Drop off struggle with reception child - should I speak to school?(6 Posts)
To put things into perspective, DS has always been a little bit clingy and has always struggled leaving me. Also, I assume that if there was a real problem at school, the school would let me know about it (they have said nothing). He has a couple of of friends he has for play dates but not loads and his teacher always gives me feedback on what he is doing - she seems really on the ball.
Anyway, over the past 2-3 months DS2 has started to get upset about going to school. The minute we get to the school gate he starts to cling to me and cries, saying he doesn't want to go and that he doesn't like school at all. Usually, a teacher has to come and pull him off me and on a couple of occasions when he has managed to wriggle free from the teacher he runs back to me crying again.
This morning it started in the car - he just looked really miserable and sad. I have tried to be really positive and try to give him incentives for getting through the day. I am assuming because the teacher only ever says positive things about him that it is in his personality to not like school and not actually a problem with the school itself (I remember being a bit the same).
I guess my question is, should I be asking the school to help me deal with this? Also, what should I expect them to do? I would find it really hard asking for help without having an idea of what I would like to happen.
If he has been ok before and it started recently, there maybe some issues at school teacher doesn't recognize. Trouble with other children? Having difficulty with school work?
My ds had a spell of not wanting to go to school. Turned out, the children from year above was teasing him during breaks, etc. Teacher had no idea.
I have wondered if there might be something going on like this. How do I get to the bottom of it?
I would ask that, if possible, he is greeted by a TA every day and that the TA comes out to meet you, whether he is crying or not. This should be a reassuring and friendly face/person that he feels confident about going into school with. My Dd was reluctant at Nursery but soon got to know the special person who talked to her every morning and settled her down by distracting her when she needed to leave me. I would also ask that he is watched at lunchtime just to make sure he is playing with his friends and that there is nothing untoward going on. Although do be aware that not all Reception children make firm friends and can float from group to group.
I think some children do feel anxious about school from time to time and often there is no long lasting problem; but he would rather be with you. He has always preferred to be with you from what you say so it is just an extension of that. Children can try and get what they want by crying but if he is settling down at school when he is there, and the teacher is happy with him, then I am sure the school will be able to help you with the separation and, yes, they will have seen it all before.
The other thing I would say is if a TA can take him from you, do not hang around. I have seen Mums pressing their tearful faces up to the classroom windows where tearful children just start having problems all over again in the classroom. This is very hard for the staff so working with them is the best way to go. I am sure they will understand and help.
My dd was like this and had to be dragged off me every day. It suddenly changed when she went into Year 2 and I told her that she couldn't cry as the year 1s (it is a mixed year class) would think she was a baby. And that was that and she has gone in fine ever since! Whilst she was in Yr 1 her teacher would tell her she would get a smiley if she came in without crying and having to be dragged in which would work for a day or two but then it would go back as before. I don't think she was being bullied at the time and her teacher said she was fine the minute I'd gone. I'm sure this was the case as she was exactly the same during her 2 days at nursery at drop off time.
80schild, you ask how you can get to the bottom of any problems he might be having at school that might cause this. I know it sounds obvious, but have you asked him? How good is his communication?
My DD is a bit selective as to what she tells us about school. Sometimes she just says she can't remember. She will answer specific question better than general ones. So if I ask 'what did you do today?' she might say that she played with play dough, but if I asked 'which sounds did you learn in phonics today?' she would be more likely to answer in detail.
If the teacher is on the ball and reporting positively, perhaps it is less likely to be a classroom problem and could be a problem at break/lunchtimes, when the teacher isn't observing him. Maybe ask him who he sits with at lunch time, who he has played with, what games they play, who are the naughty children, which children are in charge in the playground etc - to see if you get any clues as to the social situations he might be dealing with.
I find DD talks most in the car or in bed as one of us is tucking her up for the night. She'll suddenly open up and it will all flood out in great detail, out of the blue! I have started to say gently to her 'is there anything you'd like to talk about?' at appropriate calm moments, and I think she is finding it helpful, but I don't force the issue at all if she doesn't want to talk.
If you and he are able to discuss these things and you're confident that it's just a 'habit', is it worth trying something like a reward system for him being a good boy about going into school? I have found that DD is much more interested in rewards since starting school!
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