My 7 year old little boy cries about going to school every day! Help!

Sara - posted on 10/04/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

2

8

1

I need suggestions. My little boy is a second grader and he cries every day after school becuase he is already worried about going the next day. He cries in the mornings before I take him to school. He says he just wants to stay home with me. I have spoken to his teacher and she says he is fine at school. I just can not handle the tears I am dealing with at home every day!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Heather - posted on 08/28/2012

18

7

3

As a mom of a soon to be 9 year old daughter w/ high levels of anxiety and a practicing child therapist, I can empathize with all the struggles of parents who have children that are dealing with anxiety. Anxiety is a scary thing, especially at this age where it is hard for them to be able to verbalize why their stomach feels "weird" or the constant headaches, and body aches (all normal anxiety produced symptoms). They may not know why they are anxious so that becomes a challenge to figure out ways to alleviate their symptoms. And let's be honest, how many adults do you know that struggle with anxiety on some level? If adults aren't able to figure out ways to manage their anxiety (without the use of medication) it is unrealistic that are children can navigate the complex world of the mind in order to do so.



Some of the tools that I use in my practice and with my daughter are as follows:



1. Worry dolls ( you can purchase them on amazon) this is a great way for your child to feel they are tackling their worries. Have your child take the worry dolls out of their bag and give each doll a worry he/she has. Place the dolls back in the bag and tell them that the worry doll is now holding that worry.

2. Have your child create or draw images of happy times, relaxing scenes that they can look at when they are feeling worried or stressed.

3. what you feel and what's the truth game. Have your child share a "fear" or worry and then have him/ her identify the truths. Such as: " I am scared of monsters" truths: Monster's aren't real, there isn't a monster under my bed, etc.

4. Sometimes it helps having the child keep a worry stone or a small trinket in his/ her pocket as a way to stay connected to home, as separation anxiety is something that afflicts some older children. with my daughter, I let her wear a necklace of mine or spray a little perfume on her in the morning that would remind her of me, etc. be creative.



As always, it is important to set time aside to do check in at home. Before bed, my family and I share a hi-light (something positive) and a lo-light (something we want to work on or something that mad us feel bad) with one another. And we praise the positive and help brainstorm ways to make the next day better.

Ryan - posted on 09/10/2012

1

0

0

My son (7 years old.. 2nd grade) had a very hard time when he started 1st grade. Thank goodness he had an amazing teacher who helped us through it. She noticed that his anxiety would peak at lunch time. When she shared this information with me, I asked him what it was about lunch time that was bothering him. He told me it was all the noise & how crazy things would get. So I began making him a cold lunch everyday. He liked that since he could just go & sit down instead of waiting in line for hot lunch. His teacher also paired him up with another boy from his class who also brought cold lunch everyday. After that, it wasnt long at all before he was just fine going to school.

My son's anxiety was (in my opinion) quite intense. He never became angry & lashing out was also a non issue. He just needed to feel welcome & comfortable at school. I think it's just a lot to take for some kids. They go from spending almost all their time with family & friends they have known forever, to being thrown into a place where nothing is familiar & everyone is a stranger. To a tender hearted child like my son, it was very overwhelming. But, he overcame his fears once he felt comfortable & had a friend or two. Children don't like to feel alone. When they feel safe in their surroundings, the anxiety will go away & there will be smiles instead of tears when they ate dropped off at school.

I hope my experiace can help in someway. I know how hard it is to walk away from your child when they are so afraid.

Krysteena - posted on 10/11/2010

1

11

0

My first grade son started doing this as well, for the first month of this school year. He was fine in kindergarten. Every morning when he was dropped off he would grab ahold of me and just cry that he misses me so much and doesn't want to go to school. (He also did this with his dad) He always complained that it wasn't fair that his sister got to stay home with me. I met with his teacher and counselor and found that as soon as I left, he was completely fine. He always told me he had a good day and lots of kids talked to him while we were leaving school every day. I tried bribing him (money or a toy if he could go without crying) and it didn't work. I finally sat there and told him Mommy doesn't like when you cry because it makes her feel bad and stuff, and the next day, no crying. Once I explained it to him, and promised I would be there waiting when he got out of school, he was fine.

