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Help getting scared ds into kinder class


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#1 shacols

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

My ds is 5 and started kindergarden fyos this year. He has been going for three weeks now and it is not getting any easier.
He was the same at pre school will cry and hang onto my leg but at pre school they are more forgiving.
HIs teacher is lovely but i can tell she has had enough he says he is scared but when i pick him up he is happy and his teacher says as soon as i am gone he is fine. This morning the principle had to pry him of me. I have tried giving him extra cuddles, reasuring him and well as being tough on him telling him he has to go no matter what, i just don't know what to do anymore. Was thinking maybe a reward chart.
Does anyone have any ideas?

#2 Ohhmum

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:53 AM

Could someone else take him to school for a few days? Maybe seperating from you before he gets there will help him develop a new habit? Its hard to see them so upset, but the fact that he is ok once you're gone is comforting!

#3 .:Natty:.

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

Breaks your heart doesn't it sad.gif My dd has been exactly the same and the thing that clicked seemed to be news day when she took in her fave doll (so far I have done three drop offs without her chasing me out of the school).
I find my DD is very overwhelmed by all the parents and kids at drop off, then they have to line up in morning assembly which is also daunting for her. I started getting there a bit late to avoid the mass of people, I also made friends with another mum who has a little girl who is also shy, I think this has helped her a bit as she is now friends with the little girl and they both help each other.
I'm also doing my best to volunteer at the school so it can show her that I have an interest in the school as well. (hard to juggle as I have two others to worry about).

I asked her what she didn't like about school, the first week it was the teachers were to bossy, then the bells are mean (which she is right our school has an awful bell), then it was because she didn't like sitting with her legs crossed :/ All of which I just kept reassuring her was all perfectly normal ect. Not much you can do except hope that one day you can drop and run wink.gif (lots of praise in the afternoon that they did so well at drop off to helps)


Edited by .:Natty:., 25 February 2013 - 08:59 AM.


#4 emwill

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

Does your school have a Buddy System where a Yr 6 student is assigned to help look after them?
If not maybe ask can you organise one so your little one has a special big person to help settle him of a morning. It really helps especially in the morning when they are looking for friends to play with or arrive while waiting for the bell.
Or maybe arrive a little early and drop him to the office for the teacher on play ground duty to take him out with them of a morning and be their special little helper.
I'm surprised the school hasn't tried any of this yet seen as he is getting so anxious of a morning.
Best wishes to your DS.

#5 opethmum

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

I would actually ask why he acts up and get to the bottom of it and if he can not provide an explanation for why then  I would clamp down on his behaviour and I would treat it no differently than when he is chucking a tantrum. I would actually employ the kiss and drop approach and do it hard and fast, the less time and opportunity he has to start up the behaviour the better. You do not honestly need to hang around the school unless you need to communicate to the teacher or have an appointment with the principal.
Good luck and I hope his behaviour improves.

#6 Lishyfips

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

A psychologist once suggested to me that, when my daughter was feeling anxious about something, I describe it as a 'big feeling' and get her to show me (with her hands) how big the feeling is. Have a conversation about the issue the night before that goes something like this...

'I can see you've got a big feeling when it's time for me to say goodbye at school. Is it this big? (small gap between hands) Or this big? (bigger gap) You show me with your hands.'

So you're getting your child to recognise the 'big feeling' (rather than you labelling it or expecting a small child to name the emotions they're experiencing) and you're getting them to quantify it. Then you can ask if, once school has started, the big feeling gets smaller. Eg. 'When the class is sitting on the floor listening to the teacher, is the feeling smaller? Show me how big is is then.' And, 'when it's time for your snack, has the feeling gone away?'

I had this same conversation with my grade 2 daughter this morning when she got stage fright. It's happened on and off since she started school. It's such a difficult situation because no one wants to leave their kid feeling distraught. A few things I've learned: it's better if I don't go into the classroom or she gets even more upset; if I need to calm her down I take her away from other kids/parents as much as possible - nothing worse than people looking or asking her what's wrong, just makes her more anxious.

I just try every time to get her to recognise that she's having a 'big feeling' and it will get smaller. It seems to work - maybe she'd just rather go into class than listen to me bang on about 'big feelings' again! From the little I know about cognitive behaviour therapy, this 'big feeling' recognition is no different from making anxious adults aware of how their bodies and minds respond to certain situations, and teaching them to calm themselves down rather than letting the feeling escalate.

By the way, my other daughter just started school this year and, since day one, she gives me a hug and a kiss at the gate before running off to class by herself. It's nothing I'm doing differently with either kid, so don't feel as if you've done something wrong with your son.

#7 Lishyfips

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

PS Sorry for the huge post and now this, but, if you wanted to try a reward system I always find 20c for half a tube icypole at the canteen works wonders with my kids!

#8 FeralZombieMum

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

Have a strict morning routine at home - do a visual chart/checklist for him and put one on his bedroom wall, one on the fridge and one on the back of the door that you exit by - so he can predict what he needs to do in the mornings.

Try to leave home at the same time as well, and keep to the same routine when you arrive at school - he might need a visual checklist when he arrives at school - eg unpack fruit snack, unpack library bag etc. A good teacher should have this up on the wall - if his teacher doesn't, then I would ask that they do a poster/chart (or write on the board) - it's amazing how many kids benefit from this! Some of my kid's teachers will have a message written on the white board in the morning - the kids know to check it each morning when they enter the classroom - it's part of their routine and also helps them know/predict what is happening with their morning.

It is also a good idea to have a weekly timetable with his home checklist so he can predict what will happen at school.
eg
Monday SPORT, LIBRARY
Tuesday ART
Wednesday SPORT, MUSIC
etc.

Then add after school activities to it.

If he can visualise and know what is happening, it can help reduce anxiety.

I would check to see if he is feeling overwhelmed by the noise in the classroom - it can be quite loud first thing, especially when there are parents chatting away as well.

I have a child that has sensory issues, and she will avoid the start of school so she doesn't have to be overwhelmed by the noise, and by all the kids arriving at lockers.

I would check to see where your DS is sitting - our school tends to move kids around on a weekly basis! This doesn't work for some kids - it adds to their anxiety. You could ask if your DS could remain in the same spot for the rest of the term, and see if he improves then.
Also check out where his bag goes, and if they use tubs/lockers to store items, see where this is. My DD has had her locker (high school) at the very end, and it's away from the door to the class - so it's in the quietest area possible. She also had the top locker, and the bottom normally remained spare, so she didn't have to wait for someone else to move out of her way. This has made a huge difference.
My DS (gr 1) was having issues in the morning last year, and he finally spoke up about it - the 2 other boys he shared the space with would just push in when he was unpacking his bag. I told him he needed to speak up - but I don't think he did, just talking to me about it, and working out how to handle it, was enough for him.

Lastly, use a form of bribery motivation. My DS earns 10 cents each morning he doesn't cling to me - at the end of the week he has 50 cents to spend on an icy pole at the canteen. Best 50 cents I've ever spent!




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