It is delightful to observe the growth in independence and awareness in your child, isn't it? A child suddenly displays confidence, wanting to do things himself/ herself and with such pride. Developmental milestones are easily mastered and benchmarks of knowledge at school are quickly met. Then, without warning, there seems to be a halt--the independent child is suddenly clinging, crying, wanting to be rocked, doesn't want to come to school, perhaps even asking for a "binky" at nighttime! What is happening??
With every great leap in development, there is nearly always a regression that takes place. Your child may be so confident of his/her newly discovered independence, but fear unexpectedly sets in. The child is suddenly needy--with doubts and a longing to return to the security and safety of his/her "old ways", not wanting to leave the family home, not wanting to come to school, not wanting to leave mom or dad.
There is "letting go" involved in any new growth. Early childhood is not the only time it is felt. Beginning elementary school, middle school, high school, and certainly college (the teen may be excited to go off to college, but leaving home and handling all decisions on their own can be overwhelming), getting married, starting a career, etc. All of life's major events involve these types of moving forward, but often accompanied with the desire to hold on to the past a bit longer.
Your child may be experiencing the same anxiety, or may so display these behaviors. We typically see changes in behavior here at school starting in April as we slowly begin our discussions about friends leaving us, new friends arriving, children moving into PreK spots, PreK students moving into Kindergarten, and Kindergartners moving into elementary school.
Parental support is critical at these times. Allow your child the opportunity to snuggle wrapped in a blanket and rock on occasion as they request, (or whatever else they may ask for) and use these times to talk about the changes ahead, and to express your pride in his/her growing. Let us know if suddenly your child does not want to come to school, but prefers to stay home. We can assist with encouragement and special attention to your child's needs. Children will soon realize they are ready to move on, and with a parent's support and open conversation, will make the transition with renewed confidence and continue with their growing and learning!