Love Me, Love Me Not? Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety. It’s real, and it’s not just the kids who have it.

We all know of children who cry and fuss and won’t let go when it’s time to say goodbye. Maybe it’s your child, or mine.  It’s hard to see them upset. It’s so much easier to give them that last hug, and another one. One more then, too. Those tears are because they miss us. They need us. So it’s devastating but reassuring at the same time. My child loves me so much, it breaks his/her heart to see me go.

So that leaves us with a double edged sword type of scenario. Of course we want our children to have a happy, successful day. If our children were pining for mommy or daddy all day, we would be miserable. And no one wants that! But we also don’t want to think that there is something more important than our love of our children. Good news; there isn’t.

Our journey as parents, and Montessori parents in particular, is a regular series of “letting go”. Independence is our credo and obviously they can’t have it with mom or dad holding hands all the way. Even though it really seems sad to see your child walk off alone, confident and NOT missing you, they take with them some wonderful gifts.

One of those is your love. Enough love to trust the child to do it on his/her own.

Another is your confidence in their strength and skill to navigate this small slice of the world in their own way. It is the foundation of empowerment.

Most important, though, is the knowledge that you will be there when they come back. Every time. With love and guidance.

The letting go never really stops once it starts, but we as parents get stronger. We become more trusting of our own ability to let them do it on their own.  We invest our confidence in them, and the payback is tenfold. In Montessori and in life we must let our children go forward with our blessing.

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