Jamie - posted on 10/07/2010

1

5

0

I had the same problem with my son in first grade. He cried everyday and would fake sick all the time. It broke my heart and I gave into him many days. It turned out that one of his classmates was being mean to him and saying nasty things. I talked to the teacher, the school I reached out to everyone, to no avail. My advice to you, question him and tell him that home is safe and he can tell you whatever is going on and that you will work to fix the problem. I can't promise it will get better this year. Once you find out what is going on, reach out to the teacher and the school and demand they do something. He has been away from the boy that was giving him a hard time for a year and half now, and actually likes school. If you need anything, please feel free to reach out to me. Good luck and give your kiddo big hugs.

Heather - posted on 10/08/2010

11

5

2

My son was fine everyday in kindergarten. Then, when he started 1st grade, the tears begin. It was horrible. My husband and I took turns taking him into the school every day for almost a month. His teacher was great the whole time. She would literally have to come and pull him off of us and hold onto him until we got completely out of that hallway. It was so trying. I felt like the worst mom ever because I was so afraid there was something going on that he wasn't telling me. I had thought of all kinds of horrible scenarios. He finally ended up telling me that he was not as fast at getting his work done as the other kids were. Even though no one had been mean or said anything awful to him about it, it still bothered him. The teacher ended up finding a way to help him get his work done more efficiently and he was still one of the slower ones in the class, but he gradually got better at it. In 2nd grade, he didn't complain at all. Then, when 3rd grade started, he was so upset and crying every morning again. This went on for the first few days. I couldn't believe it. I was just praying that we weren't going to go through another month of this. He finally told me that he just misses me so much when he is gone. He got over it within about a week. He knows that I am here as soon as he gets home. I've determined he just has a hard time with change. Going back to school in the fall is hard after you've been home with mom all summer. He loves school, for the most part. I would just suggest not stressing out about it too much. If he is still so upset in a couple of weeks, reevaluate the situation again. It could even be that he just doesn't feel comfortable with this particular teacher. I am betting thins will be better, soon, though. Good luck!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

36 Comments

View replies by

Alice L - posted on 09/24/2013

1

0

0

I have a five year old son who didn't go to preschool and now is started kindergarten and hates going and has fits I don't think he's ready he's not up with the kids he don't think like them he seems to me to be at the preschool level on everything he's still so babieish ,they said give it some time but I still think he needs preschool , I guess I'll speak with superentendent again any help will be great?

Mary - posted on 09/22/2013

1

0

0

Young children often cannot put into words why they are feeling badly or why they are having anxiety. We, as adults, must not disregard their tears but need to look into what is causing the problem. The education of a child is the parent's responsibility in the final analysis, not the state's and the school does not always have the answer(s). Go and observe your child in the classroom. Probe gently with questions. Continue to seek answers until you find them.

Tina - posted on 09/10/2012

6

23

2

My daughter was being bullied at school when she started coming up with ailments and complaints to not go to school. The teacher was not aware because it was happening behind her back and it took going to the doctor where the doctor picked up on it and it all came out. Also another child in my daughter's school in an older grade suffers from social anxiety disorder and has a hard time with going to school on a regular basis. Take your son to the doctor they will answer any questions you have! Good luck!

Amy - posted on 09/10/2012

1

12

0

Wow, I felt like I was talking to my sister as I tell her I go through that every day and my five year old does it too. I am told once they are there they are fine but it doesn't help me the night before. I am having problems all over in school so I guess I don't have any way to help but wanted you to know your not alone

Rachel - posted on 09/03/2012

1

0

0

My 7 yr boy,nearly 8 started yr 3 today and he broke his heart. We have had this problem with him since nursery! It got so bad that I lost my hair 2 yrs ago... Due to the stress. I too have tried everything but only the child can find the way to channel the anxiety. I find the best way is to remind him of funny things to think about when he feels anxious ,this works by diminishing the time he spends thinking scary thoughts.he still does cry but he s not as bad as he used to be. it's a matter of accepting the kind of child you have! I feel your pain,it's the most horrible feeling,but you re not alone.

