24/12/2013 10:43 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Ask Joanne - My Daughter Misses Me When She Goes To School

What's your question for our life coach Joanne Mallon. Send it in to this address.

Laura asks:

My almost 7-year-old daughter (youngest child) is a lovely, happy little girl and well behaved but is not confident at separating from me going into school (she likes me to wait with her till her class goes in) and sometimes even to a party, etc.

I worked full-time when her brother and sister were young so they were fine, but I have been working from home since she was 3 and I think she's got too used to me being with her all the time. She's always asking my husband, "where's mummy?, when will she be back?"

It can be a bit stifling. I have tried to speak to her and she doesn't appear to have any major worries, she just misses me! She sleeps, plays, eats well and is an otherwise happy wee girl.

Dear Laura

I've written a longer article here on separation anxiety, and if you read it you'll see that your daughter's behaviour is well within the bounds of normality. It won't be long before she's sailing off into school without a backward glance. Like all childhood phases, it does pass.

Does she like to have schoolfriends round for tea? Sometimes a treat like this can make going into the classroom a bit easier. It will deepen her friendships and give her something to look forward to when she's going into school in the morning. Perhaps for the next few weeks you could focus on having at least one friend a week back after school.

And though it may be hard, I would encourage you to leave her more often. Be confident and cheery and let her know when you'll be back. Point out the fun things she does with dad when you're away. Perhaps your partner could be more proactive and get her involved in something fun just before you leave.

Do you have much one to one time with her? Is there an activity that you could do together? It's possible that this behaviour could be all about attracting your focused attention, which she might not get at other times.

I agree with you that children can sometimes get too used to having mum around, but even if you give them 100% of your attention, they will still hanker after a little bit more.

Good luck


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