Is my daughter's attachment towards me spoiling her?
Q: My daughter is 6 years old and studies in the 1st standard. She is good in studies. I am a working woman. My in-laws take care of her at home in my absence. Whenever I am at home, I try and spend most of the time with her. I am fully engaged with her on the weekends as well. We have recently shifted her to a new school. But at the end of one month, she is feeling scared to go to school. In the beginning she used to enjoy going to school. But for the past one week, she is refusing to go to school giving some false reasons (I assume) such as stomach, throat pain etc. She cries a lot. She is scared of the PT teacher. She thinks that he will beat her up, even though she commits no mistake. We have observed such a behaviour from the past two years. She behaves like this during this period i.e. when the school re-opens and becomes normal after a few days. She cries explains her sorrows only in front of me and not to anyone else in the family. She is very quiet in the school, but very active at home. She never cries in front of my in-laws. But as soon as I return home she starts crying and refuses to go to school the next day. She asks me get new toys daily. She is very attached to me and wants me to be there with her on weekends. She doesn't go out to play with her friends. She asks me to take her to their houses so that she can play while I stay there. If someone scolds for misbehaviour, she cries but does not obey them. But if the same thing is explained in a soft, gentle manner she agrees. She has good grasping power and understanding ability. She doesn't want to understand that I am a working woman. What is wrong with her? Is she disturbed because I am working? Is she acting like this so that I resign from my job & stay at home with her? What should I do? Am I giving too much of affection, which is spoiling her?
A:Yes it does seem as if you are the one she is most able to influence. Sometimes we even call this kind of behaviour manipulation - that we all employ to get our own way! You must of course enquire from other children if the PT teacher is unduly harsh, or is your daughter too timid? Some children are easily frightened by shouting or loud noises. She may be one of them. She may also be a shy person who takes time to get used to changes in her daily timetable, and hence her reluctance to go to school for a while after the summer holidays as well as reluctance to play with other children unless you are there. You should encourage her to socialize, take her there yourself but gradually withdraw and go your own way. You need not sit in your daughters friends house all the time she is there, take her there and then leave after checking that she is busy playing. As long as you spend time with her during off hours and on holidays, as long as you yourself want to continue in your job and there is someone at home to look after her, there should not be a compulsion on you to stop working.