My 3-year-old just started preschool and is having a hard time in and out of school: Help?

I need advice. My daughter is 3.5 she just started preschool last week. A few months ago her friend (only one she knows she has no siblings and no cousins) her friend was very physical with her and hurt her and her feelings. Since then she’s been petrified of other children of all ages. Prior to that she LOVED kids and would just run toward them every chance she had. Well now with her in preschool, she screams and sobs uncontrollably while she’s there, the teachers are amazing and work so hard to calm her and take her mind off things. She literally just sobs and cries saying ‘I want me mommy I want to go home’ the entire time she’s there. It’s getting worse each day she goes. Her whole personality has changed since she started, acting really sad and more clingy than usual. (I’m a stay at home mom) she’s usually a daddy’s girl, and here lately she won’t even let him near her, she just screams for me to hold her the entire time, and saying rude nasty things towards him like ‘go in the other room’ ‘i don’t want HIM to do this/that’ and plenty of other very hurtful rude things. I don’t know what to do, I already have HORRIBLE anxiety and just taking her to preschool is hard enough let alone have to have her pried off of me every day and see her sobbing before I pick her up. I’m at a loss as to what to do. I’m nauseated and can barely eat bc my nerves are completely shot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance

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Is it possible an adult has hurt your child? She should not be saying things towards her father like that if theyve been close before that. I’m sorry to broach such a sensitive topic but you can never know what happens unless you personally are there 24/7.

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I would suggest talking to her teachers, and building her confidence up. Try to set it up where she works this out. It could be a number of things. And she can also be feeding into your behavior.
I like taking my daughter to the park, where I’m there and she plays with other kids.
Also a pep talk helps my family. She will get a prize for going to school of some kind. Give her a chore. Tell her you want her to draw something for you or make something for you. Maybe let her just hang out with one teacher before going into a full blown class. The possibilites are endless, dont worry someone is struggling just like you. Just take a deep breath and remember your doing a good job.

Stay with her a little while, give her a family photo , maybe in a necklace. Set her tasks to do . Each day stay a little less. Make parting a happy time , with the promise of a happy reunion, Daddy included. A nightime story together , perhaps. Or a play on the swings. Together. Most importantly, watch closely what is really going on at the school. Is she REALLY being included and tended to?

If you are a stay at home mom why is she in pre-school?

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I didnt start my son to preschool until he was 4. We were allowed to go in whenever and even volunteer if we wanted. Maybe you can ask if you can go sit with her one day? Or volunteer as much as you can.

Have you tried play therapy

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If Shes fearful of a man it wouldn’t hurt to take her to the doctor for an exam and make sure nothing has happened

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I would not take her there no more.I learn from my kids they know something is wrong may not know how to say…but clearly is.

I would seek Counseling asap

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Seek therapy/counseling of some sort… Idk why she would be acting this way with her daddy if it was her friend who had been bullying her… Is pulling her out an option? Maybe shes just not ready for that type of scenario.

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Maybe take her out for a while, she could just be not ready yet and 6 months down the line it could all be different. Good luck.

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Unfortunately they all go through this. I’m currently experiencing the same with my son. He had one good week where he even begged to go to school. Somehow this week he reverted to wanting to be with his daddy. It’s your daughters first week. Children can go months with separation anxiety. We try to be positive and sound excited when he goes. When he gets picked up it’s the same. When I was working he was going to daycare and at first he had a tough time. Eventually he got “used” to it and it became a routine. When I stopped working he was home with me for two years with his little sister. It didn’t help with him being home and not being around so many children and strange adults. It is very torturous to see them that way. I believe he will act this way next year and/or the year after that. They just want to be home with mom.

Maybe try to decrease days and hours to try to wean her into it. Maybe try to talk to her pediatrician and see if they can refer to a counselor who could do a play therapy sort of thing to find the root cause of this, whether it be the incident with the kids or something else. That would also help give you some other tools to help work thru this. Hope things get better for you. Hang in there.

I think u need to do a lil investigating something happened to your daughter that traumatized her and not just her friend doing something is going on that’s why she’s acting like that get on it Mom first thing is to stop taking her to that daycare even investigate dad just to be safe

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I would remove her from the preschool and do some investigation… once she is a bit more settled then reintroduce the idea of preschool/mommy and me play groups. But I would NOT take my child somewhere where she is that upset.

I kept my children at home until they were old enough to start school. They all knew there abc’s and could count and also try to prepare them for the not so nice children. They could write their names I’m not sure why if you are a stay at home mom you put her in school at that young age. Someone has hurt her in some way for her to be have like that. I suggest you keep her home or find a new school.

It’s amazing how many people speculate on the father. It may very well be that she is looking to her mother to “fix” this because it is her mother that takes her there. Her mother’s face is the last she sees when she is dropped off so its her mother that she needs to console her the most. Children show anxiety and frustration through behavior and many times it is hurtful. Maybe try having her dad or another family member take her periodically. Send her with pictures of each of you or spend some time there in another part of the room until she is feeling more comfortable. Whatever you decide thos could be a good experience for you to teach her strength & help you process some of your own anxiety.

You have to do whatever is best for your child and right now that’s respecting her need for safety and security so she can learn to trust you in the future. Put yourself in your child’s shoes; it’s ok for her to not be ready.

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For starters u.need to sit down talk to your husband about your concerns ask him what u both should do talk to the preschool teachers about seeking.help for your daughter children do.overcome these fears about.other children and kids do take tantrums my advice seek help for your daughter.

Maybe something happened at the daycare? Maybe try a different School or wait until she’s four? Thankfully you are a stay-at-home mom so you can pull her out and try other options. Hope you get this resolved.

