Agree that parents (mothers) are to blame for separation anxiety in older kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 44 Old 08-28-2011, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Biology or not, family psychologist and syndicated columnist John Rosemond said he believes parents almost always 
play a significant role in the problem.
"When you find a child of school age, kindergarten, first grade, it is almost always associated with parents and 
specifically a mother who has had difficulty separating from the child from day one," he said"
 
 
 
My defensive hackles are up. Two of my kids are great at separating from me. The middle one is not. I would love for him to feel more comfortable in a variety of situations but I won't push him. He has shown time and time again, with itty-bitty steps, that he has his own timetable for conquering his anxiety. Pushing him out of the nest has never been advantageous. We won't be doing kindy- will try again for grade one when he is a little more mature. 
 
His inability to separate without anxiety to go to kindergarten is not something I have created out of an unmet need. It is his own personality and maturity level.  
 
Also difficulty "separating from day one"? What a load of psychobabble crap.
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#2 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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Yup, B.S.  I'm sure that some parents do contribute to their children's anxiety by being nervous themselves.  But it is sometimes the parent feeling anxious because s/he is picking up on the child's anxiety.  And why on earth do people consider it normal for a 5 yo to go into a group situation with complete strangers and have his parents leave, and be happy about it?  Why are the ones that are fine with that not considered to have an attachment disorder?  It's just two ends of the normal spectrum and both should be respected.  

 

I had a happy child who never cried unless he was hurt and showed no signs of anxiety until he started school.  I thought he'd LOVE it.  I wanted him to go and picked out what looked like a delightful little school.  He'd go off for the day with dh or take off on a neighborhood adventure with his uncle's friend.  It wasn't my anxiety that had him not sleeping or eating after he started school, crying at the drop of a hat, afraid to go to sleep on school nights. eyesroll.gif

 

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#3 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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I read the whole article and one of the experts attributed it to biology and/or environment which is way better than just attributing it to environment.

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#4 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 07:09 AM
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Well, I had a kid who stayed home with me until 1st grade, and yeah, I think I contributed to him being so over-attached. A lot of it was his innate personality but I should have encouraged him to separate. I regret not sticking with kindergarten.

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Originally Posted by MJB View Post

 A lot of it was his innate personality but I should have encouraged him to separate. I regret not sticking with kindergarten.



Why?  

 

____________________

 

In general (not directed towards you, MJB, I obviously do not know your family or judge individual choices)

 

I do agree kids should learn to separate and baby steps are a good thing in this regard - but why does it have to be for a four or five year old?

 

This is totally going to get into a HSing area (which I get is not a possible or best choice for many families) - but I prefer to let little kids learn to separate slowly and honour their sensitivities and boundaries in this area if possible.  

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#6 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post





Why?  

 

____________________

 

In general (not directed towards you, MJB, I obviously do not know your family or judge individual choices)

 

I do agree kids should learn to separate and baby steps are a good thing in this regard - but why does it have to be for a four or five year old?

 

This is totally going to get into a HSing area (which I get is not a possible or best choice for many families) - but I prefer to let little kids learn to separate slowly and honour their sensitivities and boundaries in this area if possible.  


Because, having seen my second thrive in kindergarten, I think it's a really important (and fun) year. I feel bad that my oldest didn't get to have the kindergarten experience, when I think he could have done well had I given him a little push out of the nest. 

 

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#7 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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If it were totally the parent's fault, then why is it that in some families not every kid has separation issues? 

 

I have four kids, and the only one who sometimes has a hard time is my 3rd child who is 6.  He also has other issues that play into his anxiety a bit, such as speech, sensory, and social - he's shy. 

 

I do know that when I am uncertain about something or seem tensed up or stressed he most definitely feeds off of that.  If I'm calm, happy, assured he is going to be fine, he definitely feeds off of that.  So I know I am part of the problem, but not all of it. 

 

This is where I admit I didn't read the link, and, so far since school has started 2 weeks ago DS has done really well separating.  He doesn't show any amount of worry when he says goodbye.  It was the 2nd half of the last school year that he struggled - never did the year he went to pre-k, and before then he had never been away from me for school or daycare. 

 

My "baby", my youngest, is 4.5, and he's the one I do get sad about and miss and feel anxious when he is away from me (he's in his 2nd year of preschool).  But, surprisingly, he does not have any separation issues at all.  Just today, his first day back at school, he wanted to walk himself to his class (I didn't let him b/c he's little and I wanted to be able to see him get settled in his classroom). 

