HELP !!! My grandson whom I’m raising just turned 5 years old last month and just started kindergarten 3 days ago. The first day I dropped him off, he was ok until the bell rang and I said bye. He softly cried. The second day (yesterday) I dropped him off and he had a crying breakdown and wouldn’t let go of my hand. The yard duty had to pretty much drag him off. Today when I dropped him off he wouldn’t get out of the car so I had to carry him like a sack of potatoes, all while he was crying. When I got to the gate he started screaming saying, I don’t want to go to school over and over repeatedly ! It was so embarrassing but most of all I didn’t care anything about that I just feel sorry for him. When the yard duty took his hand my grandson dropped to the ground. He finally got him inside the gate to the play ground but my grandson wouldn’t walk. The yard duty sat with him for 20 minutes until the bell rang and almost all the kids went to class. That’s when he finally started walking. I’ve had him since he was 9 months old and his drug addict mom walked out on him at that time. My son, his father hasn’t been consistent in his life and has no idea how to parent and because of my son’s bad choices my husband and I have had legal guardianship since he was 2 years old. My son off and on had seen him during the 9 month to 2 years but he’s always lived with my husband and I and our now 13 and 15 year old daughters. At 3 years old we stopped allowing my son to be in his life because of another really bad choice that my son made which landed my grandson in the hospital. So over a year he had no contact with my grandson until he was 4 and we started letting him back into his life slowly. My grandson doesn’t ever want to see his dad and always wants to stay with me. There’s more to the story that you can ask if you have any questions but I could go on and on at this point. I’m just so torn up that my grandson is having trouble being away from me and I’m wondering what I can do or say to ease his transition. He’s never been to a babysitter or daycare or anything. I’ve had 6 kids and none of them have ever done this. Advise is wanted.
Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How can I get my grandson to go to school without breaking down?
Maybe you can both meet with the school’s counselor and they can offer some extra help to get him adjusted
Can you home school him?
I’d home school my child
Sounds like he has separation anxiety. It’s common for young kids especially those who have just started School, it’s only been a couple of days, might take him some time to adjust.
My son did this when he started kindergarten for the first week and eventually he was excited to go back. It gets easier!
My son did this throughout kindergarten, his teacher and him formed a bond and she would meet him at the door and he finally was ok. If he can find someone he trusts there it’ll be better.
I know it’s ripping your heart out. My son was the same way After I assured him every day I was excited when it’s time to pick him back up to see what he learned or who he played with he actually settled after the first week💞Once they feel safe KNOWING you’re always coming back if seems to get better. Tell him how brave he is & how proud he’s making you. Good luck dear♥️
My kid cried literally the entire first semester of preschool. I just let her express her feelings and then encouraged her to go inside regardless and that if by lunch time, she still didn’t feel ok she could call me. Usually by lunch time she was having a blast. She only stayed home her entire life no day care etc so I think that’s why it took the semester to be like “ok every day so far has been ok… today will be ok too”. Maybe ask him why he’s so upset. It sounds like separation anxiety related to his trauma with mom and dad. Maybe he’s afraid you won’t come back either? A child psychiatrist wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Are you able to walk him all the way to the classroom?
He’s probably afraid that you’re not coming back for him if the parents have left his life and haven’t been involved consistently.
Take him to see a counselor. Seeing other kids whose parents are dropping them off might be causing him some sadness and anxiety.
Depending on where you live, kindergarten may not be required! We skip kindergarten!
Try speaking with his teacher and ask permission to have him take something from home everyday. It can be a small trinket to keep in his pocket, a stuffed animal, a blanket. Not something to distract from learning, but something to let him feel secure and know you’re coming back for him.
Give him your hair now as a sign he knows your co ing back to get him !! Even a picture of you guys together
Talk to him abt why he doesn’t wanna go? Meet with the counselor and work with the school to help make this easier. Alot of kids act like that and eventually stop. But it’s heartbreaking for parents. Usually after a week or so they get into the rhythm.
