My six year old, especially in times of change, goes through some major separation sadness. It starts shortly before the separation will occur and gets worse when it is time to say goodbye. I try to talk her through it. I try to distract her from it. It is always heartbreaking to see the tears as she walks into school or as I have to walk out the door to be where I need to be.
The separation is necessary. She has to go to school and so do I -- but I feel so much guilt that she is hurting this way. When her tears start, I try to stay positive, make light of the situation, and I don't prolong goodbyes. But once I have left the situation, I fall apart as much as she has. I want to make her feel better -- but I want to toughen her up at the same time. I want to decrease the time that this sadness occurs -- but I also know that the more it happens, the more desensitized she will become. I feel bad that the time we spend together has decreased, but I also see that now the time we DO spend together is better quality.
I hate that her friends and teachers see her cry on such a regular basis -- I know it has to be embarrassing to my daughter. Who wants to be known as the crier? I am only comforted by the thought that her first grade friends will possibly not remember this bout of sadness weeks from now -- and hopefully my child will not either. I guess only time will tell.