Irish Twin Siblings – Separation Anxiety Troubles

The time has finally come… the girls will no longer be in the same school and the reactions have been volatile. Now let me start by saying that these girls never remember a day in which they were apart. Since they are only 12 months apart their lives have always been together. I was mostly looking forward to this year of having the girls be at different schools. Despite them almost always getting along – they need their own space and identity. We have dealt with big changes before – moving twice, traveling Daddy, new school, death, loss of a pet, summer camps apart, etc… But let me tell you, I was not prepared for their reactions to this massive change they are about to undertake. 

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Phase 1 – Excitement

The beginning of the summer the girls were so excited to be in separate schools. It was literally all they talked about. How many days? When can we get school supplies? Can we drive by our school? This phase lasted until the last three weeks of school. It was wonderful while it lasted. They were supportive of each other and it was so sweet. If only the anxiety demons weren’t rounding their head. 

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Phase 2 – Annoyance 

Now there is always a little bit of annoyance between siblings. It has been brewing all summer and who could blame them. They have been stuck together 24/7 in endless hours of road tripping we did this summer. However, it was normal annoyance until midway through summer when things began to escalate. We started hearing more of “I want to be alone”, “You are not my friend anymore”, “I don’t want to be your sister” and so on. It has been getting older, and more frequent but nothing super out of the ordinary. 

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Phase 3 – Hell Storm 

This is now the phase that is clearly the worst of all. We are two short weeks away from school starting and I am seeing behavior I have never had to deal with. Noli has become violent and prone to two-year-old tantrums. It has gotten so bad I have had to leave two pubic events because she couldn’t stop screaming and yelling. Viv has adopted a sixteen year old’s attitude – especially towards her mother – with the stomping, screaming, and slamming doors to boot. The anger and frustration are not only at each other but also at their parents. It has been rough to say the least. No amount of love, alone time, sleep, screaming, time outs etc… has curbed the problem. Unfortunately, I think I just have to let it run its course. 

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Phase 4 – ????

So what do I have to look forward to once school actually starts? I don’t know. But I do know that secretly on separate occasions both girls have expressed their fears for the new year. Fear of not being together, without me, and the big change. I get it, these things are super scary and definitely explain their behavior, and as a parent it is reassuring that they have the self-awareness to recognize this fear and anxiety is triggering their uncharacteristic behavior. Here’s hoping that this won’t last once they get their bearings on the first day of school. 

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So to all you Moms out there who have been dealing with the bear that is the last few days before school – you are SO not alone! My mostly sweet, obedient, creative and fun children have turned into total monsters. I am so over it and ready for school to begin. After all, as a teacher, I have my own anxieties about school starting and having to manage their emotional outbursts is almost to much to handle. Oh – did I mention that I am doing Whole30 and I can’t even have wine…. But that is for another story. So all you Mom’s out there have a glass of wine for me – the battle to the start of school is almost over. 

Lauren Cop is a part-time SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor ciao_laurencop_sig-01of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she teaches at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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