Build it up. Let him pick his clothes, lunch, shoes, etc. Now is the time to help him be independent.
If he isn’t getting better after a couple of weeks, I’d look into therapy.
My daughter has been the same way. I set goals for the end of the week with something fun for the weekend! The first week she made it and I let her pick out a surprise.
My oldest had a hard time in pre school, I was allowed to walk her to her classroom so I would hang out (sometimes it would only take me 15 minutes othertimes it would take an hour and a half) until she got occupied with her friends and I felt comfortable enough to leave. My middle daughter cried the first day and asked to go to the bathroom so when I took her to the bathroom her teacher met me in there and motioned for me to leave. I could hear her crying but thirty minutes later I got a picture of her playing and having fun. The important thing to remember is that every child is different, you are his most comfortable person, you are his safe place. Definitely talk with the teacher to see what she recommends, I’m sure it isn’t her first rodeo.
I wouldn’t push it. He’s not ready.
He will be ok, it’s just a change in routine that’s all x
Draw a heart on each of your hands. When he gets to missing you have him push the heart. It will “tell” you how he’s feeling. Tell him every time you push yours it’s what he feels when he needs to push his.
Sounds like you need to get him some counseling
My son is like this. He starts K in less than 2 weeks and I’m dreading his transition. I plan on making a small picture book for him and telling his teacher that I’m utilizing it for when he has a breakdown and misses me he can look at it.
Is this this first time has been in a school environment? What month is his birthday & is this a full or half day program?
You’re his safe place. Give him a small picture of you to take with him to school . Tell him when he gets sad to look at your picture that you’re always be with him.
Thank you for stepping up and caring for your grandson. First off I want you to know you’re doing an awesome job. I know this is hard, but it’s just a season, it will get better. Secondly, has he gone to preschool? If not, I’d suggest pulling him out of Kindergarten and trying preschool for a year. And even if he has gone, he just turned 5 so he’s young, another year of preschool will do him no harm and may in fact help get him ready for Kindergarten next year. If that isn’t an option, I’d have to suggest some counseling-get with the school and get him on an IEP to help manage these difficult dropoffs. He may have some trauma from mom leaving and dad being intermittent in his life, and you have been his only constant.
I hope things work out. Keep your head up and keep loving that baby. You’re doing the right thing!
Maybe he needs to wait to start kindergarten. Can you introduce him to more of a group socializing playtime. More like a pre K that isn’t so overwhelming.
He just turned 5? Did he go to any type of preschool or head start? If not I’d take him out of kindergarten put him in head start or preschool which are half a day and let him adjust.
I also saw where someone said they drew a small heart on their hand and on the child’s in the same place. When they’re separated during the day and need a hug from the other they press on the heart. And when they see eachother again later the same day they tell eachother how many times they pushed it.
Separation anxiety disorder. My son was the same exact way when he was younger. I couldn’t go anywhere without him throwing fits and crying the whole time. I had to tell him I’ll be back. It takes awhile but they will get used to it. It’s heart breaking for sure. I was a single mom. No grandparents nothing. His dad wants nothing to do with him. He’s 9 now. One day at a time.
Keep doing what you’re doing. He will adjust. I know it’s heartbreaking, I got my son a back to school bracelet for him and 1 for me so we could think of each other when we weren’t together.
My granddaughter does this when her mum or I drop her off, she’s on the spectrum too, she’s usually fine 5 mins later, the teachers are usually very good with distracting them and cheering them up.
My daughter was this way with daycare for a bit. We Set up a reward system, “if we have 3 good drop offs we get X” then move up the days etc. we did this for maybe a month and it got so much better. We still have meltdowns once in awhile, but who doesn’t?
Talk to him and make sure he’s not being picked on. Get him some help. If mother did drugs while pregnant it could have messed him up mentally. Praying for you and him
It will get easier. Since he had no preschool exposure I’m sure the separation is scary for him. See if you can walk to his classroom with him…good luck💕
This reminds me of the kissing hand children’s storybook. Look it up. It might help. My 22 yr old still uses it
Have you asked why he doesn’t want to go?