Vicky - posted on 10/13/2010

97

16

22

My 9 year old went through a similar period of getting very nervous and edgy about school even though she loves it so much that she cries when she has to stay home poorly so I knew something was wrong. When I eventually found out what was the matter it was her PE lesson she was being forced to do forward rolls which she has never done in her life because it always hurt her spine when she was small. When I spoke with the teacher about it she agreed that she would be asked to do one or two attempts but not pushed. She now goes in OK but still will not do this and she becomes pyhsically ill on some occasions. Even though my daughters class has 32 children in the teacher always takes a little time a week to check each child is happy and the school operates a no bully rule. Yes they still get them, kids will be kids and all that, but they come down hard on them when they find them doing it in the grounds, but not once they leave school so main problems are always after when they leave so she will never walk home alone incase anyone starts on her. Sometimes something so small can throw any child off you just need to get them to talk to someone and they quietly tell you and for trust issues don't let on you know till they tell you themselves. Grandma's are great for this. Good luck hope you find out what it is soon. xx

Megan - posted on 10/13/2010

19

10

0

They usually are just fine after we leave - I'm convinced that they take joy in ripping our hearts out and adding to the guilt we all have anyway:-)
I have 4 kids and 2 gave me a really hard time - to be fair, one has Aspergers so social anxiety is a big issue. For one I put a note wipe off board on the fridge and she came home to school to either a happy face or sad face drawn on the board. She did not like coming home to a sad face so within a week we had no more issues. It was an empty treat because I assigned no punishment but she is a vane child who likes to believe she is perfect so if daddy came home to a sad face he would know she fooled him:-)
The other took a lot more work. He would start the tears at bed time just thinking of the next day. We tried talking about what makes us nervous, I tried getting tough and just saying I wouldn't tolerate it, I tied offering bribes, finally I sat him down and told him school is his responsibility and if he can;t do the one thing he is required to do than he may not be able to do the things he wants to do.
Good Luck - I don't think any one solution works for every child.

Kathy - posted on 10/13/2010

105

16

6

If he's crying that much, everything is not fine at school. Something is going on. Go above the teacher and if you have a school psy. you need to talk to them and they need to talk with your son. He may be getting bullied and not saying anything about for fear things may get worse (or the bully may be telling him that if he talks it will get worse). He may be getting excluded from activities, which again is a form of bullying. Are his grade fine? Is he struggling there too? Has anything changed at home? All of these things can cause anxiety in a child. But please seek help.

Tracy - posted on 10/10/2010

22

25

1

My son had a similar problem last year in 2nd grade. he would be fine in the AM at home, but when he had to kine up with his class in the morning, he would start to cry and would want me to walk him to his locker. The class was crowded, and he was worried about finishing his weekly homework. Also, his teacher had a thick accent, and maybe he didn't understand her well. He seemed like he was worried about failing, or not knowing what to do, but his teacher wasn't critical at all. I worked recess and he was fine by recess. The counselor talked to him, and she couldn't find out what was bothering him. It took until almost January, but got better. This year, he has been just fine, even with getting glasses over the summer.

Kat - posted on 10/09/2010

47

20

5

Sherri, your very fortunante to have that ratio 2:7 adults to children. As a substitute teacher, I am often in classes with high numbers and no aides. Yet, I am seeking a full time regular teaching job. As for the crying behaviour, I would definantley go to the school couselor for an intervention. Even if it is proves to be attention getting behaviour the child obviously needs it and can be weaned away from crying by receiving high-fi's or acknowledgement from the schools staff. Also couselors can assist in helping children cope with ugliness from their peers. Kindergarten thru third graders are prone to being tattle-tales and demanding justice from others by rejecting an apology until after an adult is told about the incident. After seeing the counslor, I would be as involved in my child's classroom/school as time permits. Most teachers are secure enough to not mind a parent lending a helping hand to them for the betterment of the class.