 

There are so many factors, and I agree with the OP that it's usually just personality and maturity level of the kid - not something the parents did wrong.


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#8 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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I think when I 'followed my DS' lead' wrt separation I wasn't doing him any favors.  When I pushed the issue he really thrived in ways he wasn't when I kept him home.

 

I do think he would have been 'fine' if I had waited another year for preschool (for example) but by painting on a smile and expressing confidence in his ability to separate I think he did  better than fine.

 

YMMV, obviously.


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#9 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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Because, having seen my second thrive in kindergarten, I think it's a really important (and fun) year. I feel bad that my oldest didn't get to have the kindergarten experience, when I think he could have done well had I given him a little push out of the nest. 

 

 

But, every kid is different, and the fact that your second loved it doesn't mean your first would have. I didnt mind kindergarten (except it was kind of boring)...but I missed a lot of it, because I showed up late every day and wouldn't knock on the door. So, for me, that "fun" year was largely spent sitting on the outside stairs.
 

 


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#10 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by D_McG View Post

I think when I 'followed my DS' lead' wrt separation I wasn't doing him any favors.  When I pushed the issue he really thrived in ways he wasn't when I kept him home.

 

I do think he would have been 'fine' if I had waited another year for preschool (for example) but by painting on a smile and expressing confidence in his ability to separate I think he did  better than fine

YMMV, obviously.

 

I know- it is all so situation-based. You obviously did the right thing for your child while I have tried to do the same for my DS and met with extreme resistance and anxiety. The article's generalization that the parents are to blame in most cases is maddening because each kid is so different. I want independence for my DS  but have discovered that, in his case, it can't be bribed,pushed, cajoled along. 
 

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#11 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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That article is a bunch of B.S.

 

I do not believe that my child would be better off left to cry for 20 minutes. My DD has trouble with transitions, always has. I find that talking to her, with lots of repetition does help her feel better about a situation. It may look to an outsider like the talk is making it worse, but she needs to vent her fears in order to adjust. It's kind of like a tantrum that way. It needs to happen for her to move on. Leaving her to cry in a strange environment that is scary to her is teaching her what exactly? It's CIO for kindergartners.

 

I get so frustrated with our culture's idea that the only way to teach independence is to force it on kids, ready or not. I'm sure these same experts frown on co-sleeping, baby wearing, extended nursing, and all things AP.

 

FWIW, I taught preschool for 5 years and then kindergarten for 5 years. I never once had a kid cry for 20 minutes all by themselves. I can only think of one kid that needed his mom to ease him into the preschool classroom environment because of separation anxiety, and it was not a problem. After the first week, mom was able to just drop him off, but it took that week of her lingering for the first hour or less to help him get comfortable and interested in the class's activities and to develop a bit of trust with me. What was the harm done?


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#12 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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I certainly think there are things parents can do to compound anxiety (separation or otherwise), but I wouldn't say it's the root cause of most.

 

I had a very hard time being away from my mom when I started pre-school/kindergarten. My brother, raised in the same way, handled it beautifully.

 

DD, who is 20 months, loves going to preschool and has never had separation anxiety. She's a very happy, extroverted and chill kid. Given my propensity toward anxiety, I don't credit myself here LOL. Who knows what our next will be like.

 

 

 

 

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#13 of 44 Old 08-29-2011, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That article is a bunch of B.S.

 

I do not believe that my child would be better off left to cry for 20 minutes. My DD has trouble with transitions, always has. I find that talking to her, with lots of repetition does help her feel better about a situation. It may look to an outsider like the talk is making it worse, but she needs to vent her fears in order to adjust. It's kind of like a tantrum that way. It needs to happen for her to move on. Leaving her to cry in a strange environment that is scary to her is teaching her what exactly? It's CIO for kindergartners.

 

I get so frustrated with our culture's idea that the only way to teach independence is to force it on kids, ready or not. I'm sure these same experts frown on co-sleeping, baby wearing, extended nursing, and all things AP.

 

FWIW, I taught preschool for 5 years and then kindergarten for 5 years. I never once had a kid cry for 20 minutes all by themselves. I can only think of one kid that needed his mom to ease him into the preschool classroom environment because of separation anxiety, and it was not a problem. After the first week, mom was able to just drop him off, but it took that week of her lingering for the first hour or less to help him get comfortable and interested in the class's activities and to develop a bit of trust with me. What was the harm done?


