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Go Back Forums > Parenting > Ages & Stages > Elementary Aged Kids

Elementary Aged Kids Your little ones have grown up right before your eyes! They are no longer those little babies they once were, and soon they are moving to adolescence.

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Old 10-03-2006, 10:46 PM
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Sad face Leaving son crying at preschool

My son just turned four on the 30th and he also just started preschool. He really didn't want to go to play school and to get him to stay I stayed with him the first day and ended up staying for the next three times as well. I left once to go to the washroom and I came back and he was sitting in the corner really quiet and crying because he had looked up and I was gone. I feel horrible but my husband and my mom both are telling me that I need to just leave him there and tell him that even if he cries I will still leave but I will be back to get him in a little while. They think that I need to let him 'grow up' and learn to look after himself. He had the same troubles when I signed him up for soccer this summer. He wouldn't go and play unless me or my mom went out with him. I am also worried a bit about the preschool teacher. She was unfair to him twice while playing a game while I was there. The kids who wanted a turn all were pushy and just took it but when I told my son to do the same, she told him to stay and that she would pick the kids this time and then did not give him a turn. Not all of the kids had a turn, but none had actually asked like he did. She did the same thing the next time. I have also seen her completely brush him off when he tried to get her attention to show her something a couple of times. I know that she does not want me to stay there with him, but now I am worried that she will not be nice to my son. I get the impression from her that she thinks that it is unfair to the rest of the kids for my son to have his Mommy there with him every time. But the other kids aren't scared to be left alone there. They play and get along fine while my son won't play with any of the kids even with me there he plays by himself.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to make this easier for him and for me? I feel so guilty at the thought of leaving him crying. I know he needs this, he has to learn to socialize with other kids.. He has told me himself that he just doesn't like playing with kids, he likes adults.
I really need some help with this please!
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:19 PM
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HI aurora8202, Welcome to the world of hard knocks and tough parenting!! My chn (now 28 & 26) were happy to be left, but many kids I know of were not. One strategy that I have seen work is quite simple but nevertheless effective. One mum I know used to kiss her son's hands when she kissed him, and ask him to pop those kisses into his pocket. When he felt sad or just needed to know mum was still supporting him, he was tio take a kiss out and put it onto his face. Sounds so easy, worked like a charm. Another method I have seen work is the mum gave the child a 'spare' car key and promised she would come back - after all, he had her key, how far could she go?
The teacher is probably wanting to help you both make the break. As an ex-teacher I can understand where she is coming from too.
Try to reassure your little one that it is ok to be sad but that you will come back. You coud tell him it makes you sad too, but that you will try not to cry either. Sometimes if your mum or husband could help out by taking him that may also help.
Hope it all eases for you. And don't feel guilty. Believe me, it is normal and natural to have these hiccups.
God bless,
(Lynne - praying for )

"Love people, not things.
Use things, not people"
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:34 AM
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I know it is hard to leave him iv been there my dd droped out of prek because she hated taking the nap and she wasnt happy but when she went into kindergarden at 5 she did great i see little ones all the time crying like your son and have seen it with my own eys that when the parents do leave them crying thay do fine after a few min and when thay figure out you will be back there fine try it a couple times and if he still crys maybe he just isnt ready this yr and will be more ready for kindergarden i hope it gets better its so hard to leave them crying and the teacher Im sure she will take him under her wing and help him

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Old 10-04-2006, 08:43 AM
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I've been there with DD2. Unfortunatly there are no easy answers or at least ones you will both like. It is probably best to leave you son at preschool and let him work it out. Trying some of the suggestions that hemlynne had( or coming up with some of your own) may help him feel more secure. It might take a while for him to feel secure without you. I am pretty sure the teacher probably wasn't happy that you stayed and that probably caused her to act like she did. Maybe if you talk to her and tell her that you need her help it will help her feel better about the situation.
Please don't feel guilty, you are doing what is best for your son as he will have to start dealing with other kids now that he is school age.
DD2, who once cried everyday when I put her on the bus and never liked to go away from home is now 14 and hardly ever home and on the phone to her many friends when she is.
Good Luck it won't be easy.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:32 AM
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Aurora I have been lucky with my 3 children and they have all adjusted well to leaving home and going to school and other activities. I do watch kids from home though and worked in daycare before that. I have to say that I have had children who have cried and usually as others have stated the crying stops 5 minutes if not sooner after the parent has left. I will tell you from experience that for me the parents who have asked to stay only prolong the inevitable. They are going to cry because they can and they know it makes you feel guilty. That is why most stop once the parents are out of sight. Now that being said there are some kids who just can not handle being away yet. Especially preschool. Some develop socially a little slower. I would say discuss your fears with the teacher outside of your childs hearing. Ask her to let you know if he continues all day or if he stops. If after one to three week he is still crying then you need to look at his unhappiness. Maybe he could bring a small piece of a favorite blanket in his pocket or a picture of you to look at when he feels blue. Maybe you could ask the teacher if he could make you a special card to let you know he misses you. I have only had one child in all my yeaars that has not adjusted and they ended up having a private sitter come to the home. After 3 weeks I let them know it was not working and I felt he would be better off with an alternative plan. I hope it gets better for the two of you