Luvenia - posted on 10/08/2010

11

6

0

When u put him 2 bed @ nite, let him know how much u love him and that u would never ever ever leave him. Kids have fear of seperation and being deserted just like some adults; they just don't know how to cope with it outside of crying or acting out. Tell him how proud u r of him 4 going 2 school and what a big boy he is. Find out if someone is bothering him @ school. If you can, talk with the teacher about healthy snacks for the whole class. Find time to volunteer; possibly a field trip or finding a fun game to play with some of his classmates @ recess. When u start dropping him off, try giving him a big hi-5 and when u pik him up. Eventually u will establish repoire with the kids from volunteering and they too will look for that hi-5 from u. He should be alright soon enough.

Sherry - posted on 10/08/2010

8

3

0

I had a similiar problem with my son when he was 7. He was a smart kid and did not want to go to school. I found out it was a student that was giving him the anxiety of going. I spoke to the teacher and nothing was done. I spoke with the principle and nothing was done. SO I removed him from that class and I have never had another problem with him not liking school. Maybe the problem is a student, his class work, another student. Maybe he was threatend not to tell you b/c someone might hurt him. I always tell my kids if anyone ever tells you not to tell your mommy or daddy something or they will get hurt or in trouble. I tell them that they can tell me if that ever is going on b/c that person telling them is lying. I speek to my kids whenever I feel like it's been a while. Just to remind them the importance of an open relationship with me. Sometimes I feel like if we as parents don't give them that security, they may feel like they can't talk to us about problems. I wish you good luck with your little boy. It is never easy watching them go through such a hard thing.

Sherri - posted on 10/08/2010

9,593

15

387

Heather your classrooms have 20 kids for 1 teacher? WOW that is a lot. We typically average 13-15 but every teacher also has a paraprofessional in the classroom as well. So really every class has 13-15 kids and 2 teachers. Until they get into middle school.

Therese - posted on 10/08/2010

34

14

0

my son was like that. It has to do with anxiety of not being with you,new environment. what I did was there was a book called the "kissing hand". it is a book about a racoon who didn't want to go to school and leave his mom. what she would do was to kiss the palm of his hand and then close it and vice versa. when he was lonely he would put his hand on his cheek and it would be like a kiss. well, my son is 10 and I still do that, in private of course. that helped him along with me telling him that I would miss him too. Also, I would explain the day. for ex, go to school, mom picks you up, we have snack together, eat together, etc. the more concrete info you can give him, what to excpect, will ease his anxiety. look at it from a childs point of view, " i am leaving my mom". tell him you love him and love him and will miss him but when he comes home it will be our time together.

Heather - posted on 10/07/2010

25

24

0

I'm with Priscilla. I grew up a teachers kid, my worst year was 4th, the year I had my mom. We were close to transferring me to another school. Kids can be mean. And teachers can be strict. YEAH!! My son needs the stricter teachers. :-) My son is a 2nd grader too. Last year we had about a 1 week stretch of a similar thing. We learned that his best friend had made a new friend and that person was picking on him. We told him to ignore both of them. I got a phone call from his best friends mom saying how her son was crying and upset because Dom (my son) was ignoring him. I explained the situation to her and she and I started laughing. The next day all was good in the world of 1st grade. Find out what it is that is bothering him. Teachers do their best to keep track of kids but in most classrooms their are at least 20 kids to 1 teacher. They're not going to see everything. And out of respect if their is an issue always start with the teacher if you feel the teacher is not doing enough then call a meeting with the teacher and the principle.

