not to wear knit sweaters as they don’t fare well against small fingers with an iron grip.

What I need is a plan for coping when, in about a month, my husband will be away and my daughter’s teacher will be on medical leave.  I am not optimistic that my daughter will be okay with these changes.

We’ve read The Kissing Hand (multiple times) and we have plenty of quality time after school and on weekends.  I coax her through little morning rituals.  Grammie tried bribing her, I’ve talked to her, my husband has lost his patience and gotten mad at her.  None of these has made the slightest impact.

Her teacher and I have ruled out anything like bullying or some other uncomfortable issue.  Her teacher assures me that she’s fine within five minutes of drop off.  When I pick her up she is usually happy and chatters about her day.  I’ve spoken with her pediatrician and gleaned no new insight.

This has been going on since around Thanksgiving and it is wearing me out.  Now with my husband set to enter the pre-deployment phase and a long-term sub set to take over my daughter’s class, I feel like all my efforts toward consistency and stability are about to be undermined.

I’d really like to eliminate this terrible start to each day, so please—offer advice, point me toward additional resources, suggest books or other materials my daughter and/or I can read.  And just pray for us.  Thanks.





Filed under Family

6 responses to “Can I cry too?

  1. Joanna, I don’t have anything helpful to say, but I will definitely keep you all in my prayers. 🙂 You are so brave!

  2. Hi there. Hang in there! My babies are now 24 and 22, and we did get through it.
    Two things – is it essential that she go everyday? What if you got a break once in awhile and she stayed home? Not as a result of crying – just plan a family day ahead of time that you can both look forward too. Not a lot of details on the why in the note, but just once in awhile. Be nice to yourself. It’s hard!

    And I gave my daughter a ring I always wore (always can be from the moment you decide to do it; save it for a rough morning) to wear while she was away. It helped! Now that she’s in Spain she has my ring again. I’m not even sure she wears it, but she wanted to have it.

    And I’ve put Little Princes on my reading list!
    Thanks and good luck! Annette

    • Thank you for your kind words and for your suggestion. My daughter wears a special necklace already but something of mine or even her dad’s might help. When you get to it, let me know how you like Little Princes 🙂

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  4. Nanci Scharf

    Hi friend!
    This blog broke my heart…I hate to hear Malia is having such a difficult time. It is hard to offer suggestions -because I am not sure what the morning routine may be. Does she have a good friend she can meet with in the parking lot, ot the hall, so they can walk in together? Could she make a picture for her teacher or friend so that she has something in her hand to give as soon as she enters the room?
    Could she get to class a few minutes before everyone else so she doesn’t get overwhelmed enterting a busy, noisy classroom?
    Please give her a big hugs from me and Mrs. Mares and keep us informed as to how she is doing!
    We miss all of you!