Help - dd crying every day at school?

(29 Posts)
itsnothingoriginal Wed 11-Sep-13 11:03:25

DD has just started yr 2 and has cried and sobbed her heart out every morning both this term and last term when I leave her at school. The teacher is great - offers rewards to try to stop her clinging on and crying but it seems to be getting worse not better sad

She is very able to talk about her feelings but I can't get a single consistent reason why she doesn't like school. When she's there she's fine apparently and she is doing really well so not finding the work hard or anything like that.

Does anyone have any tips or strategies that have helped them with this? It's only my dd that seems to get upset in the class and kids seem to be generally really happy at the school. It's just horrible leaving her every day in such a state.

Campaspe Wed 11-Sep-13 11:15:28

Did this happen in YR and Y1 as well, or is it a new feature this year? How do you react when she is upset? How long does it take her to settle after you have left?

Galena Wed 11-Sep-13 11:16:32

When I taught Y3, there was a little girl who had to be prised off mum, screaming, every morning. One day, mum wasn't well, so she came with a friend and her mum. No tears. Mum asked friend to take her a few other times. There were never tears when she came to school with friend, only when mum dropped her off.

In the end, mum used to get friend to take both children to school and mum picked them both up. After about a term of this, mum tried bringing her and it was fine, no tears.

Sometimes it's just the overwhelming separation from mum that is the problem. Having a friend to walk to school with distracted her enough that she didn't cry.

redskyatnight Wed 11-Sep-13 11:18:54

DS did this. And continued to do it until he started (a separate) junior school when he obviously decided (fortunately!) that it was too babyish.

Strategies we did use, which seemed to help.
- have a set "goodbye" routine e.g. say goodbye, kiss, prise her off you
- have a friend that they can go in with
- find someone else to take them to school (DS didn't do the crying thing with his dad)
- be very matter of fact about it. Say "it's school time now, goodbye" and walk away confidently. Don't look back.

I feel for you that it's awful to feel that your child is so upset. However like your DD, DS was fine once he actually got into school. It just felt like he had trouble with "managing" the transition from being with mum to being in school.

I sympathise. My DD (P2) is like this. If I take her anywhere she doesn't want me to leave, and clings on to me. I find that DD will be fine, chatting away, right up until the second we get to the school door, and then she gets upset.

If my DH takes her then she is fine, and runs in happily. Additionally, she settles very quickly after I've gone, and her teacher tells me she is fine in class.

I can't get an answer out of her about why, other than she loves me so much she can't bear to be away from me.

I don't tend to drop her off at school, my DH always does it because I felt her getting upset in the mornings was so difficult for her.

If I do have to drop her off at something then I find chatting about the fun she will have helps. I also take her teddy with me to work so that she knows her teddy is with me, and then she seems more willing to have me leave.

It is hard, I'd ask a friend to take her if at all possible.

itsnothingoriginal Wed 11-Sep-13 12:26:37

Thanks I really appreciate the replies and advice. I hope DD does follow the pattern of your DS redsky! She has had periods of being upset since she started in reception but her best friend left the school last year and this was definitely another trigger for her.

She does cry a bit when DH takes her too but one day a friend took her in for me and she was fine - so is definitely all for my benefit hmm

She is apparently fine once settled on the mat for registration etc - teacher has no concerns but I do feel bad that she takes up a lot of the teacher's time in the morning away from the other kids.

I might talk to teacher about a different routine in the morning - I kind of wish we just dropped them off at the door as it seems to prolong the agony taking her in and then reading a story in class..

newgirl Wed 11-Sep-13 12:31:04

my dd was like this in y1 although very happy in recep and y2 (a while ago now) - I started to go in for reading and talk to the teacher and I found out that it was quite a stressful environment with a new teacher and some very naughty beahviour in class (even with parents sitting there reading). As a result lots of the class inc my dd were being kept in at break (whole table) and she was unhappy and stressed at going in to school. Can you go in and get a fuller picture?

TeenAndTween Wed 11-Sep-13 12:52:05

I thought for a moment I had written your post!

In your update you say that in y2 you are expected to take them in and read a story to them? If I have read that right that sounds crazy to me. It needs to be a quick goodbye.

We have found giving DD2 a small cuddly toy to physically hold in her hand as she steps into the room seems to help her separation anxiety. It then goes into her bag for the rest of the day.

Other things I have seen help are give the child a morning job (eg lay out the maths books), which gets them thinking about the importance of the job rather than leaving Mum.

CottonWoolCandy Wed 11-Sep-13 20:19:01

I sent ds a little letter asking if he could think about a plan for going into school that would work better for everyone. Then we had a chat about what could be different eg playing in the playground before school; going straight into class; dmum taking him in or ddad, etc. We also talked about the non-negotiables ie he had to go to school and neither dmum or ddad could stay there with him for the whole day.

It's helped enormously. We now have a routine that seems to work. If we're both available, he chooses whether myself or dh walk him to the class.

