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#1 of 15 Old 08-11-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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am i doing something wrong?

I have 4 kids -- 9, 7, 5(boys), 2 1/2(girl). My oldest had such a hard time seperating that we homeschooled after a botched attempt at preschool. No one else has gone to school since. (i really fell in love with homeschooling, although my husband did not -- oldest is going to school this fall).

We go out all the time...kids have friends (more like family friends -- moms and kids all hang out). We go to events at the library... park play dates... a few classes but those are mostly for the 7 and 9 year old, cub scouts, baseball (although 5 year old broke his arm two weeks into the season so dropped out). Most of the stuff we do, I either stay for or do with them...so they don't have a lot of familiarity with "drop off" stuff...

My 5 year old needs speech therapy for pronunciation (its physical, not developmental so I can't just let him grow into it). His brother does OT at the same place, same time... We get there and he's fine in the waiting room. Policy is that parents stay in the waiting room. Everyone else's kid walks right in...mine? Won't budge unless I walk him in. Some days he lets me walk him in, he sits and does his work, I leave. Mostly? I walk him in, he refuses to sit, won't do his work. Usually, he'll eventually sit and do his work... I'll eventually leave and have 5-10 minutes to sit out in the waiting room til his half hour is up. Last two weeks?? I walk him back, he screams, refuses to sit in his seat... won't even do the work (pointing to pictures and saying names, its not rocket science or torture). And he can't tell me what the problem is later either.

He had VBS last week. First real drop off thing he's ever done. I stayed with him the first day (only parent that had to. Don't really care about staying, it was fun. Unless I'm making it worse). Second day - I told him I'd be leaving him after he started playing games. It went great - he was so proud of himself. Third day, he watched me like a hawk in games - i left at snack and he came with me. (i actually had to be home for something, so he got to sit and watch me handle boring stuff). Fourth day, i left at snack, he stayed... Fifth day I left during the skit (I told him the night before I was going to leave after he was busy but I didn't say WHEN)... he must not have been ready because they called me to come back. I stayed with him the rest of the day... 3 classes later, he left me in one of the rooms and didnt look back...

We just came back from speech and I feel like crying... Speech therapists idea was for me to just leave... but she won't restrain him (not sure if thats policy or just her) and he won't stay unless you do... so I don't really know what she wants me to do. I asked her if his behaviour was normal (he literally cannot "self soothe" once he gets upset... he will literally cry himself to sleep or keep going til I give in and cuddle him (even that can take time). (I don't give in on the NO that set him off in the first place, he does it at home he goes to cry in his room alone...but I always end up going in to cuddle... if I don't put him in his room by himself first it will go on forever)

My first woudn't seperate either, but I don't remember feeling like a failure because of it. Speech lady gave me the name of a behavioural therapist to call to help him learn how to self soothe... I have no idea what that entails... and I'm so sick of running to different therapists all the time...

I just don't know what to do/think anymore...

If you've read my entire pity party...thanks!! If anyone has any ideas... sigh!
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#2 of 15 Old 08-11-2014, 02:59 PM
 
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It sounds like anxiety. My youngest (5) has problems with that, and she is dropped off at school and activities daily. I would look for an OT who is ok with you being in the room. You can gradually wean yourself out of the room over time. It sounds like thats kind of what you did with VBS. It just takes time, practice, patience, and kindness.


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#3 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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My son had issues leaving me all the way up until I think 4th grade. I mean, he would CLING to be at drop off and cry and cry and the school psychologist or counselor would have to come get him. Then he would go into her office to calm down with her before she would walk him to class. It was terrible. He also finally mostly outgrew it. It turned into anxiety about other things. And he went to therapy for it and I finally, in middle school (which was much bigger and more impersonal) pulled him to homeschool him. But he wants to go to high school. So our goal in homeschooling had been for him to continue therapy and me to challenge him in small ways to help him cope with his anxiety surrounding social situations. He's come a long way since pulling him from school. He'll homeschool this year and we'll see what will happen for 9th grade (high school).

But I know what it's like to have that child who won't leave your side when all the other kids do. It always made me feel like I had done something wrong as a parent. Luckily my son would calm down after a bit, but I think it's because he knew I wasn't/couldn't spend the day at school with him and he otherwise enjoyed his day after drop off (until middle school). I think therapy would be a good idea. It really did help my son and if he's going to school, I would work with the school on a solution. Our school was sympathetic. I couldn't stay in the classroom, but they would help him transition in a kind, quiet way and then talk with me later on how he did. The biggest step for me was not to be party to his anxiety. I felt like if I hung around being nervous and trying to soothe him, I was exacerbating the problem and I made it look like I didn't trust anyone else to help him out, too. By stepping back, I allowed him to see that I was confident in his ability to go into the school and the teachers/staff also appreciated that I trusted them to take care of him. You know your child best, though, and what worked for me might not work for someone else.
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#4 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Before speech yesterday, we were working together on the word "crystal". He did GREAT with the s in the middle... when I tried to get him to tell his ST, he refused during session. He showed off the word at bedtime last night and I complimented him, then asked why he didn't want to show it off to ST? His reply... because if he sits and does his work, I leave. And he didn't want me to leave.

