My Almost 3 Year Old Boy Still Cries When I Leave Him at Preschool...

Updated on March 23, 2008
R.S. asks from Medina, WA
32 answers

I am wondering if any of you still have problems with major separation anxiety at this age. We took my son to one preschool for 2 hours/day, 2 days/week to start. He cried every time I left for the first couple of months, then stopped for most days, and then started up again about the 5th month into school. We weren't happy with some of the things a his first school, so we switched to a new school, which he said he really liked after a few Friday only classes. He's been to his new school 5 times now (with a week break because we went on vacation) and he's still clinging to me as I leave, crying so hard! The teacher says he stops after a few minutes, but he tells me he doesn't want to go to school. Any advice to help him overcome his anxiety?

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone for your responses...I appreciate all of the support from those of you who provided advice and do truly understand where those of you who believe that I shouldn't have him in preschool (by the way, it's not a daycare - he's in a class with 3 to 5 year olds and there is a cirriculum) when I stay at home. However, you may have missed the part that I work part-time from home. If you've tried to do this and have a toddler at home, you know that it's almost impossible to get any work done and focus on your child's needs.

I love my son dearly and really struggled with the idea of putting him in preschool so early. We have a playgroup and we take classes, but I truly believe it's best for him to learn that I am not his only playmate, nor should I be the only adult (in addition to other adult family members) that he has a trusting relationship with, which is another reason I chose to put him in preschool. I feel that having time apart from him allows me to be a better parent, because then when I am with him, he is my sole focus.

You have all provided some really good advice and suggestions that I hadn't considered. We are fortunate to be at a school which has a great director that takes time every day to make sure my son is comfortable, but thanks to many of you, I now have some tools of my own to help too. Best wishes!

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A.F.

answers from Richland on

My oldest child had major separation anxiety as well at 3 when we started her in preschool. I'd kiss her and leave as happy as I could and she got a little better with positive reinforcement. Then the next year it was the same thing. Her first day of Kindergarten was also awful, she screamed and cried and every child and parent on the playground stared at her. It broke my heart but now she's 9 and it seems to be mostly gone. When 1st grade started there was anxiety but no tears and it was gone within a week. There hasn't been too much more since then. Eventually they will outgrow it. Just keep showing him love and no that it will get better.

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A.N.

answers from Seattle on

Hello! I really think you need to have a solid weekly set schedule with him. It sounds like he hasn't gone very much so when he does leave he is not in his routine. It is so important to have a routine so he is not confused and out of sinc. My son did this for the first day or two and then he loved preschhol. I really feel you should get him going at least 2 to 3 days consecutively is better but that will help his seperation anxiety. I promise this wiil help. Having a routine is the best answer-I promise! Amgela

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C.D.

answers from Seattle on

My name is C. D. and have owned and operated a Preschool/child care for 15 years. Generally children stop crying after parents leave and the child feels comfortable with the new environment. It is important that YOU feel safe leaving him at his new school. If you do, than you need to allow him to work through this. Do not linger at preschool. Drop him off with a kiss and say "I will be back soon." I have found some children read their parent's apprehensiveness and act accordingly. That is why if you feel safe with the preschool program he will too. Do not allow him to control whether he goes to school. I have had to work with 5 year old children who should be in kindergarten but were not ready because their parents couldn't make the "break." Kindergarten class rooms will not allow the disruption. If it is a licensed educational preschool program and you feel safe. Let him work through this. You will both learn how to deal with separation anxiety.

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T.B.

answers from Seattle on

R.,

If he / you really like the school and feel good about it, you might try an approach of letting your child know how much confidence you have in him to adapt. A few weeks of short-but-sweet and upbeat goodbyes may be the answer. It's harder on us than it is on them - no mom wants to watch their little one cry and miss them! Heck...it's almost the opposite - how great does it feel to know how much he wants YOU! But, it's a healthy transition for him to be able to make and your support of his 'readiness' can, ultimately, build his confidence. It's hard to keep focussed on the idea that they're going to leave home one day, especially when they're as young as three or four - but, that's just what we're preparing them to be able to do. To take on every challenge that they CAN meet - and meet it. All the little challenges we overcome over our lifetimes - from the earliest of ages - is what continually leads us to our greater successes in life. So, you can and should feel good about letting him work through his feelings and adapting, as life demands. And, unless there's a problem with the school or he has a particularly unique facet of his personality that will make this more challenging overall, it should turn out well. Just know, you're not alone by any means! We feel for you - best to you, T.

