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Preschool anxiety

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 01:55 pm
My daughter just started Preschool this September. She is very easy going and very social so I figured she will be easy to send to school and will love it. After the first week the teachers even commented how she could have gone straight to kindergarten as she was so self-sufficient and independent - she is also on the cusp of meeting the age requirement for kindergarten.

All of a sudden she does not want to go to school. It started with crying the night before (she only attends three days a week) saying she is scared to go to school. We personally know one of the teachers and know the other two as my older daughter attends the same school. We talked to her about different things in school and her friends, etc. She will then thanks us for making her feel better and goes to sleep.

Last night she was crying about it again. We managed to calm her down and she went to sleep. This morning she began crying and begging not to go to school - "just this one day, please!" We managed to calm her down, and her older sister took her aside to talk with her as well. She seemed calm. When I brought her into the school - she threw a fit. Screaming, I had to carry her toward her room. I put her down - she again begged to go home -even the principal came over to talk with her. I held firm (with tears in my eyes), that I would not move from this spot, she would either go to her classroom or she would have to stay in the hall all day. The principal got one of her teachers. She got her to calm a bit saying we could make a card with stickers and everything. She was still crying, but agreed. I ran out!

What do you make of this? This certainly does not seem to fit her personality at all. I have spoken with the teachers and they all say once she is involved in class she is fine. My older daughter says when she comes to aftercare she is fine and when she comes home she seems excited and happy about school.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 01:58 pm
Hmmm... I wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with the grandparent drama, though I can't quite draw lines from A to B from what you say.

Do the grandparents still watch her? When?
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:18 pm
sozobe wrote:
Hmmm... I wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with the grandparent drama, though I can't quite draw lines from A to B from what you say.

Do the grandparents still watch her? When?


Yes, they watch her on Tuesday and Thursdays. I was thinking the same thing, but I can't get anything out of her about things Grandparents say to her that could upset her. And she is only upset going to school - not anything else.

There is a little girl she is friends with that says things like - don't talk to your sister or I won't be your friend. My daughter also got in trouble with this girl because they were talking and not listening when they were supposed to be (since we know one of the teachers she told us even though it wasn't a huge deal). My hubby may have come down a bit hard on her a bit hard and she is a bit worried this girl may get her in trouble again.
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:25 pm
Hmmm. She's definitely anxious about something -- maybe just the school environment and growing up in general? I want to say that this is normal, but I can't be sure. Do you talk to her in the afternoon about the morning routine and ask her what was on her mind that made her so upset? Maybe ask her where she would rather go if she doesn't want to go to preschool, or if she's nervous about making friends.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:31 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
Hmmm. She's definitely anxious about something -- maybe just the school environment and growing up in general? I want to say that this is normal, but I can't be sure. Do you talk to her in the afternoon about the morning routine and ask her what was on her mind that made her so upset? Maybe ask her where she would rather go if she doesn't want to go to preschool, or if she's nervous about making friends.


Oh - she says she wants to go to grammy's house.

I always ask her about school and what they did - she usually seems excited and happy about what went on in school. "We played this fun game". She tells me about her favorite part of the day, etc. It is wonderful too, that her older sister is trying to help her out - so cute when the older girl took her younger sister's hand and said let's go talk about this in private.
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:40 pm
Linkat wrote:

Oh - she says she wants to go to grammy's house.


I had a hunch...

Quote:
It is wonderful too, that her older sister is trying to help her out - so cute when the older girl took her younger sister's hand and said let's go talk about this in private.


That is sweet. You must be so proud.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:45 pm
The school has grandparents day this Friday - so the when my daughter was crying about going to grammy's house instead of school, the teacher said don't you want to be ready for grandparents day? The Pre-S sings a song together on stage. And when I said you will see grammy tomorrow - the teacher suggested they make a card for her to give her grandmother the next day. That seemed to calm her at least enough for her go with the teacher.

And yes, my older daughter is beginning to be more independent and grown up in a good way. She can be so sweet to her younger sister (when she isn't pushing her so she hits her little sis hits her head on the table and injures her teeth).
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:48 pm
That's so great about your older daughter! Er, the sweet part, not so much the hitting her head on the table part...

I wonder if it's some sort of separation anxiety going on, with the grandparents? That's been part of the whole thing, right, that they've been doomy and gloomy about what the move will mean and never seeing your kids...?
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 02:55 pm
Does gramma perhaps not believe in preschool? I'm so ollllllllld that I don't if anyone my age had preschool. (Just a guess..)
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2007 03:00 pm
Grandmom doesn't have anything against pre-school - although my daughter has been at her house 5 days a week, now down to 2 days a week with a Pre-school.

It probably is a combination of things - missing grandparents, making new friends, the fact that she rarely has gone with anyone else besides us and grandparents or other family members unless her older sister was there too. So even though her older sister is at the same school, they spend most of the day apart.

It just seems like such an extreme reaction and it seems like it has been building - with tears at night, then tears when I drop her off, to now a major fit.
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ThyPeace
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 07:53 am
We went through something similar with my daughter. I'd say she's testing to see whether increasing the intensity of the same behavior will get a different result. What worked best for us was when we talked her through (and eventually made a book for her to visualize it) how to do a transition to school.

