Dropping Your Kids Off – Nervous, Clingy or Fine

Have you ever dropped off your sweet cherubonly to have him or her cling to you and cry profusely for you not to leave? Every parent has at one point or another and, up until recently, I thought it was isolated to early childhood years.  

Normally, my kids spend all summer at camp, soaking up the joys of childhood, but this year we tried something new. As my girls are getting older, my husband and I tried to find activities and camps that were more suited to their interests. For example, they tried out basketball camp and Girl Scout camps and just enjoying a breather … before ending up right back at their usual summer place.  

Enrichment, right? I got a resounding Siskel & Ebert one thumbs-up, one thumbs-down review from our summer schedule. In fact, my thumbs-down was such a failure that, once again, I have a clingy hanger-on who never wants to leave her mother. Aubrey is 11 and has loved her summer experience, but Clara, who is 7, has struggled all summer. My normally confident and outgoing child is once again experiencing crippling separation anxiety.   

It got me thinking that, in just a couple weeks, there might be multitudes of parents experiencing this same phenomenon. Whether it’s dropping off a toddler to his or her first day of daycare, prying your first-grader off you at the school doors, or dropping your freshman off at their first college dorm room, we all experience anxiety over a new place, new experience and firstday butterflies. And parents, that includes us too!  

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous. The best we can do is prepare them for what to expect, try to manage fears, and love the heck out of them. As for us, as parents … we can allow ourselves to feel that uncomfortable nervousness at new changes, too. We may not always like them, but if we teach ourselves to manage our fears, we can teach by example. Change is often good. Sometimes, it can even be great.  

About Cathy Summers

Cathy Summers is the Midday Host on 99.9 The Q and Afternoon Host on Cape Country 104.



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