Any suggestions on getting a kid to go to Kindergarten when he refuses to? Never been real social.

Heidi - posted on 07/13/2010 ( 42 moms have responded )

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My sons never been one to be around people he doesn't know unless someone he knows is with him. But that doesn't guarantee he will talk to them. Definetly doesn't like staying with people he doesn't know. Haven't had him with babysitters he really doesn't know other than family. He's my first and I'm also scared to send him off. I've been a stay at home mom so there wasn't much reason to have people he didn't know watch him. He is okay after he gets to know you but that can take a couple of times being around you.

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Jane - posted on 07/23/2010

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The only one of my kids who literally refused to attend kindergarten was my 6th son, Jordan. He is autistic, we just got the diagnosis. What helped him get through kindergarten, though, was that we met the teacher beforehand, and I stayed as a classroom helper the first week. After that, we agreed that if I walked him to school and picked him up afterward, that would be enough.

He still spent most of the year sitting on his carpet square, spinning in the corner, but at least he got there. And he did manage to learn quite a bit.

The adjustment is hard for everyone, but I'm sure he'll make it. So will you, after the tears. :)

Elanor - posted on 07/23/2010

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That is all perfectly normal. How old is he?
Look at us as natural animals, we are pack animals. So our young should only be with those they feel comfortable with, and know.
I would be more worried if he was happy to go off with just anyone.
My son, is 5 and I wouldn't leave him with someone he didn't know or feel comfortable with. he goes to school (and isn't overly impressed) but they are good, and phone to tell me he's fine.
You are doing just fine. We don't have babies just to hand them over.

Carla - posted on 07/23/2010

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Sherri, I find that approach at school appalling! 4 and 5 y/o are naturally attached to their parent, and to snatch them out of the car without a kiss and an 'I love you' is inhuman.

I remember the homework, and the feeling of absolute hopelessness. There was NO 'me' time, it was homework, homework, homework. I hope 'education' is worth losing our childhood over.

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Danielle - posted on 08/10/2010

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I'm surprised that your school doesn't have an open house! That way they know where their classroom is and they get to meet their teacher. Plus they find out where the gym, cafeteria, and library is. My son's school district does that!

Elanor - posted on 07/24/2010

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Just another thought. We always used to race my little one to the window for a case. He was always fine when he was at nursery/ school - he just hates saying bye - it's a transition. Plus they feel safe when they are with you. (Esp with ASD)
The other the we have done have sent him ust something to cuddle when he feels lost. I guess he's 5 now, and probably makes a fuss 1-2 times out of 5. (He's not as bad when his Dad takes him, I think he knows how to push my buttons more)
Aww good luck, and I'm sure you will find a way that will work for you guys. Demand that it be gentle, if that is best for your child.

Eugenie - posted on 07/23/2010

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Oh Sherri, taking the kids from the car - you can't get out and hug them sounds so cold. Maybe that's a part of children's safety procedure but I would feel very badly nonetheless. I cannot imagine a child going there for the first time!

I was allowed to stay with my son until he got adjusted - about a week - it was a private school, maybe that's why I could. He is now in public school, but I just thought that he would merge better in a private school.

Hopefully, adjusting will be easy on your son Heidi. All the best!

Heidi - posted on 07/23/2010

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Sherri & Eugene I like the ideas. thanks. I wish it was as easy as gradually leaving him for longer & longer periods of time but it's not allowed. We are allowed to take them into school for about the first week but they don't want us to stay more than 5 minutes, if even that. They want us to get out of their quickly and not linger. but that's only for the kindergarteners. My others would only be allowed to get out of the car and those on duty are responsible for making sure they get inside(which I don't like.) And thankfully don't have to worry about except every now and then. They ride the bus and are not allowed to get off the bus until it is time to go inside. Still not to keen on the idea that they are trusted to get inside. Know though if they didn't appear in class that I would get a call about an hour into the school day because they were absent from class. I'm trying to figure out how to get him to go onto the bus and stay and not try to get off. It's the place I'm most worried about because of all the roads. The school sits pretty far back from the road and I'm pretty confident that he wouldn't get very far before someone caught him. It's just what will he do once the teacher turns their back on him. Will he dart out of the class(like he's said he will do)? He says the same thing about the bus? so any suggestions on those would be greatly appreciated. thanks

Elanor - posted on 07/23/2010

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Also I agree with Jane, my son is Autistic, he has ASpregers. So that may be why parting is hard for him.

