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Separation Anxiety in 9 Year Old
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Separation Anxiety in 9 Year Old

I have a 9 year old daughter who is in 3rd Grade and has not had a problem with any kind of separation anxiety. (Except at 3 when starting a new daycare and pre-school, and it only lasted a couple weeks).  

Then one day 2 months ago, she started crying before getting on the bus for school.  I chalked it up to that she was tired and sent her out the door.  Now it's still going on and it's getting worse.  She cries every day when leaving for school, cries nearly the whole ride there (1 hour), sometimes breaks down in class, starts to get worried at bed time and cry because she knows that school is coming soon, it has been getting progressively worse over the last two months now she doesn't want sleep over at her best friends house, which she has done many, many times.  

All I can get out of her is she is upset because she will miss me (Mom).  Nothing drastic has changed in the family, I am not divorced, there have been no deaths, no change in work schedules.  Every time I talk to her about it, and ask why she is doing this she says, she doesn't know why except that she is going to miss me and might not see me again.  I spend alot of time with her and her two brothers, ages 9 & 11 (one is her twin, but only in biological terms, they are not closer than any other siblings), I have spent one on one time with her, we will be having a weekend of just her and I together in a couple of weeks.

It's getting to the point where it is starting to affect her socially, she cried at a friends birthday party, she made the decision to go, but couldn't control her emotions, she rode to they party with her best friend and her Mom and cried all the way there and for the first 10 minutes of the party.  When I picked her up, she was fine but did say that she cried.  She won't do sleepovers now, she was suppose to sleep at her friends the other night and I ended up coming home early from my evening to pick her up because she didn't want to spend the night.  

I am at the end of my rope and am considering taking her to a specialist to talk to.  Am I over reacting?
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281956_tn?1191862764
I wouldn't say your over-reacting. Continue the reassurance that you will always be there. Something that helped me with my son when he 1st started school/day care was I had this favorite bracelet that no one was allowed to touch because it was a gift from my deceased grandmother. He knew it was special and knew the meaning. One day when I was about to lose it if he cried one more time about missing me, my friend gave me a suggestion, I asked him if he knew what the braclet meant to me. He said yes "nana gave it to you before she went to heaven" I told him that everytime he left the house that he could take it with him so that he knew he was going to see me soon. I told him that he had to take good care of it and that nana was watching him so he couldn't cry about missing me because he knew he was going to see me soon to give me the bracelet back. SHOCKINGLY this worked. Every morning for about a month he took my bracelet, returning it to me when he came home. He took it every time he left the house without me and again returned it when we were together. After about a month he got over it and just stopped asking for it before he left. I am still not sure why it worked... but I think it was the thought of knowing he HAD to see me again because he had my bracelet. Maybe you could try that  with your daughter. (i highly recommend that if you do to not be around other kids, so it's like your little secret) If you have a necklace or bracelet or watch or ring you can put on a necklace something that means enough to you that she will know she HAS to see you again to give it back to you. It should pass but in the mean time seeing a specialist might not be such a bad idea..... Good Luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your reply.  I already tried that idea.  She wasn't going for it.  But I am glad it did work for you.  Thanks again.  Andrea
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Avatar_f_tn
I think therapy is always good for a child.. they seem to know exactly what to say and make them feel comfortable... maybe she as some type of emotional problem and no one really knows what it is...  If you've tried everything possible, you should look into therapy it might help.
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Avatar_n_tn
How is your son now  ? My 7 year old son is having this same thing , he goes to school ok not great but then cries when he is there and wants to see me and / or call me . It's getting worse and I was told maybe a therapist would help but, I don't think anything will help his NOT to miss me , but what am I to do ?! Now we did have a death in the family , last year my son's poppop was killed by a drunk driver and he was very close to him and misses him very much, we don't know if that is what upsets him so much that I could get hurt and he would never see me again, he doesn't really say that too much, and when we ask him he just says he misses me.
thanks
L
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164459_tn?1201739427
Dustyl, has your school "psychologist" or "social worker" checked into this problem. Counseling by a professional may be in order if the problem is getting worse. Cognitive restructure by a professional who works with children may be in order and YOUR NOT OVER REACTING.  Mothers are always the first to understand something REALLY IS WRONG and it comes from the heart.

Counselors can teach your child to understand the problem, give her tools and ways to understand and deal with the issue and teach you how to nurture her.

If this goes on and on - strongly suggest you consider a professional assessment so it doesn't get out of control.  Nip this in the bud -- remember, it takes longer to correct a problem allowed to fester.

GOOD LUCK
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Avatar_f_tn
Andreanek, I have a 12 year old son that just started 7th grade. We just recently had him seen by a psychiatrist. He had very similar symptoms as your daughter and each year it just continued to get worse. I took him to see a therapist and it did help some but not for very long. We did the relaxation techiniques and the music therapy. But that wasn't enough. When he started middle school this year, it took my husband and I one hour to get our son through the lobby down the hallway to his class on the first day of school. Finally, I took him to get a diagnosis. The psychiatrist said he had OCD, anxiety disorder, panic attack syndrome, insomnia, and depression. Probably wouldn't have been as bad if I had taken him to get treatment earlier. Anyway, he is now on zoloft 50mgs in the morning and Trazodone 50mgs at bedtime. Both medications are antidepressants. The one in the morning helps him with the anxiety and the one at bedtime helps with the insomnia. He is like a different child now. I would give anything if I had done this sooner. He is so happy now and seems to love school. He told me he would love to have his 5th grade year back with medication because he would probably have friends now.
Anyway, now my 9 year old has been having the same symptoms since he was in 2nd grade. We now have an appointment for him to be seen because I'm not letting him go that long without seeing if there is something I can do to help him with the anxiety.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow, thanks for sharing your experience. My daughter has been crying to go to school and complaining about stomach aches so she can go to the nurse and she will call me to talk to her.
I am looking for any solution or advice that may help. Certainly we need to work with the anxiety but I am affraid of medicine. The secondary effects of antidepresants can be very bad in the long run. Most people with antidepressant becomes suicidal if the miss a pill. There is holistic medicine that may help better. I know is hard for parents to deal with this complicated situation. No one wants to see our kids suffering, but more natural ways will help tem develop the skills instead of depending on a pill. There are natural herbs that may work as good as medicine and will not be harmful.  I feel your pain because Im going thru the same, but please read about the side effects,. I am sure they will be worst that before if you take them out of the pill, but that will last until they get it out of their bodies. Those pills just numb the brain and they cannot be themselves. Smaller group classroom, theraphy, more time in nature, and natural medicine may help. I wish you the best and I pray that you receive the guidance that will help tem in the long run. I experienced this with my husband. He started taking lexapro, when he missed a pill he was not able to control his impulses and was acting uo like crazy, he got out of the pill, starting practicing meditation and learning how to be more positive and relax more. It worked without a pill.

God bless you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I know im late coming to this conversation..  But I have a nine year old, and I am experiencing similar behavior. My Mom did pass away last year, and he was very close to her.. I am an older single Mom 52 yrs . But his anxiety started about 2 months ago...     and I hate seeing him get soo sad..  he was supposed to go ice skating with his cousin last friday and sleep over, he made it about 5 mins after I left , and had a meltdown. I also have been experiencing the same anxiety with school. His teacher/Principle have either called me or emailed me several times in the last few weeks. really starting to think he needs to talk to a professional .  :(  
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