Ask the school if they have a DK program, my daughter was also attached to me and we put her in DK program at same school, basically the same hours but it was more fun learning then sitting and listening to a teacher.
Tell him he is going to make friends and then he can have play dates
Assure him you will always be there to pick him up
He may be too young to understand this but I saw this thing where you draw a heart on both of your hands and hold hands before he goes to school to ‘charge it up’ and if he’s missing you he can touch his heart on his hand and you’ll ‘feel’ his love and vise versa.
My son is also transitioning to kindergarten life i never took him to daycare or head start just straight to kindergarten he cried at the busstop but quit by the time the bus came he’s adjusting it isn’t easy for them but they’ll be ok
It takes time hugs let him know you will be back.
That’s my 5 year old! It breaks my heart
It’s VERY common. Especially if the child hasn’t attended daycare or preschool etc.
Be patient. Be encouraging. Be kind. And ALWAYS show up.
He’ll get there. I promise!!
This is a huge change to his routine and he likely suffers from abandonment issues and is anxious about being away from the one constant in his life- you!!
As hard as it is on both of you, he needs this. And not just for education purposes. Good luck!! You’ve got this!!
I love the suggestion about drawing a small heart on his hand. My 12 year old takes rocks I give her, to rub during moments of anxiety, at school. When I can’t be with her. It helps her immensely.
separation anxiety. you have to sit down with him and have a nice quiet talk and explain to him that he needs to go to school & have friends and that he will come home at the end of the school day. reinforcement. tell him he needs to be brave and try new things. i’m sure the child has had a rough, traumatic life already, prayers to you & him…
Going through this now, i have custody of 3 grandkids, the first was hard to deal and the last starts kindergarten next week , it was told to me by the oldest therapist that its abandonment issues, she has since graduated and is doing great, but still having a few issues with the youngest ( kindergarten) just breathe, and keep going it gets better!!! ￼
Get matching bracelets. You each wear one. Tell him its a magic bracelet connected to Grandma’s and any time he feels scared all he has to do is touch it, and Grandma will feel feel it too
It’s always harder when they first start. Give him time and it does get easier. This is all new to him. Separation anxiety is real and it happens. Just be patient with him. It usually takes a few weeks to get settled in. Just let him know you will see him in a few hours and reward him when you pick him up at the end of the day. He is lucky to have you both in his life. He will be okay just takes time.
He needs this! My son never went to daycare and was rarely baby sat and his first year was a little rough but just assure him you will always be back to pick him up and he’s safe at school just like when he’s home. If it keeps getting worse, maybe bring it up to his doctor about his anxiety and maybe she or a professional can give him and you some advice. my son loves first grade this year by the way, not a single issue this year and he loves his friends. Hang in there!
My daughter hated going to school and cried almost every day I’d say for the first month of kindergarten she also had never been to daycare and was only ever babysat by my mom or her other grandmother but not a lot. At one point I sent her a picture to keep in her school bag and she’d take a special teddy also with her to helped a bit for her. Maybe have a talk with the teacher and see if she has any ideas to try and help or if he has a new friend that could meet him in the mornings at school that may help.
My little guy did this at kindergarten camp…it took 2 teachers to get him inside…I sat outside crying after he couldn’t see me…tomorrow he’s to get on the bus 1st time…he has his 9yo sister but please God let him go not kicking and screaming…I blame myself and feel like a bad mom who made bad choices and stayed home during covid…I hate seeing him scared…our school likes kindergarten kids to have the same teacher as their siblings so we know the teacher but it’s hard. I feel for you.
Get him counseling. Could be a number of thing. Change. Separation anxieties. Do not dismiss his feelings. Ima not saying don’t make him go. Just address his feelings. Do lots of talking b4 you drop him off and when you pick him up. Get him counseling asap. You can even start with the schools counselor. Just get him help. He will eventually adjust, but he need to know how to deal with his feelings.
