My 5 year old Diva is having a lot of issues with separation anxiety. She has always been my more anxious child but things are definitely coming to a head lately and I fear her starting Kindergarten soon is the root cause. She has expressed fear over starting at a new school, not having any friends and being away from me for a longer period of time (especially since she knows her sister gets out early and will be home with me while she is still in school).
Anytime anyone talks to My Oldest Diva about Kindergarten she gets sullen and says she doesn't want to talk about it. I am overly positive with her about school - I am a teacher after all and I always loved school growing up! I have told her how much fun Kindergarten is, how she will learn wonderful new things, become an even better reader and make fabulous new friends. I also repeatedly remind her that I will be there to pick her up at the end of her day and that I will even be volunteering in her classroom from time to time as well.
Nothing seems to lessen her anxiety and it is manifesting in all sorts of ways. She is having trouble sleeping at night and having trouble being apart from me.
I have spent quite a bit of time online researching separation anxiety in children and it seems that between age 5-6 there is a peak. It is very hard to deal with my Lil Diva's episodes when faced with them. She grabs onto my leg and won't let go, she screams, kicks, yells, cries and hits. I fear for her safety and my sanity as these episodes grow both more severe and increasingly more frequent.
Upon our return home from vacation, things have really come to a head. We shared a bed at night in our hotels and now that we are back home she is having trouble going to bed at night in her own room/bed.
It has become a nightly battle that is leaving us all cranky and exhausted.
My heart is heavy, my mind is worried and I have spent many moments feeling like a "Monster Mom" lately because I end up losing my patience. More than once I found myself yelling over her screams :( This is not the kind of mom I want to be. Yet, I find myself in a place where I do not know what else to do when she is having these "fits" and screaming and crying.
Nothing seems to be working. I have taken "special" time to be with her, made sure to be positive and encouraging about her fears and my husband and I are really trying hard to be understanding when she gets one of these "attacks" but her fears seem to be overpowering our efforts at the moment. I am hopeful that once school begins - she will have fun and be alright but I am honestly beginning to dread that first day of school - I do not envision an easy or pretty sight.
As a teacher, I have gone through these moments but it is emotionally different when you are the mom & it's your child. I hate to see my baby suffering & feeling like I can not just "kiss it & make it better" like I do with her bumps & bruises.
So my question to you all is what I am I missing here? I there something I can be doing that I am not doing? Ideas? Advice? Suggestions?