Five year-old son acting out at preschool - need help!

Vanessa - posted on 04/30/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are divorcing, but sharing custody. Our 5 year-old son's behavior has done a 180 at school in just one week, and we haven't even moved out of the house yet. He is acting out in anger, which he has NEVER done before. My soon-to-be ex and I are getting along really well, so our son isn't seeing fights or anything like that, but he does know we are moving soon and that his life is changing. We have tried talking with him in every way we can think of, talked with his pediatrician, and gotten him an appt. with a child psycholigst - but that's not for three weeks and preschool is calling us nearly every day asking us to come get him. We both work, so this can't go on. I need advice on how to deal with him and his reactions so that he feels better soon - at least soon enough to handle the move and give him a chance to settle into the new routine. This is breaking our hearts.

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As said earlier, this could be due to you and your ex breaking up. Children are very good at picking up on how others are feeling without being told.

Talk to the school, and see if they can help him. let your son know that you both still love him dearly, even though you and his Dad are getting divorced. He will need a lot of moral/emotional support at the moment. By talking to the school, the teachers may be able to help with some coping strategies. This will be his way of showing his emotions to the wider world (you, his parents, the school etc.). Keep the school informed as well. If he is also possibly changing schools as well, then that will add to his insecurities at the moment. Let him know what he needs to know/be aware of and also reassure him that he'll make new friends where he's moving to (both in and out of school).

As for routine - keep to it, as that will help him to adjust to the new family situation. Children thrive on routine and helps them to feel secure.

The move - let him have an influence on his new bedroom(s) - things like the colour scheme, layout of room (obviously with some restrictions - would you like your bed to be in position A or B, which colour - C or D). That way there is an excitement factor. Also he could be 'responsible' for helping unpack certain things/putting away - allowing for his age/development.

Natasha - posted on 05/02/2012

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Maybe he is like this because of the breakup.
Little kids soak everything up and it goes round in their little minds and this is his way of dealing with it.

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