Sherri - posted on 07/23/2010

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@Carla Eh it isn't as bad as it sounds no different then putting them on a bus. We just did our goodbyes while we were waiting in line for our turn to drop off. Actually is easier for children to leave you then parents to leave there children. So when they step out of the car they do it freely and actually never saw a child crying or upset for both of my older kids first days of kindergarten. They are a year apart. They were so ready. I am sending my 4yr old to preschool this year so he will be more than ready next year for kindergarten as well.

Janet - posted on 07/23/2010

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I had the same problem when I sent my boys to pre-school. After a few days, they are having so much fun with the other kids, you'll wonder why you were so worried. Does he know any other kids that will be in his kindergarten class? Maybe you can arrange for a few playdates with the other kids. At the first playdate, have it at your house. When you have a playdate at another house, the first time, you may have to stay, but I suggest leaving for a few minutes, even if it's just into a different room. Eventually make the time that you leave a little longer each time. He'll realize that you always come back. When the school year starts, just try to relax, and don't let him see the stress on your face. Keep it positive, and tell him he'll have fun and make lots of friends. Kindergarten teachers know what to expect, and how to handle it. He'll probably do a lot better than you think!

Sherri - posted on 07/22/2010

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Just be careful because I know in our district it is not allowed to have anyone to be able to stay with your child. Actually you must drop them at the door. They take children out of your car and you drive away you are not allowed to get out of your car to even give hugs and kisses good bye.

Eugenie - posted on 07/22/2010

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Heidi, it will be difficult at first - I suggest you arrange for someone he knows to be with him in class for a few days. The first day the designated person would stay in the class all day and then gradually disappear for a few minutes the next day, then a few more minutes the following day, then an hour and so on until he becomes acquainted with some of the children and is settled. It will take some time and effort but he will adjust.

All the best!!!

Sherri - posted on 07/22/2010

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My kids aren't choosing not to do classwork and bring it home. This is what is strictly assigned for homework every single evening. I know as the parents get e-mails everyday with the daily homework assignments. My 7th grader last year averaged 10 pages of just math homework every night and that didn't include his 4 other core classes that he had homework for every night as well. This didn't include any large projects, book reports or other large assignments due.

Heidi - posted on 07/22/2010

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I agree with you Carla. I really feel for all the babysitter & other caretakers out there that have 2 deal with this. Sometimes I think the kids have too much homework and then other times(when I realize my kids not where their supposed to be) makes me wonder if their giving them enough. I know it at least seems like a lot for young kids but I guess its not. I know last year seemed like an awful lot because my daughter decided to not do the work she was supposed to do in class so she'd have to bring it home and do it on top of the 1-3 other things that night. And with her playing around at home it made it seem like it took forever. But with the other daughter she used to do her homework quickly and hardly ever had to bring something home. Now that she's older it seems like she's getting to that stage where her mind wanders more than it stays on tasks. Just hoping that this one doesn't play around. Waiting till the time where they can pretty much do their homework on their own with little to no help.

Crystal - posted on 07/21/2010

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My son was the same way, hasn't been around much people other than family to watch him. But, he is very social when we go to parks and play areas, makes friends easily. I was afraid that he would be scared to attend Kinder, ya know, it being the first time away from me (didn't go to Preschool). So, I signed him up for a "Summer camp" at our local children's museum for a week - it was half days every morning. HE LOVED IT! He did soooo good. I was so amazed and surprised. he even misses it now that its over! If you still have time before school, I would definitely look into somewhere safe and fun that you can drop him off for learning and playtime, or do a class through your Parks and Rec in your town that he can participate in while you watch. :) Its up to you to get them involved, they don't know what's out there until you give them that exposure. Our son has done soccer, golf, t-ball, and karate. We started him at age 3.5. Best of luck!