How do I work with that????
(Just walk him back and sit in the room for the entire half hour so he gets his speech in? Which is what I'm inclined to do, but that won't help with his mom don't leave me issues???)

meowmix -- what kind of therapy did you do? Did anything work better than anything else? I think we're going to need it (for my oldest and #3 )
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#5 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post
meowmix -- what kind of therapy did you do? Did anything work better than anything else? I think we're going to need it (for my oldest and #3 )
We did regular ole talk therapy. He started going once a week and she helped him recognize his triggers for anxiety. She also helped him with relaxation techniques and just generally gave him someone to talk to. She gave him "homework" to do. I also worked with him, though, and he was on board with finding a solution because he didn't like the way he felt. For your issue, I would research therapists who deal with separation anxiety?

I would have asked him why he didn't want me to leave and treated his reason as a legitimate reason. With my son I had him write down the reasons he was feeling anxious about meeting new people. All his reasons were valid reasons and were treated as such. Then we revisited the reasons after we had been in the new social situation to see which reasons were true. None of them were. It helped put things in perspective for him.

Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
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#6 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 04:59 PM
 
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I don't know if this is feasible, but could you just separate the speech and separation issues? Does the SP think his therapy is going to be over a long time?

This is not an opinion based on experience, but I would choose a priority for that situation. Are they bugging you about violating that policy? If so, I'd talk with them. You (or your insurance) isn't paying them to help your child with separation issues. We paid $110/hour for speech therapy. I would have gone nuts if there had been something wasting that time.
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#7 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 06:21 PM
 
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CTM, have you tried some of the common techniques for getting a child use to your leaving them? One thing that worked well for my DC was to stay a while, then say I was running to the bathroom. After I get back from my trip to the bathroom, I check in, hang out a second and then go get some water...I continue with these little errands until things are comfortable. Then I stretch them. "Forget something in the car", then run out for a short errand. Eventually you're out for a half-hour, then eventually for the entire time.

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#8 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 06:22 PM
 
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Everybody does things differently, and no child gets out of childhood unscathed. We're ll just muddling thru trying to do the best we an. I do know a webside where you can find some additional info that give a bit more in depth help. Hand in Hand Parenting! www.handinhandparenting.org . (OK, it sounds like a commercial, but I'm not officially affiliated with them-just use their methods with great success.) They believe that unresolved feelings about your child being away from you at some prior time will cause separation anxiety. They have a great way to help your child get his feelings out and resolve them and grow more confident in themselves, and help you get thru the messy process of getting there, too. They have a parenting forum that has helped us a lot, too.

We started this when my DD was a toddler and have been happy with it ever since - exhausted sometimes, but happy. It's all about connection and listening. Kids need to feel connected to their parents, and when they don't it causes anxiety, and anxiety causes them to be overwhelmed by it all, and they can feel your anxiety about their anxiety, too. They need to express all those unresolved feelings - typically thru a full out tantrum. Your child can be supported and listened to while they tantrum, kick/scream, etc. (may need to hug them to stop anybody from getting hurt.) Once they get those feelings out, and know it was OK to have them and it didn't freak out mom & dad, they start to get past that hurdle and life gets calmer (until the next time they're overwhelmed - hopefully by something different). At times, if it's a long-held upset that might even go back to birth, and it can take a several good tantrums and lots of listening before they can get over that hump. My DD is a fairly anxious child, she comes by it naturally - I come from a long line of worry warts! But with HIH my DH and I have learned a lot about what & why it is that these things happen, and my DD is more confident now than she's ever been, and doesn't tantrum very often anymore. In part because she knows we're there for her, no matter how her feelings come out, and also because she knows that having a tantrum doesn't change the reality of what needs to happen. She has to go to school, she has to go to summer camp, etc.

I hope this helps!!

Last edited by Bippity; 08-12-2014 at 06:55 PM.
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#9 of 15 Old 08-13-2014, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ICM - That never works for me. If I try to leave to go to the bathroom, he comes with... Even at home sometimes, he has to come with me when I leave a room... (it's just with me...he's not like that with dh, or my mom who is our usual babysitter).... I try to remember that his brother was like that to some degree, and he grew out of it on his own timeframe... with no special intervention other than time...