Yeah. I had my DS in gymnastics and had to follow his class around for a few sessions because he was too insecure without me. Gradually I drifted further away until by two months in I was watching from the parent viewing area. One of the mom's commented that he was doing so well now that I wasn't down there "sometimes kids do so much better without us around". Yes- some kids do but not my kid- he would never have made it past the first session if I had dropped and ran. I hate how we condone tearful separations as a childhood rite of passage and a mother's badge of good parenting. 

 

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#14 of 44 Old 08-30-2011, 03:07 AM
 
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Because, having seen my second thrive in kindergarten, I think it's a really important (and fun) year. I feel bad that my oldest didn't get to have the kindergarten experience, when I think he could have done well had I given him a little push out of the nest. 

 

It would be nice if there were options for half day programs and more play based programs for 6, 7, 8 yo kids.  
 

 

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#15 of 44 Old 08-30-2011, 03:14 AM
 
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Gradually I drifted further away until by two months in I was watching from the parent viewing area. One of the mom's commented that he was doing so well now that I wasn't down there "sometimes kids do so much better without us around".

 



People see what they want to see.eyesroll.gif  It reminds me of the people who think the only reason a 2 yo would be nursing is because the mom is encouraging it for her own emotional reasons.


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#16 of 44 Old 08-30-2011, 05:53 AM
 
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It would be nice if there were options for half day programs and more play based programs for 6, 7, 8 yo kids.  
 

 

I really agree with this.  When I went to kindergarten (called primary here in Nova Scotia) the first half of the year was a half day, which gave the kids time to work into it.  Kids in our province no longer have this option.  Coupled with a new, later cut-off age, and we're seeing a lot of primaries (I'm a teacher's aid and I'm hearing this from the primary teachers all the time) too overwhelmed with the social and independence from parents aspects to actually be ready to learn.  Four is young, especially for some boys, and day cares and preschools are not only not the norm for every family, but simply not an option in rural locations. We are lucky that our local school offers a twice weekly in the morning play based pre-school for children entering the school the next year, but this isn't an option for everyone.

 

I also wanted to mention that my oldest was in group therapy for anxiety for school agers, and we did have one with separation anxiety out of the bunch, at age 9.  Like the OP, he was middle of a three child family and the others were fine separating.  If the other kids are fine, that points more to biology than environment for me (except maybe in the case of kids who are sheltered due to serious medical needs, but I certainly wouldn't blame any parent for protecting their medically fragile  child).  As long as the challenge of exposure to separation is still offered in gradual increments (gradual, obtainable exposure is a standard part of treatment for anxiety), that's all you can do.  There's nothing wrong with trying again for grade one (we can't skip kindy here, so that's not a great choice where we live) and using the year to gradually increase a child's separation tolerance.
 

 


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#17 of 44 Old 08-30-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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Look at the author!! That's all I had to do to know that it was full of bs.

 

Separation anxiety is not unlike other generalized anxiety problems. It's a bit of a tightrope. Avoidance behaviors make the situation worse, but likewise a sink or swim, throw 'em in the deep end of the pool approach can make the situation much worse. You need to find a middle ground and give a little nudge, so that they're at least putting their toes in the water, and then sitting on the first step, etc, until they can work up their way to hanging out in the shallow end. Kids with anxiety, separation or otherwise, IMO, do need to face their fears, but only to the degree that nudges them a little. Throwing them in the deep end is probably the worst thing you can do, but complete avoidance is right up there, too.

 

That's why public school can be so hard because it's tricky to find that middle ground, and the middle ground differs greatly for each kid. I would actually agree that most kids with mild separation anxiety do fine after a minute or two if mom or dad drops and goes. They do settle in and have fun. But there are some kids whose separation anxiety is much more than mild and for mom or dad to drop and run is like throwing them in the deep end and expecting them to swim. The grown-ups in the situation, mom, dad, teacher, principal, etc, have to be able to read the kid and tell whether they are at their limit. You HAVE to push them a little bit, though, or they HAVE to push themselves because avoidance will only make it worse. All or nothing situations are horrible for an anxious kid. They NEED to be able to test the waters and sometimes watch and wait before putting a big toe in. Schools are not always the most willing to make accommodations for these kids because they have seen so many kids with mild separation anxiety who do settle down after a minute. They aren't always willing to work with a kid who has severe sep anxiety because they don't recognize it and think what worked for one kid will work for another. It's very individual, but each kid does need to be nudged along their own path if they're not willing to nudge themselves. 

