My 4 year old daughter refuse to go to school , she clings into me and cry , what should I do ?

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Natalie - posted on 11/30/2012

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I don't like this part of the culture of forcing children to separate when they don't want to. I had the same problem with my 3yr old almost 3 years ago. The teachers told me to drop her off, let her cry and move on but my sister who works as a teacher in another country in Europe asked me not to traumatize the child this way. I asked the teacher and the principal if it was possible for the teacher to give her a hug, and be warm to my daughter during separation. It worked very well. What my daughter wanted was a smooth transition fro me to another person who gave her hugs and warmth. Now she is in kindergarten and has no problems at all. She loves school and she is very secure in herself.

Linda - posted on 11/28/2012

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Have you tried asking if she would like to bring her favorite stuffed animal to school?



Have you spoken with the teacher? What is her advice?

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Dove - posted on 11/28/2012

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No, you can carry her in, but the teacher can hold her when you leave. It is heartbreaking. I left many a morning crying (after I was out of his sight), but sometimes as a parent you HAVE to do what is hard in order to accomplish what is right for the kid. The school your daughter is going to may or may not be a right fit for her... I have no way of knowing that, but I do know if you haven't been making her go so far and you are caving into her tears.... you've probably got more of a 'battle' on your hands than I did.



Yes, it was hard on me and my son for those first 6ish weeks last year, but he adjusted.... and he adjusted MUCH faster this year because he realized that all the crying and carrying on wasn't going to get him what he wanted... which is just to be with me. I LOVE that my son loves me so much and only wants to be with me, but it's not healthy for him. Staying with me 100% would hinder his development. He is doing SO well this year and loves going to school that it is easy for me to see NOW that all those tears and rough mornings last year were completely worth it. He loves his teacher, has some really good friends, and is thriving in school... All things that he would not have if I had not had the 'balls' to be firm and consistent in the beginning.

Alicia - posted on 11/28/2012

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You mean I should get a teacher to forcibly carry her in ? I think it is kind of heart breaking :/

Dove - posted on 11/28/2012

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Yep. That's what they do. My son screamed hysterically for about 6 weeks last year. His grip on me was so tight that I could not break it without the teacher's help. This year he's had less than a half a dozen 'freak out' days and he actually LIKES school now. He still has his mornings where he doesn't want to go sometimes, but that's when he first wakes up. There are no more tears and no more clinging. We have our morning 'routine' set up and he's doing great.

Alicia - posted on 11/28/2012

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I put a small family photo inside her bag everyday ...... The teacher advice was to just bring her inside and the teachers will hold her back :/

Alicia - posted on 11/28/2012

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I have talked to her and all but she still scream and refuse to enter the classroom

Linda - posted on 11/28/2012

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While you may want to do this, the best way is to just talk to your daughter. Talk it out, especially when she wants to talk about it. Bribing, threatening, and even raising my voice didn't work. They only added to my son's stress and anxiety, thus being more clingy.



My son didn't want to go to preschool when he was 3. It was only twice a week for a couple of hours each day. He cried every day at drop off for the first 2 months of school. Teachers said he was fine after I left. He got better when he knew the routine and certainly when he made some friends. It was frustrating and embarrassing and I felt guilty thinking I was doing the wrong thing by sending him to school before he was ready. So when I asked him why he cried (when he wasn't crying and upset), he simply said he missed me. I explained to him that I missed him too but that he needed to learn to be a good student. I went on to tell him what I would be doing when he's at school, telling him I would be grocery shopping (asking him what he wanted to eat), errands, etc. I even made a joke saying I will be right in the car in the parking lot knitting or reading until his school is over. He liked this idea. I made sure I was the first at pick up so he saw that I didn't abandom him. He felt much better after he knew exactly what was going on with me! I was surprised he cared that much, or was capable of caring so much at such a young age.



It happened again the following year with a new teacher at the same school. We did the same routine. Dropping him off, saying good-bye, telling him I will see him at dismissal. Again, he cried but it only lasted 2 weeks.



He's in K now and doesn't cry, even though it's a new school with new teachers and peers. I see his eyes get watery when I drop him off, but he's a big boy now going to a big kid school (I tell everyone this when they ask) so he just kisses me and does the american sign langugage sign for I love you when he exits my car. He thinks it's our secret hand signal. He still tells me that he misses me and asks what I did while he was at school. He tells me he wishes he were still at his preschool. I will miss these days when we snuggle on the couch talking about our day, seeing his face light up when he talks about something that happened is precious for us.



No worries, Alicia. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Be strong and do exactly what you say you will do. She needs to trust that life will still be as wonderful.

Alicia - posted on 11/27/2012

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I am thinking of carrying her forcibly inside and just hand her over to the teachers

Dove - posted on 11/27/2012

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Take her to school, give her good bye hugs and kisses, and leave her with the teacher. Preschool/kindergarten teachers are generally quite good at dealing with clingy children.



If she will talk to you about it (after school or some other time... not at drop off time) you may be able to discover something specific that is bothering her there that can be dealt with, but if it's just the separation.... time and firm consistency is the key to overcoming it.

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