I know this is not a popular opinion but never having a babysitter or going to daycare wasn’t helpful. It made you feel better, it did not help him. At daycare kids learn that parents come back, they learn socialization skills and other skills that staying home does not provide. Now you have to reap what you sowed. It will take him a while to adjust. Also help him work on his socialization skills such as how to join a group of children that are already playing together.
Can you walk him to the door? It sounds like separation anxiety. I would just continue to talk to him that he will go inside, play with the toys & have fun with his new friends and then after he is done at the end of the day, you will be there to pick him up and you want to hear about his day! Ask him what did he do? What did he play with? What he likes about his new teacher, friends etc. Get him excited about school. Maybe get some books about going to school from the library. Get him to pick the ones he wants to read. You’re doing great! He is so blessed to have you & your husband & girls in his life!
Google social stories for going to school
It is not a disorder. It is perfectly normal for a child this age. It will get better with time. Talk to the child. Explain what his day will be like and assure him you will be there to see him after school. Be patient. It’s all new. He will get there.
You just have to to walk away. I wouldnt even stay to watch him till the bell. Once he realizes him acting that way wont get anything he will stop and learn to have fun. Mine was that way for a few days and now goes right in. He does some times tell me he doesnt want to go and all that but i tell him he has too.
Sounds like you are doing a great job with him just keep letting him know you will be back to get him after school
When my nephew started school he was the same way. Just give him time. It’s a huge change for them, especially if they’ve never spent a lot of time away from you, and it can take time. He’s in 1st grade and loves going to school.
This breaks my heart
Have a counselor at school meet with him. There may be a room he can go to early and have a few minutes of fun time before going to his classroom
Communicate with the teacher. Is he ok during the day? If so I would give this time. Give him a small picture of you to keep with him. Give him a hug, tell him you love him and you will see him soon. Always tell him you will be back. Maybe tell him the time and show him on the clock.
First step is open communication with the teacher
It takes time. Our twins get teary the first couple of weeks then its better.
All the advise above… read the book the kissing hand with him and get a rubbing stone or a bracelet for you both.
Maybe consider getting him assessed as well if his mother did drugs while pregnant. You will be able to get help for him as well.
My daughter did that in kindergarten. The teacher was mean to her. I took her out & homeschooled her. The next year, she loved her teacher & she loved school. It could be her has a bad teacher
Separation anxiety is a real pain in the butt with our babies, what I did with my son when he did this was this.
1 we looked for therapy for him to help better understand his emotions
2 stood our ground and said. I know your hurting because I’m not there with you but you need to go to school so you can many friends and learn a lot of new things
3 set a better way of showing independence at home starting my letting him do more things at home alone I of course had cameras as well
4 final but Vidal step
Made sure he knew each day how much I love him and always will be there no matter what life may bring
I’ve seen that some parents give then little keepsakes of theirs such as a necklace or bracelet for when they want some comfort or feel lonely. He seems to just be very attached to you is all
Its really just a waiting game. They get used to it eventually. No kid likes being somewhere new without the people they know. Don’t get all upset when hes upset when being dropped off. Act like its no big deal and itll be a fun day. They react to.your reaction, and if they sense something is off, they explode. Some kids cant eait to get away from their parents, some are scared. Once he gets to know the other kids and teachers, itll get easier.
So my kids weren’t daycare children nor where they really babysat by anyone which did creat a problem for ME when it came to pre-K. My kids had absolutely no problems going to school but it was very hard on me since I was so close to them. What I did was volunteer at their school lol it helped me get over the anxiety of things and insured they were safe and happy.
Its so hard to watch them upset but honestly…youve just got to be brave . Smile, tell him you love him and will pick him up soon…then leave
How long does he take to settle down once you go ? My son stopped crying as soon as I left .
Perhaps you could delay his start for another year and work on being separated.