 

That's my 2¢ and my experience at any rate.


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#18 of 44 Old 08-30-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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John Rosemond is still out there? I remember writing him several letters when I was a teenager when his latest column would make my blood pressure go up.

 

I don't think any sweeping statements can be made. Clearly there are families with one child with anxiety and siblings without. Sure, it's possible to explain that in a way where the parents are still "at fault" (that is, they chose to "hover" over one particular child) but in general it seems to show that there are factors internal to the child as well as parental influence.

 

I have to admit that parental influence is still surely a significant factor in some or many cases. I have posted about my own child's separation anxiety hoping for some input but I only got one reply before the thread died. I think parental influence is a major factor in our case.

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#19 of 44 Old 08-30-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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I have to admit that parental influence is still surely a significant factor in some or many cases. I have posted about my own child's separation anxiety hoping for some input but I only got one reply before the thread died. I think parental influence is a major factor in our case.



You could try again with a thread.  

 

I do know parents sometimes play a role.  If the child is anxious about separating, then the parent gets anxious, it is a bit of a viscious circle.  Never mind that parents are often genuinely confused about what to do about it - just leave her, like so many claim, or try to integrate her slowly (while still dealing with the anxiety from the situation). Not fun.

 

My own btdt concerns a much younger child.  I was in a moms group when DS was about 18 months.  I really needed a break from DS who in some ways high needs and I was feeling burnt out.  I was trying to put him into the child minding room and he was wailing - and I started crying.  This happened more than once.  At the time I really did think it was my fault - almost everyones else child went into child minding - but mine wouldn't!  Gah.  

 

I have since had 2 more kids - one of whom has always been independent, the other occasionally displayed mild separation anxiety.  I have dealt with it better though - as I have been in a healthier mental state to begin with.

 

It is very difficult if you are feeling burnt or anxious to deal with a child who refuses to separate.  Often we need a bit of separation to recharge our batteries - but if the kid will not separate and you do not believe in forced separation - it can be very hard to get.  Trying to figure out how to recharge your batteries while not getting breaks so you can deal with the separation issue from a healthy mental state is really important.

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#20 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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Well, if anyone is interested in commenting on our anxiety problem, here's the thread :)

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1327469/separation-anxiety-in-6-year-old

 

I have one reply so far, and it was definitely a position to which I'm giving serious consideration. But I'd love more input from different people too.

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#21 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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I think it can go both ways. I think some parents probably do cause separation anxiety in their children. Some parents coddle their children and tend to be helicopter parents who think their child can do no wrong and some children just have a hard time even though the parents encourage independence gentle and at the child's pace.

Quote:
It would be nice if there were options for half day programs and more play based programs for 6, 7, 8 yo kids.  

Kids are ready for academics by 7 and 8. They do need recess and gym and time to run around and be kids but they also need more than just a play based program at that point and benefit from academics.

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#22 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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Looking back on my own youth, I have to wonder how often we conflate separation anxiety with social anxiety. I was a fiercely independent kid. I once walked about 20 blocks from home, pushing my baby doll carriage, as happy as can be. I was still walking when a friend of my parents found me and took me home (and the police had been looking for me for a while at that point, as well). I'd leave my mom and dad with no problems at all - play independently, wander off, etc. But, entering new situations involving people was something else again. A new swimming lesson, kindergarten class, birthday party with kids I didn't know, etc. etc. was agonizing (still is, actually).

 

My mom pushed - not harshly, but she pushed. It definitely didn't help. And, teachers, etc. pushed hard, and that didn't help, either. I'm more socially anxious than ever...and I rarely enjoyed any of those things people pushed me into, while repeatedly exclaiming "but, I know you'll love it, if you just try it!". Ugh.


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#23 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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The kids I know who have had separation issues have all been from families where the mother took the Parenting out of AP and replaced it with Mothering. Insisted on being with the kid 24/7, made it clear she didn't trust anyone (not even the father) to care for the child alone for more than a few minutes, and for years refused to consider grandparents, friends or anyone else as potential caregivers. (All while quite obviously needing a break.)

That said, I do think there can be other reasons for it that don't have to do with parenting style.
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#24 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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My mom pushed - not harshly, but she pushed. It definitely didn't help. And, teachers, etc. pushed hard, and that didn't help, either. I'm more socially anxious than ever...and I rarely enjoyed any of those things people pushed me into, while repeatedly exclaiming "but, I know you'll love it, if you just try it!". Ugh.