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H.P.

answers from Seattle on

I really can't improve on the advice of Kathleen W. but I will tell you that I have two beautiful homeschooled daughters who LOVE learning and are very well behaved, social with all age groups and can occupy themselves very well while I am attending to other tasks around the house. Neither of them was ready to be away from me with ANYONE else at that age. I really feel that my 8.5 year old is well adjusted and secure now because I did follow my heart and advice of Kathleen W. and LISTENED to her cues. She was happier singing along to her favorite videos, watching Sesame Street, coloring in her books and playing on the computer while I was busy than she ever would have been in a group class setting. She just couldn't deal with all that stimulation of classroom activity at a young age. Now she attends ballet classes, coop classes and social events without Mom comfortably and she knows who she is.

My currently 3. 5 year old daughter can get aggressive towards caretakers as well as have fits for extended periods of time. At 18 months, she was left with a babysitter while I taught two hours of Spanish classes and she started biting out of frustration and desperation. I finally took her with me to teach the classes and she was fine. She is well behaved with me and I can take her anywhere including a preschool class at the coop as long as I am present. I would rather she be secure like her older sister and enjoy learning,social activities rather than look upon them as the time she gets "dumped" by Mom.

The eight year old girl turned out to be exceptional. She is currently working at the 5th grade level academically, can read music, play piano and loves ballet.

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J.G.

answers from Eugene on

Since you are a stay at home mom, why not keep him home instead. Preschool is great but home with mom is better. Our son is now 24 years old and I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get him into school. These young years are so quick and short and 3 is such a wonderful age. Do yourself and him a favor and spend the precious time with your precious son! Good luck.

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K.W.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi R.! My heart just goes out to you and your boy...he is still just so little! We live in a culture that for reasons that I just don't comprehend, encourages parents to rush their children through life, without giving them time and space to unfold and grow at their own rates, in their own time, in their own way! Children, especially those who are so young, do not cry to manipulate...manipulation happens when their messages have gone unheard and unvalidated for too long. I don't believe children at this age experience 'separation anxiety'. I think this is normal behavior...he is crying and actually *telling* you exactly what his needs are! I think the best way to help him "overcome" his anxiety is to find a way to meet his need, rather than force him into a situation he is clearly not comfortable with.

Some children do very well in a school setting from the get-go. They enjoy it, they excel, they get along well with other kids, they feel safe and comfortable and confident. They thrive. Just because this is right for some children, does not mean it is right for *all* children. When our kids express themselves, be it through crying, throwing temper fits, talking, yelling, hitting, whatever...they are communicating with us. Are we willing to listen? Are we willing to heed the messages they are sending us? Are we willing to figure out what their underlying needs are, and meet each child where he is at, even if that means doing things we wouldn't have ever thought we would do? Even if it means thinking *way* outside the box?

I suppose the best advice I would give, is to ask yourself what is most important to you? What is most important to your son? Is your son being at school the most important thing? Is it *that* important, considering he is showing you obvious signs that he is not feeling secure, comfortable, and happy there? What is it about pre-school that appeals to you? Is it that he is "learning"? Is it the social time? The crafts and activities? Time for you to be alone or to work? Would you be willing to consider keeping him out of school? Maybe homeschooling? (although I have to admit I don't really feel kids need 'schooling' at age three. Life provides ample opportunities for learning). I am learning more and more that when I come up against a challenge, the more I open up to *all* the possibilities, even the ones that don't seem practical or possible at all, the more I am able to trust in what my child is saying, trust in the process, and trust that of *all* the myriad solutions out there, there is bound to be one that will meet the needs of everyone involved.

It is my experience that children are constantly learning. They are ever-present, in the flow, with absolutely no "teaching". Sure, it is up to us to create a safe, happy, healthy environment. Kids do what brings them joy. They are still young enough to follow their hearts, do what creates harmony, not do what someone else deems appropriate for a certain age bracket. In our family, I hope they will feel free to follow their hearts always, and feel safe enough to express their feelings and wishes, and know that they will be met with openness and trust.