Talk to the school. Maybe a staggered start or a shorter day for a while till he gets used to being away from you ?
Honestly it’s completely normal at this age. One thing I did learn with my daughter last year that her riding the bus actually helpee and also a short sweet goodbye say I love you and will see you when you get home have a great day then drop and run it sounds mean but it’s actually easier on them
he should have been exposed to other children via play dates and such before now. he also might benefit from being checked by a doctor to see if he has any mental issues stemming from his moms drug use in utero. but overall it will get easier and once he makes friends or finds things that he enjoys about school he won’t throw a fit like that any more and you’ll won’t even be a second thought to him as he runs into the building to get to class. it’s sad to us parents/guardians and heartbreaking but true. keep doing what you’re doing
Would homeschooling be of benefit maybe after a year or two he would be more comfortable to go into a setting like that did he have any prep for school did he get excited seeing the girls get ready and go off to school so many questions that aren’t my business but I’d check out homeschooling it can be found anywhere on the internet good luck you’re an awesome gramma
My son did this and I held him back a year. He is a June birthday. Now he’s a freshman taking driver’s Ed bc he’s older. His brother’s all started a year later bc they are Oct and Nov birthdays. I think holding boys back helps them in the long run. The next year when I took him I said ok now we have to do this or they will put me in jail for not sending you to school we drew hearts on our hands. Read A kissing hand and off he went. He’s #5 out of 8 and I still came home and cried lol
Try not getting out of the car. Let them get him out. Then you are not leaving him. I have 2 children and taught preschool. It seemed to work better when I as the teacher got the child out. He is not uncommon. Give him some time. It has only been a couple of days. I know it’s hard on him and you, I’m sorry. Prayers hugs and love coming your way
He’s overwhelmed with the new environment… it should get better as he begins to feel more secure there. I went through this with both my kids… after the second week they were more then willing to go see there friends and willing have me a hug and kiss and told me good bye… see you later.
Work with the teachers to help the transition go smoothly.
I’m also raising my 4 grandkids and went through similar with the youngest. The school were wonderful they allowed me to stay a couple of hours a day for the first few weeks. I also gave him a day home from time to time. He could be having separation anxiety, you are his safety net his comfort zone. If your grandson has suffered Trauma at some stage this could also be an issue. He may need to see a child therapist organise it through the dept of child safety if he is under them, if not check with the school they may have a suggestion. If your grandson was born a drug addict due to the mothers using while pregnant this can also bring on behaviour issues, they usually start to appear when learning at school. Silky Oaks are wonderful in helping children they helped my grandson…
Your child definitely sounds like they have separation anxiety, it’s probably due to the past trauma, having his mom leave and his other parent in and out of his life has definitely taken a toll on this baby…
I think your best bet would be to start him in a little therapy, they’ll get him to start opening up and help him understand his feelings.
Another thing would be to work on yourself and how you make school seem, try and make him super excited about jt, maybe even try giving him a reward system like a sticker each day he goes without issues, and a full week of no issues means ice cream or something fun.
He is afraid you won’t come back like his mom and dad. He is afraid of losing you too. Keep reassuring him you will be there to pick him up every day after school. Maybe even go to school and spend the day in his class to see how things are going. It sounds like he has separation anxiety.
My son was like this, I got him a special toy he got when he went to school that he really wanted. I promised Id come back every time and eventually it got better. Maybe go earlier and walk him inside to class and sit with him until hes comfortable then leave
Does he have a special stuff animal or a special memory that he can bring with him in his backpack just to know he isn’t “going in alone”…
It’s an adjustment and hard to see our little ones so upset…
how does his teacher approach the situation: that could also make a difference, is she too strict and stern with his emotions? Do they have a counselor available to help him transition?
I think that therapy would be helpful here. Your grandson has been let down and hurt by the other adults in his life, so he has some major trust issues going on here.
its totaly normel for this mayby say is there something off mine u want keepin school bag
I think a little pre, kindergarten would have helped before he actually started and really show him how excited you are that he’s getting to be big enough to go by himself. Tell him your proud of him and he’s going to do great!