What do you think might have helped?  it is a little Ot, but not terribly so.....My middle child has anxiety around certain things and any pushing is met with resistance but me not pushing feels a bit like enabling.  

 

I agree - sometimes what looks like separation anxiety is really social anxiety

 

 

 

 

 

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#25 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Don't want to speak for StormBride, but as a person with social anxiety of my own, I think that finding social situations that are comfortable for the child, but not pushing uncomfortable situations, is best. For me, playing one-on-one with other kids was best. It met my social needs - I had to be considerate and flexible, had to learn how to communicate effectively, etc.

 

Group situations are bad for me, and while my mother didn't go overboard in pushing me (thank goodness), I have to say that the situations I DID find myself having to deal with ultimately weakened me socially, rather than strengthened me. I feel like being social with adults has about as much in common as being social with kids, as baseball and lizards. I mean, they both occur on planet Earth, I guess. Yet I have to admit that I feel I have actually sustained some actual trauma from some of the stupid stuff I went through as a kid, as dumb as that may sound. And that trauma has led to situations today where I couldn't even get up the guts to talk to another mom at the playground. It did NOT lead to me thinking "hey, once mom made me do it, it's not that bad!" I've lost, rather than gained, confidence.

 

I think that if I could have just grown up in a more supportive environment (that is, supported by friends - I was already supported by my parents, thankfully) I could have much more confidence today. But the peer-oriented kids are awful and they will leave scars.

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#26 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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What do you think might have helped?  it is a little Ot, but not terribly so.....My middle child has anxiety around certain things and any pushing is met with resistance but me not pushing feels a bit like enabling.  

 

I agree - sometimes what looks like separation anxiety is really social anxiety

 

 


I'm honestly not sure what would have helped. And, honestly, mom pushing wasn't that big a deal. She had a fairly good idea when it was time to back off, yk? The real issue was that once I'd more-or-less accepted that I was in a given situation, other adults (classroom teachers, daycamp counselors, etc.) tended to feel that they really needed to get me involved. Teachers would push me to be more social with the other kids, when I was doing okay in my little bubble. There were always stupid "get to know each other" exercises - and I still have to deal with them as an adult!! I'd be at, say, a daycamp, and thinking "okay - I can handle this" and then there'd be some "circle time" thing where we'd have to talk about ourselves or whatever. It made me sooo uncomfortable.

 

I currently belong to a Broadway choir. I started with them in September, 2006.  I took Feb-June '07 off, because I was pregnant and exhausted. Then, I went back until our concert in May, 2009. I took another year off, because dd2 was a newborn. Then, I went back for half a year last year (quit because I was too far behind in memorizing for our big show, and the choir was becoming a source of stress, instead of my "me" time). Anyway...I'm going back in two weeks. It's been agonizing. I love the singing, and I really enjoy the performances, even with my crippling level of self-consciousness. But, it's been agonizing. I'm pushing my comfort level as far as I possibly can. But, I'm doing it, and I'm doing it deliberately. This isn't something that someone else has decided will be good for me. It's something I decided will be good for me. And, the last time we performed (I was 8 months pregnant with dd2 - honestly worried a little that my belly would push the woman in front of me off the risers!), my self-consciousness had dropped from the time before, and I had a good time.

 

But...after five years (roughly 3-3.5 of active participation, and I've done 3 of the shows), I'm still one of the most anxious people in the choir. Doing a solo one day is on my radar as a highly unlikely possibility. As it stands now, I couldn't even make myself audition. The choir director does a lot of small group stuff, and I won't even volunteer for that. She does "ice breaking" exercises, and I want to run away screaming. I'm 43 years old, and have four children, and just the stress of "introduce yourself to someone you haven't met yet" makes my heartrate go up and my muscles tense. I don't know what can help - but I do know being pushed into this by other people made it worse.

 

I guess my question to you, as a mother, and to society, in general, is...what is it that you're concerned about "enabling"? I


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#27 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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I guess my question to you, as a mother, and to society, in general, is...what is it that you're concerned about "enabling"? I



My DD has the following phobias (which might be part of anxiety??)

 

bugs

fish

going upstairs at night by herself unless adults are upstairs (which may or may not be part of separation anxiety)

 

The bugs is not really an issue.