What my kids loved most at the age of your boy (and still now) was being a part of every day life...helping in the kitchen, sitting on my lap as I sew or felt or type on the computer, helping pick out food at the grocery store, picking out books at the library, sitting with a book right next to me as I read, making lists of their own as I make *my* lists of things to do, sweeping and scrubbing the floor right along side me, washing the windows (they *love* this activity),fixing a broken cupboard, doing art or writing letters to friends together, sledding down our driveway as I shovel it, etc.

Regardless of whether or not kids go to school, they are always learning, always absorbing their environment. I don't know if you are familiar with John Holt, but he said something along the lines of 'children will learn even if their parents sat around and did nothing.'

If it is the social aspect, for a child of his age, just being a part of life is enough...with the occassional playdate with maybe one other child. Going to the grocery store, shopping of any sort, the post office, the library, the playground, the swimming pool, etc....these are all examples of social situations. Socialization has nothing to do with spending time with kids the same age. Socialization is being part of life, part of society, and learning how to communicate and interact with the world at large...and let me tell you, for a child of 3, the world *is* LARGE! I have even found that the less time my children spend with kids their own age, and the more they spend time with people of various ages, the more successful they are with their social skills. My dd, who is 5, interacts very well with people of all ages...she tends to gravitate towards babies, older children, and grown-ups. Yet, oftentimes finds it challenging with interacting with kids her own age. I don't find that that means there is something wrong with her, I think she is a normal kid who goes through the normal 5-year-old things, and finds more joy when she can be around people who aren't going through a lot of the same developmental "stuff" she is...there are no 'arguments' over toys, no forced sharing, etc. Of course, that is not to say she doesn't spend time with same-aged friends, and doesn't go through her share of challenging situations...I think this is important as well, as each challenge teaches her how to co-operate and work through the hard times. I think balance is the key. I see that the more she grows, the more comfortable she is with people of *all* ages.

Maybe it is about time alone for you, or just for some time away from eachother. Is there another way to meet this need? Is there a friend or husband/partner who could meet this need?

I hope this helps. Listen to your child...children are wise beyond their years. The more we listen to them and trust in their wisdom, the more confident they become, and the more they learn to trust in themelves.

Best wishes!

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

R.,
My 7yr old did this when he was 3, but my 5yr old never did. Take him to pre-school, kiss him, hug him and tell him you WILL come back for him, hand him off to the teacher and walk away. Yes, he will cry, but don't look back, just go. Next year will be better for him and things will work out. My 7yr old loves school and has since he went to Kindergarten. He is healthy and happy.
Your son will adjust and get used to school. If you are that concerned, talk with his teacher or a counselor. I don't think anxiety is the problem, I think you are the one suffering more than him from pure guilt.
HE WILL BE FINE.
Be Well, A.

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A.M.

answers from Seattle on

I was a preschool teacher for years until I started my own home daycare when my youngest was born. I have seen this a lot. I had the 3-old-class too.

You can try staying for a while with your son to start with and watch the teacher carefully. See how she treats the other kids (of course she is going to be very nice in front of you and treat your boy very carefully while you are there so pay attention to how she is with the others) Talk with teachers of other classes than your child's class as well as your child's teacher and ask how he does when you leave. What does he like to play with? Does he eat? Does he like outside time? What does she do to calm him down?

Pay attention to little details: does she stop what she's doing and greet him on his way in? Does she make an effort to distract him so you can leave? Does she remind him of the fun he will have and that you will come get him later? Does she have activities planned for the day? (Does he bring projects home?)

I have found that the teacher is the real factor in kids handling drop-off well or not. I have seen kids that don't like their teacher and cry for a long time, but then get moved to another teacher and are happy to be left there. In one case, I had a boy who came to me 2 days a week and was very clingy and cried at drop-off. I found that if I showed him my watch and pointed to where the little hand would be when his mommy came back, he was satisified and calmed down. After about 2 weeks of showing him how many numbers until mommy came to get him, he would turn around and tell his mommy bye-bye with a smile.

