October 12, 2007,
N.O. asks from Rowlett, TX on October 10, 2007
6 Yr Old Won't Stop Crying When I Drop Her off at School! Don't Know What to Do!
My 6 yr old is in Kindergarten this year and is attending the same private school she did last year. She went through a small phase last year with crying when I'd drop her off at her Pre-K class but I thought she would have grown out of it by now.
She says she's just going to miss me and can't help crying. It's SO sad and breaking my heart seeing her like this but also stressing me out because I don't know what to do when she starts crying. We talk all the way to school and I try to get her to feel calm and excited about going to school but as soon as we get there, I can't even get her to walk into her classroom w/out me having to get kinda firm with her and then I feel really guilty like I was being mean at a very sad time for her!
She always has a great time at school which I feel good that she has such a good time, it's just getting her to walk right in the class w/out feeling so sad.
Any advice will be so greatly appreciated.
M.C. answers from Dallas on October 10, 2007
If you know that she is really doing fine at school and it is only due to the initial separation, then I would recommend a book called "The Kissing Hand." I read this to my daughter when she was in early elementary (recommended by one of her former/favorite teachers). I would also kiss her hand and leave a lipstick mark before she went to school. The lipstick would wear off so I went a step further and gave her a little sticky note with my "kiss" on it (put on lipstick and kissed the paper). I told her whenever she was missing me to look at the paper and know that I was giving her a kiss.
For us, it turned out that the year she was having so much trouble separating from me was due to problems with the teacher she had and it sent her into an actual depression. She's in college now, but still talks about what an awful year that was and how it affected her for years to come (and I'm not talking about abuse either).
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S. answers from Dallas on October 11, 2007
I'm so sorry you are both having such a stressfull time this year! My daughter is also 6 and started this year as well. Several things that I can think of to check.
1. Is she getting enough rest?
2. Is she eating breakfast.
3. Does she have enough time to get ready. Are mornings rushed or pressure filled? Maybe choosing clothes at night, even breakfast. so on and so forth.
4. Find out the morning routine in her classroom. Maybe there is something that just isn't jiving for her that is making her stress. Too much structure, not enough. Once you know the problem, you can work on the solution.
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J.G. answers from Dallas on October 11, 2007
My son did this last year in kindergarten. I have a younger son who was 3 at the time and I was pregnant. I work part-time but I really didn't notice a difference on the days I worked. I felt like some of it was what I missing out on at home. I did have to do an incentive chart - if you walk to class without crying (his problem was clinging to me and the teacher had to take him from me) for X number of days Mommy will come and eat lunch with you or something that just the 2 of you could spend some special time together. Eventually, my son did get better and by the spring I was able to drop him off in the car line and he walked in by himself (of course there were teachers supervising). I know how stressful this can be.
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H.H. answers from Dallas on October 11, 2007
I am dealing with the same thing and one thing that worked was going to the school when it was not in session and "practicing" walking into school from drop off to classroom door. We did it several times until my son remarked that he didn't need to practice anymore because it was so easy. I think it is harder on us then them and we have to remember they are still only 6 and won't be doing this at college. Hang in there.
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R.I. answers from Dallas on October 12, 2007
Okay here goes. I am an education major and this is what my professors have told me. You do not need to be firm with her. Since she is in kindergarten the teacher should be coming to get her from you in the morning. You being firm with her even in the slightest may be making the situation worse. Have a talk with her teacher ask if she would be willing to come out into the hall once yall arrive at the classroom and have her guide your child into the classroom. This will ease your stressing and it may also help to ease her crying. If she is use to you walking in the classroom with her she might get even more upset that you are not but this will last a short period. Another thing the teacher can do is to allow her to maybe bring her favorite stuffed animal or something to class till her fears subside. I have observed this being done in many classrooms including my sons. He started kindergarten this year and there is a little boy in his classroom who is very shy and every time his mom or dad dropped him off he would begin to cry. His parents would then lean down hug him for a min and then the teacher would come guide him into the classroom. He stopped crying when mom and dad dropped him off around the third week and now just runs into the classroom when he gets there. Your daughter maybe crying also because she is sensing your fears and stress also. So you also need to stay as calm as possible when dropping her off. I really hope this helps. If you want anymore info let me know and I will see what I can find out from my teachers.
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M.B. answers from Dallas on October 10, 2007
Is there anyway you can get your husband to drop her off? That was my solution to that problem with my younger son. Even if your words say that it's okay, she can pick up on your emotions and since you're stressed and seem unhappy about the situation, she is too. It's not anyone's fault, it's just natural that it is a stressful situation for both of you. It seems you're a highly sensitive mom with a highly sensitive daughter.
G.A. answers from Dallas on October 11, 2007
This may be for your benefit not hers. They had a tv documentation where the kids were fine with a window here they could watch and tape but as soon as parents were around the acted up. I see it in my Day Care. This one little guy cried in the mornings whent they dropped him off. Soon it was mom and dad work together. Mom stays now in the car and dad brings him in and there is no crying at all. Before when mom was there, as soon as the door was shut he quit. They would call worried about it and no problems, only did it when they could hear then quit. It is hard as parents. We want them to enjoy and be happy when we are gone and we miss them so much but then when they cry we feel sort of glad they miss us. I would do a reward for not crying. Put a smilly face on a calendar every day she does not cry and at the end of one week give her a piece of candy, or anything she would like that would motivate her. My granddaughter would not get up in the mornings for a long time. Then I started to give her a dime or anything that would motivate her. Maybe a glow star to put on the ceiling. Anything, as her what things she likes and if she got this one little thing at the end of a week that has to have all days with a smillie face. Just make sure you follow through. All sorts of things were studied by the U of W years ago when my children were young. They had children recognize something they wanted to change. Lots had stomach problems. They monitored one week every time it happened. They took a note of it on the calendar. The next week they had to do a breathing excersize then they had to put the two together every time they felt the pain start do these breathing excersizes. They were simular to what we did in child birth. They learned to set goals at the beginning of what they wanted to change, then they set goals every week and basically it taught them how to cope and how to do other things to not feel that pain. It was amazing. One nurse said that years ago she would tell her mom that she did not have friends. So they went over what to do to be a friend. If we walk down a path and think we see a snake on a limb our body reacts even if we later find out it was just a branch. So try to give her coping skills. We all need them all our lives. G. W