Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Another awful morning taking my 5 year old to school.

My son is 5 and in pre-k. Every morning its a struggle. He has to be dragged to school and then to his class by a teacher or principal :(. He says he hates school because of nap time. The teacher says he is fine once he gets in the room. We are several weeks into school and all the other kids go in just fine. We have tried rewards it hasn't worked we have got the school counselor to make special calendars to show when he is off of school (her idea) and that hasn't worked, He gets enough sleep. Any ideas?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:23 AM on Nov. 14, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • Don't focus on rewards, or positive/negative reinforcements. Those assume that behavior is about choice & they ignore that it's driven by needs or feelings. The attempts to influence him through external control (rewards, incentives, logic, reasoning) just increase the pressure on him & contribute more emotion to the mix.
    To that extent, silverthreads' simple response (about remaining calm & matter of fact, no anger) raises an important point. The less pressure you can put on him to change or adapt in order to make all of it easier or less awful for you, the better. You don't want to be disconnected or emotionless to the point of being remote & uncaring, because that will NOT help, but if you can be an ANCHOR for him regardless of whether he's doing "poorly" or "well" with this issue of separation, it'll help! It's best to spare kids the pressure to perform well for OUR sense of well-being.
    It doesn't reflect on you!!

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:05 PM on Nov. 15, 2013

  • A classmate my Son had in Preschool was like that. The Preschool people would go out to his Mom's car & take him in for her. Then he would cry & carry on in the lobby. This happened every day. I felt really bad but my Son said once he was in class he was fine. So they just went through it every day. Now he's in my Son's Elementary School & he wouldn't put a Halloween costume on for the Halloween Parade. he's just a hard headed kid. Eventually he'll grow out of it. Like the others said. Don't get emotional, be consistent & matter of fact. there is no other way. If he is acting scared then when he starts Elementary School, the School can assign an upperclassmen to meet him at the bus & walk him to class every day. Put a family photo in his lunch box so he can see you during the day.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 11:01 AM on Nov. 14, 2013

  • When my son went through this I made him a book about going to school. It started with waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc all with pics I took with my digital camera. Followed by words/pictures about getting in the car, dropping him off to school. The last page was a picture of me with "After school, mom picks you up"
    We read it every night and every morning when I went in to wake him. I don't know why it helped, but it did.

    Answer by missanc at 1:24 PM on Nov. 14, 2013

  • Just keep taking him.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:41 AM on Nov. 14, 2013

  • The only thing I ca say. Is do not make a big fuss over his fits. Not wanting to go to school. I would just keep informing him that school is a must. And you are going. And drag him to school.

    Answer by louise2 at 9:42 AM on Nov. 14, 2013

  • is he in KG or preschool?
    consistency, he will get used to it one day

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 10:02 AM on Nov. 14, 2013

  • Remain matter of fact and calm. No anger. GL

    Answer by silverthreads at 10:08 AM on Nov. 14, 2013

  • what about nap time doesn't he like? Just the fact that he has to nap? or he doesn't like what he is sleeping on or where or by who? This is a tough one. My 5 year old had a tough time too for the first 6-8 weeks, constantly complaining about tummy aches with no apparent reason. But after he got used to what was going to happen everday he has been fine. I hope that will work for you too!

    Answer by AngZacc at 10:53 AM on Nov. 14, 2013

  • I can relate to you. I have twins who are 5 who are starting school for the first time and we have taken a very relaxed approach to this transition. I think it helped that we did this, just had lots of flexibility at the school and did not "force" the issue of going to school, but rather gave them space & support and saw that it helped the transition, rather than making it harder. It was clear that the resistance they felt was not about negative associations with school itself, or with the teachers, as they had lots of positive feelings & enjoyment. They just really would get "tired of" going to school! It's this five-day grind that is kind of a rude awakening if you haven't ever had to go to preschool (fun as it can be.) So a month in, I reflected on how it seemed to be going & recognized that I wanted to hold a clear limit or expectation about attendance. I pick them up after lunch, but they go even when they don't want to.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:15 PM on Nov. 15, 2013

  • There have been some hard days. At first, I think they just weren't absolutely clear about the limit (would I take them with me after all if they refused to stay?) But it wasn't just that, because even when I was very centered & calm about this expectation of them going to school, and being clear with them about my decision & my plan, with the support of the teachers, the struggle did continue. (It's always one or the other, never both!) But not every day, not all the time.
    The issue is emotionally driven, and I think for the parent it's a matter of acceptance & support. Accepting where they're at, right then. Being able to deal with it.
    2 days ago, one of my sons didn't get out of his coat/hat & insisted he was leaving with me. I kissed him & told him I would pick him up after lunch, and that I hoped he had a good day. He cried hard after I left, but (eventually) joined in a baking project. Day before, & day after, no issues!

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:25 PM on Nov. 15, 2013