How can I help a kindergartner who cries every day?
Real Mom Problem
“I have a five-year-old that just started kindergarten. The first week was great. But now he cries and says that he doesn't want to go. I am looking for advice, or even some kind words. It is really heartbreaking.”
- 1. Don't prolong morning goodbyes
- 2. Talk to your child to determine if there's a specific reason for the crying
- 3. Ask your child's teacher for some insight
- 4. Remind your child of the fun he or she will have in school
- 5. Plan something fun for your child to look forward to after school
- 6. See about volunteering at your child's school so you can observe interactions and provide a reassuring presence
Real Mom Solutions
Adjusting to kindergarten can be tough for kids. But how do you know if your child has normal jitters or if something more is going on? Let these experienced moms help you and your child understand, and get past, the tears.
Some Kids Need Time to Adjust
She will be okay momma. This is normal. It's a big transition. I am sure she was happily playing with her friends within five minutes of you leaving!
Maybe he's just not emotionally ready for kindergarten. Or maybe he's already had a bad experience in school. Maybe it'll just take him longer to adjust. One of my sons (now age 16!) hated school from the very first day. He's just not academically inclined. Even though he hated it, he did get used to it. My youngest is seven and she is very attached to me. It took her awhile to adjust. When she'd cry, I'd just be very matter-of-fact and tell her that she'd do fine and have fun.
I work at my daughter's school and I can tell you that there are a lot of kids who still cry. One little boy cries all throughout the day, until he is picked up from school. There are a few other kids who still cry off and on. It doesn't have to do with being a stay-at-home mom or if you work. Each kid is different and will adjust when they are ready.
The way I look at it, she will adjust. And don't worry about what the other moms think. Do what works for you and your family!
Try These Helpful Tips
- Make the goodbye short and sweet. One hug, one kiss, I love you! Have a great day. Leave immediately. Dragging out the goodbyes makes it much harder on the kids.
- Leave the guilt at home. I'm sure she's picking up your insecurities in addition to her own feelings. That is also making it harder on her.
- Can you take her to a swim/dance/gymnastics/Sunday school class to help her learn to adjust to being without you? If you've never given her those experiences, it's going to be harder for her to adjust as well.
My son was the same way! Kindergarten is a big adjustment for them. It is not the same as when we went. Kids today are expected to do a lot more then we had to do. It is a bit overwhelming. I just tell him that after I pick him up, he will get to go home and do something he wants to do. That way he has something to look forward to. And once they know what to expect as far as schedule goes, they will be fine! My son just gets so burnt out because of the long day, so I let him relax when he gets home! They are still little.
There is always an adjustment period. All you can do is keep taking her and reassuring her you will see her in a little while. I have heard some parents say that they give their children a picture or something from home to keep in their backpack. Then they can look at it when they get sad or miss you. The Kissing Hand is a very good book to read too.
Find out why your child is crying. It could be his teacher, or even something you don't know about. Sometimes too much change at once is too much to handle. Pack his special lunches with a surprise inside a few times a week. He will look forward to it. Try buying a store bought gift for his class and go up there for lunch and see how he acts around other students and his teacher. Also his classmates will think the treat is cool and may help him branch out and get more friends so he doesn't feel alone at school.
I actually went through this the first three weeks with my son but it got better. One thing that helped was taking my little guy to t-ball. There were kids on his team from his class so he was able to make friends outside of class. Talk to his teacher, there may be more to it than you realize. Little guys can be super sensitive to any little thing. Showing my face a little more at school, and him getting a bigger circle of friends has really helped. Our school has an open door policy, and I just signed up to volunteer. The most important thing is time. Every kid is different and adjusts differently.
Just reassure her every day how much fun she is going to have and how proud you are of her for doing so well at school. Build her up to feel good about school, and no matter what she says just tell her "I understand, but you are still going to school." My daughter was so happy to go the first few days then she was over it. But now she loves school and has friends and loves her teachers, so just stick it out and build her up.