If things don't improve after a while - 2 or 3 weeks AFTER vacation readjustment, don't be afraid to go to the director and bring up your concerns. You can request that she watch him and find out exactly how long he cries and what the teacher does about it. You can also have him moved to another teacher if you think it will make a difference.

You can also buy him a watch. :)

Good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Eugene on

All my children had separation anxiety at one point or another...usually when they [email protected]____.com best thing I found was to keep doing the same routine. They fear the "unknown" of your not being there. When you leave and come back day after day, then the short separation begins to become the known - the routine. Routine is what they need. They need to feel your consistency. I worked in the church preschool and found that children whose parents are consistent with, "have fun, I'll be back in a little ...just like yesterday" respond by getting comfortable in their environment much quicker. The children learn what to expect & adapt. Some children take longer than others to work through it - but if you are consistent they will. Especially since he is only crying for a few minutes, it shows he is probably comfortable there - just wants to be sure you know he likes being w/ you too! :) Good luck!

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C.P.

answers from Yakima on

Hello R.;
I would not leave my son at any day care if they cried so hard and became up-set..You might try staying with him at the day care and observe a little more of the teacher and the kinds of children attending..especially if he is shy and a only child he has never been away from mom and dad and its really rough on them..
Do you have any friends with kids his age...to come to your house to play? This would make it easier..a little friend..
Check out the day cares..some are great ...some arent
You might also try going to the park some day..you might meet up with a mom and kids who he might really want to play with while moms visit also..so you are there with him..

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H.R.

answers from Seattle on

Have you asked the teachers if he continues to cry after your gone? oe does he calm himself after a few mins? Most toddlers will cry or fuss but if directed to a new activity as soon as they get to school will stop soon after.
If he still cries you may want to ask the teacher to come to the door and just give a quick kiss and say I'll be back when the big hand is on the 11 (show a picture of a clock w/the hand on the 11) then just walk away. Kids want stability and set scheduals any change will throw them off for a time. but most will conform within a week or so.
Good luck and take good care,
H.

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K.H.

answers from Portland on

It may be that since he's only there for such a short time, he anticipates your return before you've even left.

My daughter went through the same thing. I started her at a preschool/daycare facility at 22 months for socialization. She was only there for a couple hours, two days per week.

One of her teachers suggested that I drop her off a little earlier in the morning than I was. It worked. She was able to feel like a part of the group, rather than an outsider.

She's now 32 months, and she attends two full days (nap included). She's excited to go to "school" to see her friends and teachers.

You might look into expanding his time at the facility. It may make a world of difference!

Good Luck.

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L.R.

answers from Seattle on

I am a preschool teacher. Your son has gone through major changes this year -- starting preschool, switching preschool, finishing a vacation and going back to school. He's probably not totally comfortable and might have some anxiety because of all the changes. He might wonder if something is going to change again.

Since he only cries a couple of minutes after you8 leave, I think he just needs some reassurance that you will be coming back and nothing is going to change. He just hasn't had a consistent preschool experience and anyone, even an adult, would be nervous with so many changes that have happened. Keep reassuring him, give him a big hug, and leave. Hanging around will just make it worse.

If you don't feel comfortable after at least two more weeks, he might not be ready. Always remember that you are the parent and your gut tells you what is right for your son, either to help him overcome his anxiety and help him stick it out, or to have him wait for preschool when he's a bit older.

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A.F.

answers from Portland on

Since you already stay at home, why does he need to go to school? He's only three. I have a 3 yr. old girl and I have plenty of people hounding me about putting her in school, so I TOTALLy understand the pressure to get them "on their way."

Instead we do classes together (like soccer and tumbling) so she gets exposure to other kids while still spending quality time with each other. There are many arts and crafts that are easy to do at home which will teach him the same things as at school.