Most kids go through this. He may be having it harder than others. Send him with a photo or a little something for him to hold until he comes back home.
Did you ask him why he is having a hard time going to school? Talk to him. Very important to hear and listen to him.
I don’t have any advise, but I just have to say thank you for everything you’re doing for him. I can only imagine the heartbreak both of you must be experiencing. I hope you can find a good transition for the both of you, you’ll be in my thoughts! You’re an amazing grandma
Hi hun, let the school know he may find change difficult at this time. They see this kind of hesitation in kids regularly for a huge range of reasons. Be persistent, patient, reassuring. When he comes home for the day ask questions…what was the best part of the day, what was the most interesting thing he learnt, what part of the day didn’t he like and why, what could make that part of the day better. Get him talking and keep praising and reassuring. Make it fun. Kids adjust to change at their own pace but he will be okay.
Outside of this issue, if you have any other concerns, maybe see a child psych who does play therapy. With his history he may be finding big feelings difficult and not have the vocab to express things or understand it. But do know, he will be alright. He has you in his corner <3
My son had a terrible time at one point. The kissing hand book helped us. We now do 3 big hugs and 1 big kiss, after that it’s time for me yo leave and him be with his friends. It has worked really well for us thus far. Sending love to you and your grandson, he is blessed to have you
Try talking to him every day before school and explain that you will be right there to pick him up after school. Maybe even try a reward system like if you do good in school today without crying and screaming I’ll let you have a piece of candy of your choice after school or you can take him to the dollar store to pick something out.
He might need therapy. He has been through a lot and is having anxiety. And depending on if his mom took drugs while pregnant, that could have long term effects
My son has separation anxiety, we set up a meeting with the counselor she was able to meet us at the door and became a trusted person at school for him ! He is 14 now and she us still his trusted person at school , they have a good relationship, he knows he can talk to her anytime he needs her and she let’s me know if there us a problem I need to know about ! He still suffers from separation anxiety but she helps him make it through the school day !
That’s a big transition for a little person . Specially if you’re all he knows . Also if he has gone though a trauma of losing his parents , he may associate you leaving him there like that too .
Patients is all , maybe try to stay for a bit and get him settled in
He has separation anxiety if he’s never been away from you even for a short period of time then something like this is going to happen he’ll get use to you being away but takes time even if you walk him to his classroom and help him put his bag away give him a hug and kiss and say have a good day and then go it helps with the anxiety a little bit
Or maybe even send a picture of you with him so he can look at it when he starts to miss you
I teach preschool. It will get better. The best thing that you can do is talk about how fun school is and don’t hang around at drop off. Hug, kiss, goodbye and hand him over. Keep a smile on your face and exit quickly. He will adjust. Some take days, others months. As soon as he knows the routine, he will be fine.
I agree with what others are saying on getting him counseling, make sure his feelings are heard. I also agree with some on the thread about separation anxiety, his may be more severe due to the loss of both his parents in his life. Kids know more than we realize. You are doing what you know the best, add counseling too and then ask him how he feels at home, talk through those feelings and let him decide the best safe ways to deal with those feelings. You’d be amazed the feelings of courage children get from feeling in control of how they feel. This little guy has gone through so much already, he can be so strong because of it, but it’ll take time. The drop offs will get easier.
Request a meeting to Talk to the principal and a councilor and maybe his teacher at school, ask them if he continues to cry and struggle once he’s in school. If he does, maybe they will have some ideas/suggestions about ways to help ease his anxiety , good luck
Seems like separation anxiety. I’d be getting him in counseling asap as leaving you is getting more and more traumatic each day. Contact the school guidance counselor and get him on their list of daily check-ins
I think he just feels your place is the safe place. You protect him. Maybe your could sit with him in school for a couple hours.
He feels safe with you I’m sure