Heidi - posted on 07/21/2010

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Yeah I feel the same way. It's like I'm in school and not them. I remember when there was hardly any homework(when I was in school.) Now's it like they do the teaching in school but send home tons of work & then don't explain it or send any instructions so we have to try to figure it out and hope we explained it the right way. I think my least fav phrase is "that's not how my teacher showed me to do it." I feel like the whole school year that all I do all evening is help the kids so hopefully I got anything else I needed to do done earlier in the day and hopefully there's not something that we have to go do that evening.

Sherri - posted on 07/21/2010

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No I don't think they are pushed to hard. My kids have one of the best educations in the country. So I love that they are going to have a step up when it comes to furthering there educations when they are older. However, I do wish school I had maybe an extra hour a day with them.

Carla - posted on 07/21/2010

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I'm a little concerned over all the home work little ones have! Are they pushing the kids too hard? Everyone is yelling because American children are over-weight, but then load them down with homework, so they can't go out and play! What a vicious circle! Maybe a little talk at PTO would be in order. Not to mention other parents who's spouse works nights or is otherwise unavailable to help spell off with the homework help. When grade schoolers have all this homework, something isn't right.

Sherri - posted on 07/20/2010

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Yeah it is the same here Heidi. I think sometimes the parents have just as much homework as the kids. We need to sign off on everything, do flashcards nightly and sign for that. It is sooo much. For 10mo's out of the year I feel like I hardly even get to see my older two :(

Heidi - posted on 07/20/2010

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I'm trying not to act nervous but it is a little hard. We, along with his sisters have talked to him. He's cool about it when we talk & even comes and is excited with it. It's more of actually having to do it that I think will be the problem. Cause that is always the problem when we do something he hasn't done before. If only he was like my other children and wanted to go. Not telling me he's not going to go. Guess I should've realized this would happen when he was born cause he would hardly go to anyone else(even his father) much.

Heidi - posted on 07/20/2010

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We will be doing the open house but I'm unsure it will help. I wish that it was as easy as him meeting them and then being able to stay with them. I also won't be picking him up he will be riding the bus with his sisters(or at least I hope he will). thanks for the advice

Heidi - posted on 07/20/2010

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i would set up a play date but all of my friends kids are either older than him or younger. And living out in the country most of my neighbors are older and the ones that aren't have kids that are older or we just don't know them. but thanks for the suggestion.

Heidi - posted on 07/20/2010

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that sounds just like my school. And they don't get out of homework in kindergarten. The more u need to practice something the more work you have to bring home. I hate that my kids basically get to do nothing from the time they come home but homework, except on those rare occasions where they don't have much or have none. But I have to make sure it gets done. And I'm the only one to help(except on the rare occasion where my husband has a day off during the week and will help), otherwise I'm stucking helping each kid which can also take away from how long I have 2 help the other if one is having to many probs.

Chanese - posted on 07/20/2010

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Have you tried, setting up a play date with another parent with a child the same age?

Tiffany - posted on 07/19/2010

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Find some books that talk about going to kindergarten and feelings of being scared. Sometimes the best way to show a child that it is okay to be scared and kindergarten if fun can help them work through their feelings. I would also let him know that you will be back as soon is school is over to pick him up. Also make sure if there is any open house to attend w/ your child so he can see the teacher and maybe take some pics of the teacher and the classroom and hang them up some where that he can look at so he will become familiar w/his surroundings. I would also ask the teacher if she would mind doing a home visit before school starts just so your son can remember what his teacher looks and sounds like.

