My daughter started kindergarten approximately 2 weeks ago. The first 3-4 days she seemed to be very happy and really looked forward to going to school. On the 5th day, she came home crying and begging us not to make her go back because a little boy "cried alot" in class. Since that day, it has been a struggle to get her to go to school. Her teacher thinks this is simply a case of separation anxiety, but I am not so sure. She attended preschool for 2 years (3 hours a day) and truly loved it. Any suggestions or advice? How long does separation anxiety typically last?
ErinTM writes: I had this experience last year, in my daughter's last year of preschool. I never figured out what the issue was, but I just kept trucking along and sending her to school. Kids go through this stuff. Maybe another child's emotional out burst scared her. All I can say is this too will pass.
Advice from Schoolfamily
cmccarthy writes: Young children haven't yet developed the language necessary for telling you what's wrong, so changes in behavior is how they communicate anxieties and problems.
It sounds like your daughter is just realizing that Kindergarten is a very different experience than her preschool. She's unsure of expectations, and is missing the familiar routine of home.
Here's a trick that has effectively worked for my students having similar issues. I encourage them bring a small, framed picture of their family, mom or dad, brother or sister, family pet, or even their teddy bear to school. They keep this little memento on their desktop, and look at it whenever they are feeling sad or anxious. Often, seeing a familiar comforting face eases their stress and quickly smoothes the transition. Be sure to ask your daughter's teacher if this is acceptable.
Advice from Schoolfamily
Lisa @ School Family writes: lowens67- My kids went through something similar- despite going to preschool. You know what did the trick for us? I bought the book "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn. Such a great book -- my kids loved it and we had our own little kissing hand routine that worked wonders to end the separation anxiety! Hope this helps and that things improve soon. Not sure who it's harder on -- your child or you!
nomad writes: What I did was got a box of hearts in the craft section of the store (rubber hearts) and each morning I would and still do (1st grade now) kiss the heart in the a.m. and put it in her pocket and throughout the day if she is feeling anxious she gets the heart out and thinks of me. It really did help out last year and this year so far. She never forgets to ask for one in the a.m. and she left one for me the other day so that I would have something to remind me of her during the day, cute! :) Lots of prayer too! Good Luck Also lots of love and reassurance helps!
Lion8GC writes: Well, maybe she just got so worked up and so excited, that she diddn't know how to express herself. And maybe crying was the answer and the easyiest thing to do then tell you about it. Yes, she is a Kindergartner but these sort of things happen.
macon writes: my grandson has acted distant and pretty much ignores my husband and i when we go to have lunch with him at school. We ask if he wants us to go and he says yes but just sits there eating and wont communicate with us. we ask questions and get i word answers. help!