 

The fish phobia i cannot do anything about.  I encourage her to take baby steps in regard to getting in water that has fish in it - but no dice.  I have given up on asking for baby steps as this upsets her more than missing out on swimming does.  I do feel bad she does not get to swim in lakes, rivers, etc as she really once enjoyed it greensad.gif  The reality is she does not now so I have to accept that.

 

As per sleeping....this is how it works.

 

DD will not go upstairs for the night until I go upstairs.  She rarely falls asleep downstairs.  I am not ready for bed until 11:00 or so - during the school year (starts next week!) she is ready for bed at 9:00.  I also have to stand outside her room for 5 minutes until she is in bed.  She will bug me to go to bed before I am ready.  If she does not get enough sleep she is miserable.  I am not going to bed at 9:00 so we seem to be at an impasse.  I feel like I am enabling her poor sleep habits (which do stem from anxiety) but I do not know what else to do.  Push the issue?  Let her lack sleep?  It might be time for counselling again, but I do not think she would be agreeable.  I am going to bring up baby steps again and hope she is amenable.  I have got her books on anxiety - no dice.  this parenting stuff is not for wimps!

 

FWIW, this child is my independent child - the one who suffered little separation anxiety as a young child.  

 

sorry for the mini thread hijack. 

 

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#28 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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I think the instances where separation anxiety is a parents fault are uncommon.

 

That "I'm leaving now, bye!" thing that some parents do to get their kids to follow them at the park? My son would look up from what he was doing and cheerfully say "Bye!" I got told just walk away, he'll follow... well, I could get all the way across the field and hide behind a tree so he couldn't see me, and watch him playing on the playground for several minutes. I was never able to wait him out but out of curiousity, I asked him to show me the way home one day and he knew it! I think he was totally unconcerned because he figured he could get himself home whenever he wanted. This was when he was two.

 

Same scenario with DD... she'd start crying the second I turned my back on her, and even if I immediately stop and wait, she's hysterical by the time she gets to me... and she's seven. We usually set things up so that she is leaving me, because she doesn't have a problem with that. If she's going to sleep at my parents, mom will pick her up or DH will take her over without me, which she does happily. If I go with them and say goodbye at moms, she gets upset when I'm on my way out the door. 

 

They're just different people... I can't make DD more independent any more than I can make DS more reserved. The only way in which it might be 'my fault' is in that they carry my genes.


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#29 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Looking back on my own youth, I have to wonder how often we conflate separation anxiety with social anxiety. I was a fiercely independent kid. I once walked about 20 blocks from home, pushing my baby doll carriage, as happy as can be. I was still walking when a friend of my parents found me and took me home (and the police had been looking for me for a while at that point, as well). I'd leave my mom and dad with no problems at all - play independently, wander off, etc. But, entering new situations involving people was something else again. A new swimming lesson, kindergarten class, birthday party with kids I didn't know, etc. etc. was agonizing (still is, actually).

 

My mom pushed - not harshly, but she pushed. It definitely didn't help. And, teachers, etc. pushed hard, and that didn't help, either. I'm more socially anxious than ever...and I rarely enjoyed any of those things people pushed me into, while repeatedly exclaiming "but, I know you'll love it, if you just try it!". Ugh.

 

That is really interesting- my DS does have many characteristics of social anxiety. I have always felt the issue was deeper than just separating from me because he only has difficulty with new people, not situations so much. When I figured it was "just" separation anxiety, I thought his semester of gymnastics (where I stayed with him until he felt secure) would pave the way for more success in separating from me but the next class had new teachers and classmates and he tried for 5 seconds and could hardly control his emotions- came running to find me with the reddest face and just burst into tears.

 

He is also very independent and asks to go for walks outside by himself at five years old. I wonder if counselling would help? I have always felt strongly in never pushing him off the deep-end so I guess this is why articles such as this one get me defensive- people probably view my behavior as coddling.

 

I look back at my school years in much the same way you do Storm Bride. My anxiety never lessened with exposure to new situations, I just learned how to put on an act to look less anxious (hated showing emotion in public)  but I have also had to work on being more genuine in my adult-life because of all the acting I did.

 

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#30 of 44 Old 08-31-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Kids are ready for academics by 7 and 8. They do need recess and gym and time to run around and be kids but they also need more than just a play based program at that point and benefit from academics.

I'm not sure you are giving play enough credit, lol.  My 10 yo ds still learns almost exclusively through play.  He was ready for a tiny amount of structure at age 8, but not an academic program.  A three day a week, half day play based program would have been almost right for him at 8.  Play based doesn't mean not learning.winky.gif
 

 


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