Rachel - posted on 10/07/2010

63

13

1

My son did the exact same thing! He was in preschool though and not adjusting well at all! For him it was his teacher, she was mean to him and not understanding towards his feelings at all! So we moved him to a private christian school and he is doing wonderful! From our experience the crying everyday and every morning when school was mentioned was a sign something wasnt right. Don't give up and keep on until you get to the bottom of it. Its obvious your child is miserable. Good luck!

Blythe - posted on 10/07/2010

4

35

0

Oh I feel your pain. Mine is 5 and in a pre-k program and says the same exact things! I have talked to his dad and teacher. The teacher says that he does fine at school so I am not too sure what to do or where to start. I will be following this thread though for good ideas.

Sherri - posted on 10/07/2010

9,593

15

387

Angie no parents can not enter our schools without going through a huge process. You have to have a specific reason for being there. You have to get buzzed in, sign in and out and need to be there for a parent teacher conference, volunteering, etc. or you will not be allowed access and can go no further then the office. They will not allow you to just walk around the school and stand in the hallway.

Priscilla - posted on 10/07/2010

45

50

0

hmmm...My daughter is a second grader too, my youngest. She would cry as well. I sat down with her and talked with her asked her why she didnt want to go to school. She said a lot of the same things your son said. There were some kids making fun of her and some kids being mean. This was last year. I did have a talk with the teacher. I asked her to monitor my child at school to make sure there was no bullies. Well later I find out its cause her teacher was strict! My daughter does not like it when people are strict...she hates it. She hates going to my moms house...my moms a teacher...and she cries everytime I tell her that she has to stay there. She confuses being strict with being mean. So this year I selected ON PURPOSE...the most STRICT teacher in the school for her 2nd grade teacher. Did she cry...yes...she said to me "MOM THE TEACHER IS LIKE GRANDMA...MEAN!!!!" I said..."NO..SHES STRICT AND THATS WHAT YOU NEED!!!" Im old school..and I beleive in tough love. So I figurd out my daughter...I guess...what Im trying to say, is try to figure out your son. There has to be a reason why he doesnt want to go to school.

Amalea - posted on 10/07/2010

59

16

5

oh, Im really sorry to hear that. My son is also a second grader, and last year I had the exact same problem. turns out, his 'girlfriend' was teasng him about having to start wearing glasses last year. The teacher never heard it so she didnt know. Really try to get him to open up to you, kids are so mean sometimes, and something has to be wrong. This school years problem for me so far, is that my son wants me to tweeze his eyebrows bc someone said he has a unibrow!! he will have thicker eyebrows one day, but omg. kids are saying something to your son to upset him, teachers dont see everyting, try to find out!!!

Jane - posted on 10/06/2010

3

11

0

My son was 'doing fine' at school but displaying anxiety and lots of tears at home, also other anxiety based behaviour that displayed as aggression. Eventually we identified one of the primary causes of the anxiety as boredom. We worked with the school and eventually moved schools. My son is now flourishing. In addition we purchased a (non-shedding) dog for him - a huge help in the anxiety stakes. He confides in the dog, plays with him and is generally calmer since we got the dog. I know this last isn't an option for everyone! Hope this is helpful.

Stacey - posted on 10/06/2010

7

12

0

When i was in Grade 3 i cried every time my mum dropped me off for 3 weeks. i was so scared about how "hard" the work would be. i never did this in yr 1 or 2. i had terrible homesickness until yr 10 because the situation wasn't addressed. i would suggest making sure he is coping with the school work, ask him about who his friends are (maybe he doesn't have enough or someone is teasing him), spend time with him every arvo and talk about how fun school was. if he is getting too attatched to you then maybe suggest he sleep over nan and pops house once a month or a relative so he can experience some time away from you but still feel safe

Sarah - posted on 10/06/2010

8

39

0

Talk to the teacher and ask if you can bring cupcakes for the class and stay for recess just to be sure every thing is ok. That worked with both my kids. Got to see the problem at recess. One a crush another a bullie and solve the problem my self. Nothing solves problem like cupcakes with kids

Michelle - posted on 10/06/2010

10

0

2

I would suggest speaking with the school councellor. Maybe they can give you some good idea's on how to handle the situation as well as bringing it to their attention that their might be something to look into in the classroom.