Here's a paraphrase. My ex put it together and used clip art for the pictures. DD loved it, even though I thought it was kind of simplistic. This might work a little better for a younger kid, but it's an idea you may be able to modify for yours:

"Sometimes I'm upset when I have to go to school. (Picture of a cute kid with a big pout and big tears.)

Sometimes I cry and hold onto my mom. (Picture of an upset kid pulling on a frustrated mom.)

But I'm learning a new way to go to school. (Picture of a happy kid in a classroom.)

I can give my mom a big hug and a kiss (Picture of a giant hug between mom and kid),

and say good-bye nicely (picture of a mom and kid waving).

I'm learning that I can have fun at school. (Picture of a kid going down a slide.)

It's fun to learn, it's fun to play with my friends. (Happy classroom picture)

I know that mom will always come to pick me up at the end of school. (Picture of a mom, smiling, returning to school.)

I'm learning to go to school! (Picture of a happy kid, waving at the reader.)"
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 02:35 pm
Very good idea, thypeace.

You all will get a laugh at this...so when I get home (hubby picked up the girls), my daughter tells me - I love my teachers so much, they are so nice. I wish I could go to Pre-school every day!

My husband did talk with one of her teachers and the principal about the little girl that seems to want to control her when he went to pick up our girls. The principal did mention that it is common for one pre-schooler to try to control another pre-schooler (ie you can't talk with anyone else or I won't be your friend). Hopefully the teachers can encourage her play with some of the other children - maybe it will help. She play with a new friend in the class - hopefully that helps.

Just wait until tomorrow morning! Hubby is dropping them off tomorrow -good luck!
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 03:10 pm
Linkat--

You're earning your gray hairs.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 05:16 pm
I have 4th graders going through the same stage, Linkat. I've stated elsewhere that there's a trend of behavior at the start of school. First sincere attention (sussing out the situation), enthusiasm (new and exciting), social (getting to know people), rebellious (oh crap, I really have to do all this work?). Or something like that.

Other than that generality, it sounds like a separation anxiety thing. Keep standing your ground, keep leaving her there. Keep the tears and anxiety of your own from showing. Tell her she's safe and that you have to go and then leave.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 05:38 pm
Some of this is a lifetime thing; I say that not as a curse, but as a gross generalization, that actual learning, making new routes in the brain (whatever the professional verbiage on that) is or can be hard. It is hard to think in new ways even as an adult, and that is without the emotions of childhood going on. I remember sobbing over not understanding "grading and drainage" homework question (I was 41), just sitting in the back yard sobbing. Turned out the teacher was wrong, and I wasn't the only confused/frustrated one, but I didn't have the experience then to grasp that. I struggled mightily to figure out how to move piles of earth around on paper quickly, as those site engineering classes went by. Years later, I loved doing that, even as I got less inclined to move earth for ecological reasons, I could enjoy it as design play. Anyway, fresh ways of thinking or doing can be toughies.

A lot of adult learning zooms along because we have these files of patterns already established... patterns of behavior or of conceptual thinking - but being by yourself without family for the first times... is a whole new deal.

I'll go so far as to ascribe some seemingly irrational behavior re adult people changing in the face of clear data... to the idea that forging new routes is hard... actual brain change is hard.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2007 08:52 am
Osso--

Good point.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2007 10:14 am
So my husband drops them off this morning - of course no problems!

He thinks the "hard love" tactic helped that I gave her. Basically not changing my ground even with begging and tears and kicking and screaming (even though their were tears in my eyes - so hard not to cry when her child seems so miserable).
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2007 11:32 am
Linkat--

For future reference: "Do I look like a Mommie who is going to change her mind?"
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Oct, 2007 11:42 am
Thanks! Add "the look " and the message will be clear!

Today they were supposed to have show and tell - she was going to bring the present her boyfriend gave her at her birthday party, but was afraid her controlling friend would not like it when she explained where she got this particular item.

I asked her if she was going to play with her new friend - her answer - not if miss control freak was at school. I suppose this is just something she will have to learn on her own as I tried to talk with her about it and even her sister has tried to discuss her dislike of Miss control freak.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2022 10:14 pm
I am enjoying reading my old posts and then coming back and letting everyone know what has happened. Strangely this storey ended up being a particular girl that said my daughter were not to have any other friends but her ..it was resolved at the time..but flash forward

This poor girl had a mom that got involved in drugs .... Years later in high school my daughter reconnected with het via social media they became friends again even though mutual friends turned their back on her ....seems some people who are Christian don't really have Christian values and to think of a child being in a difficult situation.

My daughter stood by her ..even with her saying things and stuff inappropriate to us ... I give her credit she apologized...we easily forgave her understanding her age and circumstances.

Fast forward even more the poor girl !icing with her grandpa due to her moms drug abuse and just recent overdosed and unfortunately did not recover and passed away ... I attended the funeral for our family as my daughter was away in college.

I guess the long and short is that being thoughtful of others. I know her mom was sweet .. I've met her several times so tough .. And the poor girl having to deal with this ...my heart goes out to her..I did let her know our home is always open to her.
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