Looking up HIH now..
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#10 of 15 Old 08-14-2014, 04:13 AM
 
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Does this sound like your son?
http://www.anxietybc.com/parent/separation.php

Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
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#11 of 15 Old 08-20-2014, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yes and no. He can easily go get me stuff at the market (he's allowed to go where i can see alone, but he's only 5 so i haven't sent him any farther). He's fine at home -- I can be anywhere in the house whether he sees me or not. When they play outside, he likes to go just beyond where I can see him (on his bike)... It's only drop off stuff where we have the problem... I think maybe I'll just find another class and see if more exposure will help...
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#12 of 15 Old 08-24-2014, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why is this parenting stuff sooo hard sometimes??? So, my cousin and her fiance came to stay with us for 2 nights and he literally CLUNG to me the whole time they were here (they were going to a nearby wedding so were only around for a bit in the morning). He's never been gung ho about strangers, and is definitely shy/clinging when we go out... but he's never been so clingy at HOME before - even when new people come over... is it getting worse?

(also... and I'm feeling guilty about it so it could just be in my head... back in april/may ish time frame, he broke his arm and had to have surgery... I promised him that we'd be right there when he woke up (thats what the drs told me), but he woke up without us and was screaming so badly, they had to put him back under (lesser) sedation and wake him up again...so maybe he's remembering the time I promised to be there and wasn't???) The drs told me he wouldn't remember it, and that it just happens with some kids... But I wonder if that set him back anxiety wise???))
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#13 of 15 Old 08-24-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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So, my almost 9YO just started private one-on-one violin lessons. Despite the fact that she has been playing violin for 2 years, and is dropped off at school every day (and also at several other after school activities), she has requested that I go with her into the room every time for her lesson. Last Friday, she actually pulled my arm and pleaded me to go with her. There really isn't room for my younger DD and I to sit in the little practice room, and I haven't seen ANY other parents go back there with their much younger children. But, I am paying $17 for each 30 min lesson, and don't want her to miss it, so I go with her.

Just wanted you to know that your kid isn't the only one. I know mine both exhibit elements of anxiety, and I pick my battles carefully.

I know if my kid needed some sort of therapy, I would almost certainly be back with them. Does your son like the therapist? Can you perhaps get an exception so that you can sit back there with him every time? If not, maybe look for a new therapist. His behavior certainly seems in the realm of normal, and fairly developmentally normal for his age. Just my personal opinion, though.


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#14 of 15 Old 08-24-2014, 08:41 AM
 
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In these situations I have learned to notice my children and how they feel instead of what other people think. After all, they are who matters most.
I have 6 children 11 and under. They are all different! My oldest from the time she was born has been independent and never thought twice about me leaving her. Sunday School, library time. My second daughter needed me for a long time. I respect that and she knows it. We homeschool and I commit myself to being there for them whenever they feel they need me. I have stayed multiple places and I don't mind at all. When she was maybe 6 she was ok staying at the library with her sister for 45 minutes. She is 10 now and mostly is ok without me. She had an art class recently where she went to a woman's house. The woman called me because my daughter started crying. I went and got her and told her it was no big deal and she can go back when she is ready. She gets security from this. She doesn't have anxiety. She is well rounded, happy and very caring and considerate. She is my most calm child and she knows I am there. She goes to Sunday School on her own with no problem and goes and plays soccer at the other side of the park on her own. As she gets older, she is ok with more activities and is branching out. At her own pace.
My 3rd is a boy and he goes without question and is very sociable and doesn't look back. My 4th is outgoing and doesn't look back either. My 5th is more reserved and has needed me longer. He is branching out already and doesn't need me at Sunday School anymore. He is 5. He would not be ok with me leaving him at a speech therapy or anywhere different. It takes him a while to feel comfortable and I am ok with that. He doesn't need me as much as my daughter did. My daughter is my youngest at 3 and she is more cautious like the other two. None of my children have anxiety. They all have different personalities and *I* feel that it is my job as their parent to respect their feelings and allow them to grow at their pace. I couldn't imagine being in a different place or a place that I feel insecure or vulnerable and having my loved one (husband, friend) turn and walk away when I tell them how I am feeling. I don't see a situation where that would happen but I also wouldn't purposely put myself in that situation. I have that choice. I see with my daughter that because I always let her know that I am there she is becoming more independent and self assured. I have helped her feel secure enough to step out and experience things without me. Just another take on it.
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#15 of 15 Old 09-10-2014, 04:49 PM
 
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It sounds like anxiety to me too and from what I've seen (and I'm no expert) it rarely happens with an only child because they get all of your un-divided attention 24/7, but it usually happens with children in families that have siblings.I think it's normal and part of them growing up and learning to do things without you. I think home schooling makes it a little harder for them just because they are used to being in the comfort of their own home moreso than anywhere else but as they get older they learn to relax more.

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