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Too Much Attachment
Q: Our six-year-old daughter's kindergarten teacher has expressed concern that our daughter seems too attached to one girl in her class. She says that my daughter seems sad if she can't be with her friend during an activity and then seems so happy when the two are reunited. I don't see how this is a real problem. How do I deal with the teacher's concerns? She has even suggested that we ensure that the two are not placed into the same class next year.
A: One of the most important tasks children work on in kindergarten is improving their social skills, and teachers are very tuned in to the progress children make in this area. Many children, like your daughter, form a close attachment with one child and that's fine. The teachers worry, however, when the child seems to be almost obsessed with a friend and is happy only when that child is with them and sad when she is not. If things do not change, it's probably a good idea to separate the two girls next year. You can always arrange play dates when the girls can get together, and they'll probably see each other on the playground.
In the meantime, make sure your daughter has opportunities to make friends with other children. Help the teacher encourage her to play with others at school, and invite some of the other children to your house to play. Joining a soccer team or a Daisy Girl Scout troop can also give your daughter the chance to become friends with children with similar interests.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.