My three year old daughter started junior kindergarten this month. She made one friend whom she lovingly spoke of and sometimes called her “sister”. It was all very sweet until yesterday when she announced that they had an incident and she didn’t like the girl anymore and she did not want to return to school. I asked all the concerned-parent questions and was satisfied to learn that nothing much happened. I informed her that we face our problems head on so she would be going to school in the morning.

This morning, “I don’t want to go to school!” was on repeat around here, then came the tears. With soothing words and a calm approach, I convinced my daughter to go to school. Her teacher was on entrance duty and said “We need to talk.” Oh boy! I squatted down to give my daughter a goodbye hug and kiss, as I do every day, saw her tear-filled blue eyes and pursed pinked lips, and my heart broke. I managed a smile accompanied by few words of encouragement. I could feel her pain in her body as she hugged me. She held back her tears and entered the school tentatively. I was so proud of her and simultaneously terrified of letting her face the world by herself. I know she has to. I can’t protect her from everything. I can only teach and show her how to handle life-the easy and the hard moments.

The kindergarten teacher informed me that my daughter has been clinging to the other girl by waiting for her to do everything from activities to going to the washroom. Just what I wanted to hear. I lost my composure and started crying myself.  I think the woman might have hugged me for a moment but I’m not sure. I was too upset to notice anything around me. My thoughts: 1) I’m a bad mother; 2) I’m raising a needy child who will turn in to a dependent woman; 3) How is she going to survive; 4) Where did I go wrong; 5) How do I solve this? The teacher told me she would push her toward other children today and to call her later to find out how the day went.

All day, I worried that my daughter would simply find another friend to cling to. When I called the teacher this afternoon, she told me the day had gone well. My daughter did cling to some girl for a bit but the teacher moved her on to another child. This evening when I asked my daughter how her day went, she told me about this new friend. I’m wasn’t too happy to hear that. But I’m going to remain positive. I can’t be at school with her nor do I want to. I can raise her but she’s the one who has to grow up. I’m going to trust that her teacher can handle the situation in the classroom. She was good enough to observe it, inform me of it and do something about it. On my end, I will encourage my daughter to meet a new child every day until I hear multiple names in her conversation. I don’t know what else to do? Any suggestions?


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  1. #1 by patriciasands on September 29, 2011 - 2:16 AM

    Nice to see you back! You have been missed. I would have burst into tears too, trust me. It’s what we mothers do when our children first begin experiencing life outside the warm, secure protective barrier we create during their early years at home. You did all the right things and it sounds as if she has an observant, caring teacher – bonus! I’m guessing another week or two of learning to socialize will make the difference and she will be happy at school.

    • #2 by Patricia Caviglia on October 1, 2011 - 2:10 PM

      Thanks for your support! I’m going to trust your prediction since you are a former school teacher.

  2. #3 by Elisa Michelle on September 29, 2011 - 12:09 AM

    Honestly, I was never one for many friends, even back then, so I’m of no use in this area. Sometimes I still cling to people, even now. It’s a bad habit to get into, and if you can encourage your daughter to avoid that road, she’ll be better for it later. =)

    • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on October 1, 2011 - 2:13 PM

      I agree that she’s better off as a social butterfly. I’m starting to set the example by being a little more sociable myself: I’ve been greeting strangers in the elevator when I’m with my daughter.

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