Hugs Debbie

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:51 PM
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I'm so sorry your little guy isn't adjusting too well.
My little man (who will turn 4 in exactly one month) sometimes forgets to say goodbye, he gets out so quickly. My DS only goes to pre-school 2x per week right now, but he loves it.

i know there is a little girl he adores in his class and sometimes she doesn't want to leave her mom or dad, but my son goes and comforts her and invites her to play.. I've heard that this has worked on more than one occasion.

Is there any way to have a playdate with some of the other kids/parents from his class?
Maybe get them out of the "school setting" and allow them to interact with one another...
... what catches our attention might be more than a coincidence — it might also be a potential incident of inspiration." —Wayne W. Dyer

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Old 10-13-2006, 08:38 AM
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So many good things have already been said that I can only reitterate. Most of the time when a crying child is left at preschool or daycare, the crying stops within minutes of mom or dad leaving the building. The child, as Debbie stated, knows that crying will make you feel guilty and has learned that this will get him his way. After you leave and a few minutes has passed they figure out that you aren't coming back to give him the attention he is trying for and they give up and move on to other things.

I know it makes you feel bad, that's what makes you a good mommy If you didn't feel sad when your little one cries it would make me wonder ;-)

I like the kisses in the pocket suggestion, that's very cute I also like the suggestion of speaking to the teacher and letting her know your concerns.

The only thing I am actually concerned about is my first reaction to your description of the teacher. It's possible that her actions were a reaction to you being there and "babying" him, but I would also be aware of her and if you think it's not a good fit then find another preschool.

I have four kids. All four attended two years of preschool. I never saw a preschool teacher that wasn't nice to her students. That's what concerns me. I would just be on the look out and possibly look into other locations.

However, if you DO change schools, be certain that you leave him there, don't put yourself, your child and the new teacher into the same situation you are trying to get out of now.

Chin up! You are a good mommy!
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:27 AM
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Out of 3 children I only had separation problems with the youngest (now 30 yrs old), he just didn't like school and never did learn to like it!

We talked about school before it started and I explained that I was too old to be in their class but I would be allowed to watch them for a while before I had to go home.

The week before school started I made an appointment for us to tour the class and meet the teacher. I asked her where I could stand to watch the children while they were in class. She had a parents corner, both inside and outside, for those parents who were having a hard time leaving the children.

On the 1st day of school I told them that I would leave when they told me it was ok. The 2 older children were ready for me to leave within the hour. My youngest never was ready for me to leave so I pulled him out. We tried 2 other schools and all 3 teachers agreed that he just wasn't ready.

I worried that he wouldn't be ready for kindergarten, but by that time he had matured enough that we didn't have any separation problems.

To this day I wonder if he was reacting to my problem with him, the youngest, going to school.

As a daycare provider, in my home as well as at church, the children with the hardest separation problems always did better once the parents felt more secure about leaving their child.

Is there a place where you can stand, out of sight, and listen to see how long your child cries after you have left? If so you could time his crying and see if it was getting better as he gets use to the class.

I love the kisses in the pockets idea!

Love & Prayers,
May God give you for every storm, a rainbow, for every tear, a smile, for every care, a promise, and blessing in each trial, for every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh, a sweet song, and an answer for each prayer.
~An Irish Blessing
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:14 PM
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Do you have to send your son to school? Have you considered home schooling him? A friend of mine said she screamed her head off for a week when her mom left her at school. When she realised her mother wasn't going to stay she decided to give school a chance. From that day on she cooperated. It was a control issue, she was trying to control her mom. But her mom was smarter than she was. Hang in there it will get better.
Create yourself a great day & may you be richly blessed.
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:14 PM
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My son cried the first time I left him at kindy, I had to make sure I said good bye, I explained it was like when dad went to work in the morning, I say good bye to dad and give him a kiss, so I made sure I said good bye and gave ds a kiss, by day 3 he was fine and I was the one missing him.
I think kindy is good it gives them social interaction and a start of learning how to behave with others.

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