My advice, let him stay with you! He needs you right now and this is a great chance for you to be with him! No need to rush! :-)

A.L.

answers from Seattle on

Hi R.,

We had a similar situation at our church preschool class with a boy around the same age. I'm not sure why this happens, but I do know the parents just stayed persistent in keeping him in the preschool class and thankfully we have good teachers who are willing to be patient and encouraging to him. Some teachers are not patient enough. But a good teacher is. That's all it takes on everyone's part. Patience, persistence, and encouragement to join in the class. What we would do is encourage him and if he refused we gave him a positive response and continued with what we were doing in the class. He has watched us many, many times and for the first time last week he started to play! I really believe this is just something he had to grow into. I truly hope this teacher is willing to be patient and positive with your son, because that is the key to overcoming this situation. One more note - when the parents said goodbye when dropping off their son, they kept it real short and did not stay to console him. I think this helped a lot, too. When he came to the preschool for the very first time they helped reassure him, which was good. But after that they kept their goodbye short. Hope this helps!

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B.L.

answers from Bellingham on

Your child is too young to leave with strangers. This is what he is telling you. He will suddenly get interested in playlands at the grocery stores, etc. around 4. (3 if very outgoing). Then he's telling you he's ready to enjoy friends and brief separations for fun. For right now, it is tramatic for him. He needs people who love him to be with him. Once he gets a little older you will want him around a lot more than he does, lol! :-)

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S.C.

answers from Austin on

Have you tried an in home preschool? It may be all the stimulation in the school. Noise, other kids etc... My now 5 yr old did not do well in a daycare setting- I even got called to pick her up early because she would not stop crying. I tried her about every 6 months and she never liked it. When she started regular school she was fine- she wanted to be with other kids.
If you would like to see how he does in a home environment, I do occasional child care and have 2 Red Cross certified teens that baby sit. I am willing to give you a no charge try to see if he likes a home environment better.
I do as most daycare do- you are welcome to come inspect the house and drop in any time. I do have 2 cats and a dog- all are kid friendly as I have 4 daughters still at home and kids in and out all the time. I do not know if WA does it, but some states have a web sight where you can check out day cares and or people for complaints/ abuses allegations etc...
I always check on a place or person before leaving my children with them.

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T.R.

answers from Seattle on

Hey there--
I actually have the exact same situation going on myself. My son is alomst 3 1/2 now and in September when we started him at preschool it was very challenging because he cried and cried even in the thought of going to school (in fact, some days he didn't want to get dress knowing that it meant we were heading somewhere). It was very tough. I talked to the teacher and she said the same thing, that he was fine after a couple of minutes. It's seems to me that after a break of a week or so, the transititon of heading back to school is difficult on him again. Our teacher recommended we go 3 days a week so there isn't such a long break inbetween and that helps a little but still things like Christmas break/Spring break make it tough. I wish I had some advice. I will say it does get better! I use to not even be able to leave him with parents to go run errands without him throwing a fit. And he LOVED my parents, and they too said the second I left he was fine. Thank goodness we've made it passed that stage! Anyways, hang in there, even though it's hard right now and eventually it will pass. Good luck

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M.M.

answers from Portland on

My daughter just turned 4 and this kind of seperation anxiety has been an issue for us the past 2 years. It has gotten better for her though. I think a few things have helped: 1) some parents I know have thought I should cater to my daughter's anxiety and not make her do the things or go the places where the seperation anxiety is being caused. I disagree, I believe it has been helpful to continue these things so she knows that she can face her fears and that these situations won't hurt her. It can be hard to press on though after months of it, but it always gets better. 2) One thing that has been very helpful is that I started consoling her with hugs and kisses of course, but also always asuring her that, "Mommy always comes back." Since this is always true, she knows this is the case, that she is only going to be there for a short while and that I always come back to get her. I think some of her anxiety is caused by the false belief that I am going to leave her forever. She even says it now to me as confirmation and for her benefit I believe too and says, "Mommy always comes back."

Good luck. I think the most important thing is just to be as comforting as possible and to talk empathetically to your son, but also continue to have him go to school or go wherever he cries.

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D.D.

answers from Spokane on

I have four children and have been through a gamma of different senerios with all of them. My advice to you is if you can keep him home, why not? They are only this age once and the security you can provide for him now, will last a lifetime. I know by experience, that abandonment issue can peak its ugly head, even into adult life issues, if not addressed at a young age. Stoop down to his level, and feel the world at his angle. It is scary enough for us as adults. It sounds like you may be needing some alone time for work or concerned with his need for social activity, which both are very important. Although, maybe you could swap times with a family member or well known neighbor, where your child may feel close to you and know you are just a moment away. As far as social time, for him to see adults interacting and you being near as he interacts with others may help him gain the confidence he needs to successfully join the big world, he soon enough will face with out you.

