Adi started school last week and it’s me who is going through separation anxiety actually. The first day Adi went to school I was waiting there for an hour. When he came out and shouted loudly, “My mummy is here!” and hugged me tight, I somehow managed to control my tears and the full day I kept kissing him. The second day Adi resisted going inside but then he went and when he came out he hugged me tight and cried and I also sobbed along with him.
The third day Adi resisted as usual and when I went to pick him up, he didn’t even bother to look at me, being busy in his own world and that kind of hurt me. He didn’t even hug me, which means he was taking school well and now it’s just me who needs to deal with separation anxiety.
It becomes really difficult for the mom and the baby to separate as they hardly are away from each other from the time the baby is born in most of the cases (at least in my case). Frankly, I thought it won’t be easy on Adi and he would take a lot of time to adjust but it was not that bad, he is coping well. I also had a feeling that he is too young for school, but for the last couple of months he was mixing well with the apartment kids. Seeing them go to school he would ask me to drop him to school too and so I convinced my mind that may be he was ready. The boy who clung to his mummy was becoming quite social and so this was the right time to let him have his own time. But yes there are few things that can help us cope the separation anxiety.
First you might think that you will get lot of free time now that your child is going to school but trust me, for the first few days I could not concentrate on anything after dropping him to school. I would come back and just sit in one place looking at the time. I felt very excited to see him and actually would keep smiling on my own waiting to see him again.
I feel nervous in the morning as it seems like the old school days are back. Waking up with alarm clock, taking a bath, packing his snacks box, getting him ready and dropping him to school in time. Definitely it feels good that everything is falling in a schedule now. It is hard for both of us to be away from each other. Sometimes I feel that is it too early for school, may be I should have given him more time but then it was not very difficult as it seemed he was already adjusting in the first week.
Coping with Separation Anxiety
1. Talk to the class teacher frankly and tell her what languages your baby knows, what are their habits regarding eating, talking, socializing. Let them know what he already knows, like alphabets or rhymes so that she gets an idea about your child.
2. Tell her frankly if he is potty trained or not, should he be asked about going to the bathroom and in what intervals. 3. Slowly try to get your child to do his potty in the morning which can be taught slowly, of course they can’t be forced.
4. Discuss with the teacher about what you should pack in their snacks box, which will give you some ideas and help you.
5. Don’t make school sound like a bad thing by threatening them that if they don’t do this particular thing or things like, “If you don’t drink your milk I will send you to school”, which will really make a school look like a bad place to be in.
6. Another thing, if your child doesn’t like to talk about school or if that topic makes him sad, don’t force them to talk about it, let them take time and they will not stop talking about it once they adjust well.
7. Assure them that you are waiting there and you will be there when they come back. I go to pick Adi in the same dress and same hairstyle so that he knows mom was here, also I try to stand in the same place and I tell him “Bubba, play and come, I am waiting here”. Also make sure not to be late when you go to pick them; waiting for you can be sad for you. Be there when they come out, as seeing your face when they come out of school will make them so happy.
8. Show them children who are going to school, encourage them and tell them good things about the school.
Don’t bribe them to spoil their habits like ‘If you go to school, I will give you chocolates or I will take to your favorite ice-cream place”, these things should not become a habit, instead now and then surprise them, but don’t bribe.
9. As for me when I come home, I finish responding to mails in that time, or some pending work and then I cook lunch or catch up with some TV programs. In no time it’s already 12 and I leave to pick Adi with a big smile on my face, as I can’t wait to see and kiss him.
These things are helping me to cope up and hope both of us settle well and enjoy this process as a team.