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I was dreading taking my daughter to preschool today and expected the worst: crying on the way there, crying there, and crying when I left. To my surprise, it turned out okay. But if it had been a "bad day," it would have been one for me, too: I would have been unproductive at work, bummed out, and unable to concentrate.

I know that as my child gets older, bad days are inevitable, and that things like a tough morning at preschool will pale in comparison to the bad days of the future. But I won't be of much use to anyone if I'm going to be so affected by it.

Is there a good thing to say, or do, or tell myself, that will allow me accept these inevitable "challenges" for my children, separate myself, and still remain positive?

asked 05 Jan '11, 20:56

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blue
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edited 05 Jan '11, 21:43

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Interesting question. I had sort of figured this just goes with the territory of being a loving, attached parent. I also think that our bad days rub off on them a little, too -- they can sense our moods very well. I do think it will get easier as your child gets older, and they become more of a separate person. At least I hope so. :)

(06 Jan '11, 13:52) Anne

I'll take a stab at this, since my toddler was pretty upset when I dropped him off at daycare on Tuesday. He had been at home for several days; he'd been sick so he'd been getting spoiled, so it was a rough transition for him. Here are some things I told myself:

  • it's good for him to get out of the house and into a different environment, even if he doesn't think so
  • it's good for mom and dad -- dad was sick, and mom was getting there (and in general, it's good for mom and dad to take care of themselves, too)
  • he'll be fine, I'll be fine
  • I'll give him extra attention when he comes home

And then I tried to throw myself into work and forget about it. I called to check up on him and he'd been doing poorly all day, which made me pretty sad, but I knew he was OK and went on with my work.

In general, it's good for them (past a certain age -- my opinion is around 18 months but others may vary) to have their routine shaken up every once in a while. Life is not always going to give them exactly what they want, and they have to get used to it.

One thing to ask yourself is, why exactly does it make you upset? Do you feel guilty for taking your child to preschool? Do you feel like it's somehow your fault that he/she is upset? Or is it just that it's difficult to see your child cry? It helps to keep in mind that they really are separate people, and sometimes people just have bad days. ESPECIALLY toddlers and preschoolers, since they don't really understand everything, and they have trouble explaining what's wrong. You can't do much more than be supportive and tell them it will be OK. Try and take a long view, even when that's very difficult. Parenting is hard!

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answered 06 Jan '11, 14:26

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Anne
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+1 great answers "they really are separate people, and sometimes people just have bad days"

(06 Jan '11, 15:29) Tammy ♦♦

Is there a good thing to say, or do, or tell myself, that will allow me accept these inevitable "challenges" for my children, separate myself, and still remain positive?

I tell myself that:

'I am not just a mother for my daughter, and that as she is an important part of my life, I too am an important part of hers and so in my mind, in order to be, or to try and be a better parent, a fairer parent, an evolving parent, and finally a healthy role model of what I think a decent human should be;

I constantly remind myself to change my 'personality jackets' and to play different roles at different times but remaining totally faithful to my inner self. By doing so I am able to remain calm and collected during times of mini crisis, or firm and adamant during those tantrums. So I guess that being able to emotionally distance myself temporarily helps me behave more reasonably than if I didn't.'

You may even be surprised at how soon young children become aware of their parents motivation, and try and do their own little bit to cheer you up, like hugging you' planting a kiss on your cheek or even drawing a picture for you.

(It really hit me a couple of months ago, when she had fallen over during recess at school and suffered a small injury. I was called to the school and I went to collect her from the school infirmary. As I entered the infirmary I saw that she looked frightened and sad, and I could feel my own tears and the inevitable lump swelling up and my throat, but it was one of those moments that I knew I had to control my emotions and comfort her instead of letting her see how anxious I was to see her like that. I just wanted to tell her it was going to be alright...(even though we (my husband and I) were both nervous about the cut on her brow, and the fact that the Dr on site recommended a surgeon examine the wound too. After that episode of practicing what I had been preaching to myself I was even more convinced that I was doing the right thing for both my daughter and myself )

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answered 06 Jan '11, 20:19

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Emi
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edited 06 Jan '11, 20:34

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Asked: 05 Jan '11, 20:56

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Last updated: 06 Jan '11, 20:34