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M.D.

answers from Portland on

Oh yes...my son has major separation anxiety and he is 3yrs, 4 months. I was his only "playmate" for much of his young life and preschool was his first real intro to groups of children as well as lengthy periods of time away from me. I have had him in gymnastics, soccer, basketball, library classes, etc....but I have always been there watching or actually participating with him. I think the biggest shock for my son was the amount of time I was away from him. These are things that we are working on right now - hopefully some can work for you too? (1) Consistency - he will need the same facility, the same teachers, the same group of children for a good period of time to feel safe. We also switched from one facility to another and it was hard on the little guy. (2) Duration -we also did 1 Friday a week and I have been advised to bump it up to two or more times a week. I was told that they work through their anxiety faster this way, they get more familiar with the children and teachers more quickly and it is not so hard on them if they miss a day due to illness, etc. (3) Playdates with other children in the class. Playdates allow them to get to know others in the class more quickly and provides a greater level of comfort in the classroom. (4) Bringing comfort items from home for show and tell if it is offered in the classroom. It helps to have something familiar in the class if they need it. (5) Children turning 3 hit a developmental milestone where they become aware of death. They need a lot of reassurance that when you are gone, you are coming back. Make sure you never leave the room without telling your son. Make sure you are on time to pick him up. (6) Eliminate any stress at home if there is any and don't let him watch scary movies (especially movies that involve death, such as Bambi, etc.) (7) Let your son "practice" separations in a less stressful environment. For example, we have never used a babysitter for our son. We are working on having a babysitter at our house while we are home for a bit, then transitioning to short periods of time away, then longer outings. Sometimes separation anxiety is a two way street, and I have come to realize that I need to let go in order for him to feel comfortable letting go as well. (8) I also found a great online article from the guys at Sesame Street...check it out and I hope things go well for you!!!

http://www.sesameworkshop.org/parents/advice/print.php?co...=

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K.B.

answers from Seattle on

We have a son who we put into preschool (montessori) when he was 3 and he not only threw a fit nearly every time I took him, but he told me that he "hated" school. After 3 months of trying to get him to go, we decided to wait until the following year to try again. We didn't want him to have a negative experience which might follow him throughout the rest of his school days.
He is now 4 and back in the school and LOVES it! His b-day is in July so he is a young 4 during the school year and I think that he was just a little too young to leave me. He is definately a mamma's boy, always huging me and telling me that he loves me. I realized this year that he just wasn't ready last year to leave me for several hours at a time. Boys are much more different than girls when it comes to the social aspect of development (I have 2 older daughters - 8 & 9) They were both very ready to start preschool without any incidents, my son was a completely different story.
Every child is different and you have to make your decision on whether or not to put them in school based on when THEY are emotionally ready, not when we think they should be ready.
Another thing you could try to help increase his social growth and decrease the seperation anxiety is to have playdates where you stay for a little while and then try to leave for maybe a 1/2 hour at a time then he will realize that you will be back and it's ok for him to have fun with someone else.
I am not a specialist by any means, but I think (especially with stay-at-home moms) the kids have a greater amount of seperation anxiety when their parent leaves them for a short period of time, especially since he is an only child and gets all of your attention all day long.
Just my thoughts. Hope it helps :)

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L.P.

answers from Seattle on

Hi, I am a early childhood professional and I work with toddlers. What your child is experiencing is really very normal. If given the choice, wouldn't we also want to be at home. I would ask your child's teacher for help in creating a drop-off routine. What I sometimes do is give the child a choice to wave at mom from the window or give her the last hug at the door. This seems to help, because Mommy does have to leave. Also I talk to the parent about making the drop-off short and sweet. Another thing we do is provide space in the classroom for the children's family picutres. Then when the parent leaves we can talk about their families with them. We validate the child's feelings and reassure them that mommy loves them when she is here and mommy loves you when she has to go. Another hint, let children have their security items--blanket, smal toy, etc. I often hold the child, or let them sit with their security item in our guiet spot.
Just a couple of ideas. It really is the joh of your child's teacher to get to know your child and connect with them. Be your child's advocate and watch to see how caring and geniune your child's teacher is during this transition.

