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Separation anxiety in reception

(4 Posts)
luigibosca Fri 10-Nov-17 12:36:14

Hi, long time lurker in need of some advice please!

I have a 4yr old DS, who started reception in September. He his having issues with what appears to be separation anxiety, and I was hoping that someone may have some ideas as to how I can help him?

He started school in september, initially was fine then started saying he didn't want to go, screaming when I have to hand him over to the teacher. The teacher says he is fine and doesn't take long to calm down. He is fine when I collect him at the end of the day and is very keen to share what he has done/learned. He seems to mix well and is making friends.

However, he's becoming more upset at home which makes me think its not just for my benefit as the teacher suggests. His sleep is now really bad - doesn't want to be left alone to fall asleep, wont stay in his own bed. He's having lots of bad dreams.
Generally he appears quite outspoken and outgoing, but tells me he is scared of going to school, too shy to go to school.

Does anyone have any ideas how I can help him to get through the school door? Or do I just continue to ignore as per the teachers advice?

BubblesBuddy Fri 10-Nov-17 13:08:02

Did he go to nursery ok? Obviously school is different but I assume he has been separated from you before.

I wonder if his dreams are setting the scene for his dislike of going to school. Dreams occur, I understand, when you are beginning to rouse from deeper sleep and this is why you remember them. This possibly is informing his views about school.

I think you have to keep going to school unless you give in and Home ed. Obviously that’s not for everyone and the school is working with you when he gets there. I think the only thing to do is keep positive about how great School is because he is talking to you about it enthusiastically at the end of the day. Therefore the change comes at night. Would he benefit from playing with other children after school and getting really tired? Follow this up with a calm evening doing what he wants and relaxing. Stories at bedtime and then back to training to sleep as you would a baby.

My DD was like this about nursery and it did pass with maturity. I do think there can be an overriding “need” to be with Mum in the mornings until enthusiasm for school kicks in. It sounds like he is not shy so has picked up on that (from someone?) as a reason not to leave you. I would build his confidence and praise him with treats and activities for having a good week. Good luck.

luigibosca Fri 10-Nov-17 14:59:59

Thanks Bubbles.

He had issues at nursery as well. I ended up reducing his hours and just leaving him for 1 hour and gradually increasing to 3 hours. He only really went to nursery ok for the last 6 weeks of the school year. I have thought about talking to the school about reducing his hours, not sure how that will go down. But then I know he is learning and enjoying a large part of the day so part of me feels it isn't necessary.

Since he has started being upset at school, he is also doing the same at his swimming lessons (and he used to love them), which is the only other time I leave him with non-family. He happily stays with grandparents.

I'm finding it really frustrating, and the lack of sleep isn't helping anyone!!

rcat Mon 13-Nov-17 22:05:52

I feel for you,my ds didn’t settle at preschool and we haven’t tried since.I worry he will have separation anxiety in reception next year and I’m finding it hard to decide on a school for him because I think it will need to be a very nurturing environment.

My ds said there was a lot of pushing and another boy was hitting him at the preschool,he was also having bad dreams and disturbed sleep.He became incredibly anxious in the short time he was there biting his nails,screaming,etc.

Has your son been bullied or has he had friendship problems at school?Is it possible to stay and play and gradually leave his classroom?At our ds preschool the teacher told me that everything was fine there but my son was telling us something different.

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