We also added a column to his reward chart for going into school and he likes seeing the stickers mount up.

itsnothingoriginal Wed 11-Sep-13 20:48:25

Some really good ideas to try there!

I help out in school quite often and I know she was fine last term but I guess the changes in class, friendship groups etc haven't helped with her confidence.

I'm holding onto the fact that she probably won't be doing this when she's leaving for work in the mornings age 25 grin

Apileofballyhoo Wed 11-Sep-13 21:38:56

DS went through a small phase of this - but it was directly related to an incident where the adults he was in the care of refused to contact me when he was upset. Prior to that I think he always trusted I would be called and would come if I was needed.

I got him a special stone (decorative bright coloured pebble) to keep in his pencil case so that every time he saw it he'd know I love him. For a few days I stood at the gate at break and lunchtime, then just one of those times and then not at all, as he was quite happy to be separated again.

I suppose kids have fears we don't even comprehend. A lot of reassurance and also maybe explaining you need to get your work done while she's at school so that you have time to do things with her in the evening. I also gave DS a page with my mobile no (obviously school already had this) and told him his teacher would ring me to come if he needed me.

I did feel like a total numpty standing at the gate that week but it helped.

skyeskyeskye Wed 11-Sep-13 22:01:36

I had this for a while and got a friend to take DD to school for a week and it did help to break the cycle

Periwinkle007 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:17:19

I think you just need to tell the school she has to have a quick drop off and to be honest if she is getting a lot of attention from the teacher then that probably isn't helping as in some ways it is rewarding her if that makes sense.

I think you need to meet with the teacher and say what YOU think might help and ask what SHE thinks might help and then come to some agreement and then explain to your daughter what will happen.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 11-Sep-13 22:49:30

I had this for a while when DS was in reception.

School worked with me and we both decided on a star chart (which had worked for him in the past).

I spoke to DS about the chart if he went into school without fuss he'd get a star. I also took three stars in my pocket and quickly let him decide which colour he wanted me to stick on his chart whilst on the playground (just before going in to school) therefore trying to distract and change the pattern of behaviour (which can become a habit for mums benefit). School also had a sticker chart.

Within a few weeks we had broken the habit and I eventually stopped taking in the stars.

For the record I had checked with school that DS was ok once I'd left and he was,

Looksgoodingravy Wed 11-Sep-13 22:52:53

Sorry I rushed my last sentence.

Meaning that I'd checked that there were no other issues within school before trying this method.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Thu 12-Sep-13 09:48:01

Reading with interest. DS (4) has just joined Reception, and has cried most days. He's used to being handed over to a nursery nurse on (nursery) drop-off, it seems that going and finding something to do without an adult is a bit too much for him. Teacher and TA are good at intervening eventually, but it's so busy in the morning that it can take 5 mins or so before they're free. Am going to try to speak to teacher at pick-up this afternoon, but just don't know what I can ask him to Di, really. DS comes home chirpy enough so I think he settles after drop-off, it's just the morning. sad

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Thu 12-Sep-13 09:48:39

Or do, even. ...

Periwinkle007 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:14:06

it isn't unusual when they are first in reception theseboots. I think most children settle down within a couple of weeks but it is horrid when it is your child

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Thu 12-Sep-13 11:28:01

Thanks Periwinkle - it really is. I'm a bit worried that it will become a habit IYSWIM, he did have phases at nursery too. I feel so sad about it this morning. Am wondering about trying the star chart to earn something (maybe a magazine?) at hometime on Fridays.

Sorry for the hijack OP.

intitgrand Thu 12-Sep-13 16:03:19

What happens when she cries.Do you ignore it, cheerily bid her goodbye and briskly walk off? If not you are part of the problem.And the teacher definitely is.What a thicko to give her rewards when she stops crying.She isn't daft.She will keep this charade up forever because she knows that once she starts going in happily, the rewards will stop!

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Thu 12-Sep-13 17:21:26

OP, I had a chat with DS' TA this afternoon. Her plan, starting tomorrow, is to give him a job to do to distract him after I've said 'bye. Have your school tried that? Just wondered how it went, if they did.

itsnothingoriginal Thu 12-Sep-13 17:49:49

Theseboots - yes dd's teacher does give her a job in the morning and it sort of distracts but not enough to prevent the tears! Hopefully this will work for your ds though as its a good idea.

We tried reward charts without any real success but again, it's definitely worth a try with your ds. It's good to try and break the cycle early on and I hope he is happily skipping into school soon smile

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Thu 12-Sep-13 18:11:37

Thanks OP, am really hoping we might have a good morning!

TBH I can't really see reward charts working all that well with DS as we've tried them in the past for other things. He's more of an outright bribery kid in that respect grin

I remember crying on drop-off myself at one point in primary school, and IIRC

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Thu 12-Sep-13 18:14:53

Posted too soon....

I wasn't scared about school, it was more that I'd rather be with DDad. During another phase later in primary I developed a fear of something happening to my parents while I was at school. I'd forgotten about that, until today!

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Fri 13-Sep-13 09:30:45

Rats. The TA was late this morning. More tears.

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