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K.M.

answers from Portland on

This happened to our son - currently 3.5 at daycare. He went through phases, and it was terribly painful for me when he screamed. I would talk with the staff at the school. Is there a way that they can engage your son from the moment he walks in the door? I found that when staff approached my son and engaged him in an interesting activity from the get-go he was much happier. He felt welcomed rather than dumped at school. Also, if your son is verbal enough, talk to him about it sometime. My son was very good about telling us what happened, and what he did not like.

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K.C.

answers from Seattle on

I had the same problem with my daughters last year when they were 3, but this year I put them in more than just the 2 days since they were 4 and they loved it. The first few days were rougher then the rest and then they started giving me hugs and kisses and going into their classrooms and I felt so much better.
I wish you luck, because it does get better.

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

He's not as unhappy as he would like you to believe. At home he's the focal point, not having to share you as the teacher shares her time. Hold your ground, say good bye. If he sees any remorse or guilt on your face he'll keep it up. Talk about the activities he's doing at school. Ask about his new friends. Maybe arrange a playdate or a meet-up with one of his classmates. Separation anxiety is a real thing, but as he sees a routine where he goes to school and you're there to pick him up on time, every time, he'll feel confident in this new world. The real heartbreaker is when he jumps out of the car and forgets to give you a hug or kiss good bye and you have to remind him. You'll all be fine. It's a normal thing.

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B.D.

answers from Spokane on

I have a boy who just turned 4. He still tells me he doesn't want to go to school. But he goes and waves goodbye from the window. It took him 6 months to stop fussing about it. I am a preschool teacher and I have a degree in Child Dev. My degree is useless with my child because I feel soooooo guilty!!! I started rewarding him with a few gummy bears when we said goodbye (for being brave) and kept my goodbyes short and sweet. I also found that my little boy is just way more attached to me than my daughter was at that age. Boys just love their Mamas. Tell him he is in a safe place and you will be back soon. As a teacher of 3 and 4 year olds I can also say that they really work their parents at drop off and two minutes later run off and play like nothing happened.
Good luck to you.
B.

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K.B.

answers from Seattle on

Does he have any delays, such as speach?
I have taken my kids that had speach or other delays to the Birth to 3 program over by the Omak hospital. It is held in a montessori pre-school and that might be another option is their montessori program. Try and get registered for their next opening. You can call Nichole Smith or I really enjoyed Hillary. at ###-###-####.

I liked their program better than the early head start one.

I hung out with the kids until they were busy doing some activity and then left.

Another fun activity that will help with getting used to other children is the libraries story time. Stop by the library.

K., mother of 6 and foster mom

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C.S.

answers from Anchorage on

I feel for you! I have raised 3 boys, my youngest is 9, (my little surprise!). I never took my kids to daycare as I was a stay at home mom. I never really had that problem in Kindergarten with my own, but have known others and wittnessed that problem at age 5. Most times, as soon as mom is gone it stops. You have 2 choices, stay home and raise your children or continue to leave your son at daycare. Not all families can afford to have mom at home. If you choose the latter you must be firm and not show any distress, do not linger.
Good luck,
C.

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C.J.

answers from Portland on

Is there a reason your almost 3 year old is in preschool? It seems like such a very early age to start doing that. Perhaps socially he is just not ready. Most 3 year olds aren't ready at that age, which is why preschool tends to start at 4. I'm sorry he's having such a hard time, but perhaps preschool was not the best idea?

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J.G.

answers from Portland on

We went through that too and it is heartbreaking. You need to decide if he really needs it right NOW? The only thing that worked with us was lots of hugs from the teacher and I brought out the calendar and showed her that if she still didn't like it by Christmas she didn't have to go anymore, but that she did have to go no matter what until then. That gave us 2 1/2 months and by then she was fine and was excited about school. Also is he having issues with potty? Mean kid? Both could be causing anxiety. Also make sure if he asks that you tell him you did nothing without him. Totally boring if he doesn't go to school. Good luck!

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