Angie - posted on 07/19/2010

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Make him excited about school. Talk it up - new friends, learning to read, the playground. Take him to the school playground if possible and let him play and tell him that he won't be able to go back and play until school starts. Take him on a shopping trip and let him pick out his school supplies, backpack, lunch box. Talk about what he'll have for lunch and make it before hand to let him try them out - make them special and not something he would normally eat at home. Then take him to his classroom and walk away. If you act nervous he won't trust his teacher and it'll take him longer to adjust. He'll be fine - it's just going to take time. Good luck!

Sherri - posted on 07/19/2010

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Yeah we are in the US Sylvia. My kids average anywhere from 2-4hrs of homework every single day (beginning by 5th grade 1-2hrs from 2nd-4th grade). They don't get home till 4pm so they get off bus do homework until dinner. Eat and do homework till around 8pm. They get 1/2hr of free time before bed and then off to school the next morning. Our kids are worked incredibly hard.



We don't have junior or senior kindergarten either. Our public school just has kindergarten, then 1st etc to 12th grade. Before kindergarten it is called preschool and those are all private and can be quite pricey.

Sylvia - posted on 07/19/2010

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Just to clarify, JK/SK in Ontario (where I live) does have curriculum expectations, and they do do some academic stuff (I think they have to be able to recognize their ABCs and numbers up to 20 by the end of JK, and maybe know some sight words by the end of SK? I'm not sure -- my DD is going into Grade 3 and she's an only child, so I'm looking forward more than back IYKWIM). I just meant that JK/SK has more learning-through-play and less learning-through-worksheets :P than subsequent grades. I'm sorry to hear that this is no longer the case everywhere :(

We are lucky in our school, though, in some ways -- it's an arts-based curriculum school, which means they make an effort to incorporate lots of arts activities and to teach other subject matter through the arts if possible, and DD has had some really lovely teachers -- creative, energetic, affectionate and enthusiastic. Our school district also recently adopted a policy of minimizing homework in the elementary grades, which I am VERY thankful for.

Heidi - posted on 07/19/2010

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Our school won't let us hang around for more than a few minutesw when after it starts but thanks for the idea. I think he will be fine after he gets to school and get doing things. I'm more worried about getting him on the bus. Granted his two bigger sisters ride but when he doesn't wanna do something he just won't. Hoping it doesn't come down to homeschooling cause I know I'm not ready for that and don't have the patience to do that. But luckily my mother in law knows all about it since she did it with her kids. Thanks you all.

Heidi - posted on 07/19/2010

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I wanna go to Sylvia's school too. Ours is pretty much learning. I think he'd be fine if it was only a half a day but 2yrs ago they implemented all day everyday kindergarten. I looked into preschools but around here they are just way to expensive & my hubby made 2 much for reduced or free prices

Heidi - posted on 07/19/2010

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NO Playgroups. wished I would've thought about that sooner. Though I don't know anyone with kids his age & he's not one for getting into sports. & he's just recently got comfortable w/staying with his grandparents for a few. And he's only stayed overnight a few times because he won't except when he's had to because I've been out of state with his dad and he has no other option.

[deleted account]

My son is much like yours--my only and I am a SAHM. He will start kindy this fall so we've been trying to prepare. First I started leaving during his Taekwondo classes. He is pretty comfortable there & class is only 1 hour, but I've always stayed. First week, I just stepped outside the door, so he could see me if he looked, The second week, I actually left.
The other thing I did was sign him up for Vacation Bible School. It was Mon-Fri for one week, 3 hours a day. He loved it. He was nervous the first day, but as soon as I left he was great & raved about all the fun he had every day when I picked him up!
Do you have him in any play groups? A few of my son's friends are starting school this fall as well, and although none will be in his class, it seems to help him to know he is not the only one.

Sherri - posted on 07/17/2010

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Sylvia I want to go to your child's school it sounds like a dream. Our school is all about education we are ranked 4th in the state out of 231 school systems. We do have books but no toys. They are there to pretty much strictly learn. In 2 1/2 hrs they have snack, recess, a book time and the rest of the time is learning time. All of our kids must be able to read 100 specific words, count to 99, count backwards from 28, count by 2's to 28, Count by 5's to 100, counts 31 objects or more, represents numbers using bundles of 10's by 1's, reads and writes numbers to 100, solves number stories, & reads & interprets graphs, compares & orders numbers from 0 to 20 & higher. All of these things need to be achieved in order for them to be promoted to 1st grade. Plus our playground has one climbing playground structure and some swings, they are able to do hula hoop, basketball, wall ball or jump rope to though.

We have art and library once a week. We definitely don't have play dough, water play or anything fun like that, no slides, no ziplines, no merry go rounds, no blocks.

Sylvia - posted on 07/17/2010

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Well, he can't not go to school. (Unless you're planning on homeschooling, I guess ... I'm not a fan myself, but I know a lot of people do swear by it.)

Well, if I were you I'd start by spending a lot of time this summer at the park, where he'll eventually have to start interacting with the other kids.

And you need to do your best not to be "scared to send him off", because kids are very sensitive to that kind of thing and you don't want to make this harder for him than it has to be.

Honestly, there's nothing for you to be scared of. Millions of kids start kindergarten in North America every September and nothing terrible happens. Sure, it can take some getting used to ... but they do get used to it -- as long as mum isn't lurking in the background being terrified.

Most schools have some kind of transition for entering kindergarten students -- at my DD's school they schedule small groups of kids for an hour at a time for the first 2 days (Tuesday and Wednesday), and then on the Thursday they start having all the kids for the full 2.5 hours or whatever it is. That way the kids can get to know the teacher and the classroom a little bit before the full-on school experience starts -- they can be confident they know where the washroom and the drinking fountains are, which classroom and which teacher they belong to, etc.

DD was very worried about starting SK (she didn't go to JK because we moved to a new neighbourhood in the middle of that year), because she had spent 4 years at the same daycare with mostly the same kids, and starting over was kind of scary. DH and I both work full-time (obviously) so we tried to ease the transition by having her start at the new daycare (which runs full-time in the summer and before and after school from September-June) in the middle of August, so she was there for 2 weeks getting to know some of the kids before school actually started. I'm not gonna lie, the first week was tough -- she did really well all day, but there were several total meltdowns on the way to the bus stop when I picked her up in the afternoon. But it really was only the first couple of weeks, and she ended up loving kindergarten, making new friends (she's not the social butterfly type either; she tends to have just 2 or 3 good friends that she constantly hangs out with, although she gets along well with almost everybody), and really liking school.

New people, especially a bunch of them at once, is hard when you're shy. I know this well because I'm extremely shy myself. But, like it or not, meeting new people and getting along in social situations are things everyone has to do in order to get through life. Sometimes you just have to do things you don't enjoy very much -- and sometimes they do turn out better than you expected.

What does your DS like to do? Kindergarten is all about learning through play, learning to get along with others, learning what school is about and how you act while you're there. It's not sitting in desks in rows for hours and hours and being whacked with a ruler if you don't get the right answer. If he loves stories, then you can point out that in school the teacher will read lots of stories, the classroom will have lots of books, and kindergarten is when he'll get to start learning how letters go together to make words, so in a couple of years he'll be able to read stories to himself. If he likes running and climbing and jumping off things, walk over to the school together and show him all the cool playground equipment he'll get to use at recess. (Although where I live, all the really cool playground equipment -- the swings, the really tall slides, the ziplines, the merry-go-rounds, the teeter-totters -- has been banned from elementary-school playgrounds as "too dangerous", which sucks.) If he likes making art and messes ;^), tell him about the painting and drawing and playdough and water play and so on that goes on in kindergarten. If he likes building stuff, tell him about the really cool blocks and building toys they have in kindergarten. And so on.

Cynthia - posted on 07/16/2010

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Heidi,
I have to say first that you are a wonderful Mom! Your son and you will conquer this. Here are a couple things that worked for me and may or may not work for you but I thought I'd throw them out there for ya. I know bribery is not a good thing but call it a reward and it is ok. Find something that your son would love to have (something small a toy or a meal/snack for example) that you can offer for trying something new. My son loves gummy worms but we don't have them often at all so they are a major treat. If he's been having a few bad days I will sometimes pick some up and if he has a day that he really tried he gets a couple, if it was another rough day I have to say sorry but you can try again tomorrow. Also, I have noticed that when I drop him off the longer I linger around the harder it seems to be on him. If you can make it quick that might be easier on him. My son tended to be fine about 2 minutes after I was gone. Another option might be to meet up with another child before school starts for a few play dates with a to be classmate of his so he has a familiar friend on day one. Just a couple of thoughts I wish you the best.

Marisela - posted on 07/16/2010

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maybe enrolling your child at a daycare or private school partime (2 days) for a short time will help him adjust better around children and wont be so freak out, when it's time to start school with a large amount of children and at the same time will get to know what teachers and caregivers are about. You would be surprise how our children behave around others sometimes even better behaved then when their with us.It's us moms that don't want to let go and our children sense it.Your son well do just find and remember mom keep your child always in prayer. God Bless Marcie

Brenda - posted on 07/15/2010

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To Heidi...I am sure you are a wonderful mother. Your little man will adjust. Ask the teacher about being a parent volunteer. Dont let wnyone attack you. I have 2 and my youngest starts kindergarten next week. It never gets easier. He is still your baby. Let me know how it goes.

Sherri - posted on 07/15/2010

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Our kindergarten is only 2 1/2hrs so if you have one child that is crying and carrying on it is a problem for all the other 18 kids that are there to learn and can't due to the child screaming for his mom.

Heather - posted on 07/15/2010

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I disagree with the previous posting by Sherri, it is not a blame game about what you should of done to prepare your child. Each child is different. It doesn't matter if there are 19 other students the teacher should care for all kids in the class, that is why at Kindy and Pre-primary level schools have one or two assistant teachers in the class.

My child had been to day-care before starting Kindy and pre-school and found Kindy and pre-school quite difficult, even though she was a very social butterfly. The pace at school is more intense and for us it got worse after they cut out rest time.

I spoke to my childs teacher and arranged for her to have a longer rest time. There were in-fact several other parents who spoke to the teacher regarding the same thing. She now loves going to school.

Each child's issue can be different, so talk to the teacher as they have most likely dealt with the whole range of issues before, whether it be your child is suffering separation anxiety, tiredness, or other. Open communication with your childs teacher is the key. I felt bad the first few weeks my children went to day-care and the centre staff had me telephone them once I had got to work, and my children only carried on, until they realized, I was no longer there and there was no point.

Open communication is the key!

Brenda - posted on 07/14/2010

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I just saw this. My son starts Kindergarten next week. I just keep psyching him up. It also helps that he has a big sister. Good luck.

Carla - posted on 07/14/2010

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A lot of children go through this, honey, and they all survive. Kids hanging on Mom's leg, screaming 'don't go, Mommy!' It's heartbreaking. However, human nature takes over in a day or two, and he will be having the time of his life with the other kids.

Have you thought of taking him to a day care center for a day or two before he actually has to go? Maybe break him in gradually to what's to come. If he is really, really upset about going, you might want to think about homeschooling him. A lot of mothers are doing it, and with the internet, there are communities out there to hook up with for ideas and interraction.

Good luck, honey, God bless.

Kerry - posted on 07/13/2010

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You could talk to the Kindy and see if they will let you stay for awhile, you could join in with him then gradually exclude yourself from his activites and watch from a distance, he may want to leave with you at first but after some time you might find that he is happy to let you go with the knowledge that you'll come back for him.

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