T.K. asks from Addison, IL on August 29, 2008
2Nd Grade Son Having a Hard Time Going Back to School
My son just started 2nd grade. The entire summer he was home with his little brother and dad. He has always been really outgoing. This week he started school and is having a really hard time with it. The 1st day was a half a day and they had an assembely he got so nervous that he had went to the nurse with a bad stomach ache and he had to be picked up early from school. The 2nd day he was ok standing in line waiting to go into the school once the doors opened he ran to his dad and was crying saying that he didn't want to go. The teacher ended up bringing him into school. He sat in the office for half of the day and ended up back in his class and was fine. I tried talking to him about this. He told me that he really misses his dad and brother during the day.Can someone please give me some advise on how to cope with going back to school and having fun??
G.H. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
S.W. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
My daughter has had similiar problems every year since kindergarten. She's going into 4th grade this year. Must be something about 2nd grade, she had the WORST time that year. She wouldn't get on the bus to go to school, wouldn't get out of the van when I had to then bring her, was a "frequent flyer" at the nurse, wouldn't want to be in class, once yelled at the top of her voice to the teacher that she wanted to go home, on and on it went. It got bad...she ended up being so out of control she was hospitalized at a behavioral health hospital for 2 weeks inpatient and 2 weeks outpatient. I tell this so you know that I KNOW where you are coming from. Most important thing: daily communication with teacher right now. Call the teacher and discuss the situation. Things that worked for us: start small with earning priviliges. If he has a GREAT day at school (you know this because teacher sends home a post it note w/ a smily face or some other quick type communication) then the next day, choose a reward that involves school: he gets a ride to/from school instead of the bus (we only do rides home, otherwise you have the battle of not wanting to get out of mom's car to go to school), mom or dad going in to eat lunch w/ your son (this again, requires separation at school which is a potential disaster. I'd save this for a few weeks or whenever he is doing great w/ coping several days in a row.) After a few days of good days and daily or every other day rewards, start spacing out the rewards to be once a week. Also, I had a treat bag, each day that was a good day (per the teacher, not your son) my daughter was given something from a special bag I had (dollar store stuff, garage sale finds, etc) Of course there's doing a chart with a sticker for each day. After a great week each day M-F, we might do something special as a reward, trip to get ice cream, etc. Communication w/ teacher is critical! My daughter is doing MUCH better now! She starts school next week. What we do to help get her acclimated is have her go in and help the teacher before school starts. It is billed as "your new teacher called and asked if you'd like to help her in the room, etc. This helps her to build a relationship with teacher ahead of time which is huge. Think about that for next year! Or even, just maybe see if your son could stay after school 1 day to spend some time helping, it may really help him to get comfortable w/ room and teacher when he's there w/o class. Best of luck, I've been there, I feel your pain! Hope my suggestions help!
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M.K. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
I work as a receptionist at a school. We have a few kids like this every once in a while. It seems to help if the parent(s) give the child something small: a picture of themselves, family picture, or special trinket that will fit in their pocket or backpack that the child can take out when necessary. Involving the teacher in the situation is always best. Your school may also have a 'special services' teacher, like ours does, that handles things like this. Check it out. They do their best to help the child without having to call home. Some teachers and parents think that if the child calls home just to hear their parent's voice it will help. This has always backfired! I don't recommend the child calling home.
L.S. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
Hi T., I can be hard to start the new school year. Can your husband meet your son for lunch and sit with him? I have done with my son and he looks forward to me coming there at lunch. Maybe one time a week and then maybe only once in a while. If your not opposed to bringing in McDonald's or his favorite lunch that may help. It gives him something too look forward to in the day and he know's that dad is thinking aboout him while he 's at school. Has anyone at school been teasing or giving him a hard time? We have had some problems with that ourselves, talk to him and know that you are there for him.
I have a 10yr old and a 6 yr old sons. I am a SAHM with a hard working husband very involved with the boys.
L.J. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
I would recommend doing something special after he gets home from school. Maybe a trip to the library or to get ice cream or a walk to the playground.
S.W. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
why not give him a picture of his dad and brother he can keep in his folder or locker? I think most kids just have a hard time readjusting after being off for the summer. Also, make sure he is getting enough sleep- if you have to wake your kids in the morning they are not getting enough rest.
A.T. answers from Chicago on August 29, 2008
Poor little guy. My daughter had a little difficulty last year but no place near as much. We gave her a key chain with a picture of her and Daddy that she carried in her backpack. She could look at it when she was sad. I also made sure she had a note or message everyday in her lunchbox so she had something to look forward to. That's really all I have but maybe they might help.
D.S. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
I know that your heart is breaking to see him suffering this way. Why don't you take him to buy one of those small photo albums (let him choose it) and then together fill it with pictures of dad and brothers(and you) and let him keep it in his backpack or desk or wherever he needs it.Then he can look at it when he is sad. Or have dad put a note in his lunch. If you talk/email his teacher and explain it, she should not have a problem at all and may be able to offer some more ideas.
P.H. answers from Chicago on August 30, 2008
There's a little book called, The Kissing Hand. In it the mommmy spreads her child's hand out flat and kisses her palm, then folds the child's fingers back into the palm and tells her to open up her hand and touch her cheek with the kissed part during the school day any time she gets lonely.