Cynthia - posted on 10/06/2010

41

1

0

teachers are notoriously blind when kids dont speak up openly about a problem. try to find out what makes him so upset, no friends,pressure of school work, someone picking on him. and once you do, start documenting it, you may need your notes later as you deal with it. then begin with a meeting with the school and be firm, you have to advocate for your child!

Laura - posted on 10/05/2010

6

37

0

The teacher won't know everything. Obviously he's not fine at school. For some reason he's having a hard time. It may be a bully. I think that 2nd grade was around the time that my daughter first had isues with other kids judging her. Telling her not to be friends with this one and that she wore her hair the wrong way. Once she said that I embarrassed her by having her wear 'hello kitty' t-shirt to school...that the cool kids didn't wear those..(can you believe? Cool kids in the 2nd grade?) Who was I to judge? I remembered being a kid and wanting to fit in as well so I gave her the opportunity to choose her own clothes(within reason of course)
Anyways, something is going on. Most kids LOVE to go to school, it's a time to see friends, do you know how many friends he has or does he talk about a particular best friend? I think it's important for kids of that age to feel like they have friends at school. (YEAH YEAH I KNOW school is for learning, not socializing, but let's be real, having a good social life at school makes it easier to focus on your school work b/c they're not so focused on who doesn't like them)
Some of it may be that he just misses you alot but did he do that last year?? That is an indicator to whether this is normal for him.
I suggest giving him an open forum to say whatever he wants. like "ok tell me whatever is on your mind and no matter what, I won't think badly and you will feel better to talk about it" That usually works for my daughter, then she unloads everything that everyone said/did at school that day, that way I KNOW what is going on (according to her)
I hope that it's not anything too serious, but get involved by going to the school, talk to teachers (I have learned that the secretary knows more than you might think..she gets to see/hear things and we forget that she has the opportunity to see who's doing what. She sees everyone coming and going from that office. Thats who I always ask first if I think there's something wrong.
I hope that you son feels better soon and do whatever you can to find out why he's so anxious about school.
Best of luck

Joanna - posted on 10/05/2010

1

0

0

I know how you feel my 7 yr old is crying too, plus he having lots o f aniexties at school. I'm really frustated myself cause i don;t know how too help him

Patricia - posted on 10/05/2010

28

23

1

Ask him why his so upset about school..ask the teacher to sit in the class room all day and observe him ..my be that will give you a outlook on why he dislikes school..good luck and god bless

Heidi - posted on 10/05/2010

1

9

0

My 7 yr. old daughter does the same thing. I started telling her that if she doesn't cry in the morning or at school, she'd get a $1.00 a day. This was her incentive for not crying. So far so good!! She loves getting her money and I love her being able to leave in the morning without tears. Try giving him things he likes as an incentive for not crying.. It might work out for him :) Good luck!!

Erin - posted on 10/04/2010

5

23

0

Well in my experience it can be a way to get attention or it may be something is happening at school that is making him dread going. My son no longer rides the bus home in the afternoons because he was always upset about the ride home. I discovered that he was being bullied and even after talking to the bus driver and the principle it continued and even got worse. He now rides home as a car rider and we have not had any more crying spells or fits over the afternoon ride.

Angie - posted on 10/04/2010

2,621

0

406

Check for yourself to make sure his is doing well at school. Drop him off, drive around the block and wait for 30 minutes. Then go into the school and stand outside his classroom door where he can't see you. If he really is doing well at school don't react to his tears and pleas in the morning. Because you will know that he is doing well at school, he's just playing you. As soon as he realizes he's not going to get the attention he's looking for, he'll stop. On the other hand, if you find that he is not doing well at school, make an appointment with the teacher and let her know what your found. You may also consider something I rarely think is necessary, go speak with the principal.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms