Crying at school wont leave mom

Leslie - posted on 09/11/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi ladies my daughter is 6 and is having bad bad seperation anxiety this year she just started first grade and she is crying hysterically. I know its different then kindergarden andpre k but i dont know what to do it breaks my heart to have her ripped out of my arms and to leave her crying. I know its for the best but i just dont understand why its so bad this year. I am a stay at home mom so i know its hard for her but this is her 3rd year. She swears school is longer this year lol i think its because shes not playing as much as she did prior years and has to do more work. I hope this stops cuz mama feels horrible anyone else having this isse????

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Priscille - posted on 09/11/2015

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Hi Leslie,

My son never went as far as crying and clinging, but for more than a year it was difficult for him to go to school and every morning drop off would be difficult.

Today, 2 years later, he loves school and is happy to be at school. He even takes the bus alone every morning that drops him off at school. So take heart in the fact that it will not last :)

Here is a little technique that I use with children that works wonders: First try to understand what really is going on. (Thinking that it is the reduced play time is your interpretation, it may be the reason, but it may not). Pick a moment where you are both relaxed and having a good time and ask her "I've noticed that it was difficult for you to start school every morning, what's up?" Don't make any suggestions, just ask plenty of questions and help her articulate what is bothering her. I promise you that even at 6, they can do that pretty well when given the opportunity. Then, once you've understood what is really bothering her, and only then, voice out your own concerns. Something along the lines of 'I understand that for you it's difficult to go to school because you don't want to leave mummy, the school day is long and you feel that the teacher don't like you (improvising here, just fill in with whatever her concerns are) but I am also concerned that if you don't ever like to go to school it will be very difficult for you to learn things and I'm concerned that you are not going to be very happy.' And then ask her what could be done about it: "So, what could we do to make sure that you can get to school more easily, get to learn some interesting stuff, make sure that your teacher likes you and help the day feel shorter?" Let her come up with some solutions first and then pitch in and suggest some things to. Just the process of brainstorming that way empowers children in not feeling so helpless when facing their intense emotions. And I promise you, even at 6, children can come up with some pretty amazing things. May be you'll even find a morning routine together that could reassure her or help her out.

(To give credit where credit is due, this technique comes from Dr Ross Greene and I've found it really helpful in many similar situations)

Hope that helps!

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