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She’s just not ready yet , give her a little more time at home ,teach her some schooling at home till she has the confidence to go

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It sounds like an adjustment disorder or developing one. Have you tried to speak to the prek to see if you can stay for a bit in her classroom, sending her with a special toy, or a photo of you and your SO. I know from experience that it’s hard to watch but you also getting stressed out or anxiety kicks in … because she is upset children can sense it if your not at ease. Is she full day or half day program I had to do half day for my daughter who has an adjustment disorder, anxiety and learning disorders she has issues being away from home and routine being changed for pre k and k… shes now in fifth and gets extra services in home and school… my four year old is going in to k next week and also has separation anxiety but I’ve been preparing him for a month for full day kinder. And I know that I’m going to have an issue getting him on and off the bus. Good luck darlin

If she doesn’t need to go I would just stop and wait till next year honestly. The reaction to her father is kind of suspicious too. Or maybe see bout being a room mom for couple weeks

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I disagree with pulling her out. I agree that something may have triggered however, im leaning more towards not. Most children when starting daycare, preschool and/or kindergarten get separation anxiety to various degrees. My daughter was the absolute worst from toddler room daycare to preschool, jk and sk. She screamed every day for months when she would start a different class. She’s going from a relatively quiet home to a loud ass, chaotic room filled with a shit load of kids and 2 (or 3 if you’re lucky) teachers. Even if she loved kids before, she knew that she could love them and leave. Now she’s being dropped off for HOURS with kids she can’t get away from. It’s hard for them but honestly, I think it’s better to warm her up to the idea now rather than wait until jk. It may slightly soften the blow next fall.
I would cover your bases. Take her to the dr. Get her checked out. If they say that there’s no evidence of physical trauma, take her to preschool. It will be hard, especially with the current state of your anxiety. Remind yourself that she is behaving this way because you are her safety net and you aren’t a bad mom for “putting her through this”. Then, even if you know you’re lying, sound excited af on the way to preschool about all the friends she can make and things she can learn/play with/whatever she loves most. Walk her up to the door of the class, give her a big hug, tell her you love her and that you’re coming back, and walk away. Go reward yourself with tea or coffee and repeat it daily. The faster you leave, the less guilty you’ll feel and the faster the staff can calm her.

Switch school’s if you can.

Pull her out for now. Don’t retraumitize her every day!

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Lashing out at dad seems fishy… Is it possible she was hurt (physically or emotionally) by an adult? Either way, id take her to talk to a professional.
I knew a kid that rocked back and forth on thr floor saying “i have a secret” was sure something physical happened. 6 months of therapy later it turns out a kid at daycare told him that santa clause was dead and his sweet little heart just couldn’t handle it.

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I would try talking to her… Communication is a BIG deal when it comes to parenting… Communication is everything… Obviously she trust you and you need to talk to her about it… What happened ?? What did you do ??.. Then go from there… Switch preschools… Less time at preschool… Give her something of yours to remind her of you… A shirt to carry with your purfume… Or a scarf… Explain to her that shes becoming a big girl now and big girls have to go to school to learn… Encourage her to talk to you about whats going on there… Who is mean to her… Talk with the teachers…

How about making the kid who hurt her APOLOGIZE! How about both sets of parents talk about how that behavior is not okay and we don’t hurt our friends. If a “friend” would hurt her, no wonder she’s afraid of strangers!! She needs to know that what the other child did is not acceptable and that people don’t go around doing that! She’s looking to mom for reassurance that this won’t happen again!

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Take her out of school there is always next year

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I have four children and none of them attended preschool. She just may not be ready for that kind of setting. Maybe pull her out? It’s not a bad thing to do. It sounds like it’s more traumatizing than good at this point.

Sounds like two different problems… you know why she doesn’t like school… but why’s she so mad at dad ?

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When my girls were that age and I would take them to preschool they would cry for me and hold on to my leg as I tried to leave and the teacher would tell me “just go, she’ll be fine.” I felt horrible and started to question my decision of putting her in school and thought why am I putting my child through this? I asked the teacher how she was during the day and she said as soon as left and I was out of my daughter’s sight, she was fine. Week after week the “dramatic goodbyes” eased up and lessened and before I knew it she was telling me to leave. Now I was the one wanting to cry…lol…It’s hard to let them go but in the end, I was happy and thought I made the right decision. She learned so many new things like how to share and play with others, follow 2-step instructions, lots of new words, I loved and still do love the “artwork” she brought home. My suggestion would be to ask her teachers how she is doing and if you’re questioning your decision of starting her in preschool, maybe wait at least until the first “report card” comes out and talk it over before pulling her out, if that’s what you’re debating…Good Luck

I feel you should seek professional help. It may just be a phase but expert advice is the need of the hour.

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Wow something happened to this little girl that upset her world. Since she is young enough to step back from school, an only child, with a stay home mom, now is the best and maybe only time to get to the very root of this problem. Step back mom, spend some 1-on-1 time with her, let her be little for just a while, find out what has or is hurting her, before you start something new. Because school will be hard forever, your relationship with her doesn’t have to be.

You should know what to do, it’s clear as day. Take her out of preschool. It’s daycare at that age really. If you’re a stay at home mom, why put her in that? Kids thrive at home with their mothers. You should be using the fact you’re a stay at home mom to your families advantage, which means raising your daughter. You school her yourself. Take her to the park for social outings. Dropping her off at a place that gives her anxiety, crying for you and most importantly, completely unnecessary for her to be there, is nuts.

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Take her out of school and organise play dates with mums and their kids. This will help socialise her as well as give you some time with adults. She will be happy to play with other kids when you are around. 3.5 is very young.

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Take her to a professional. Something happens to her. Don’t waste more time. Is clear that a bad thing happens.

I would take her out and put her back in next year… spend the next few months taking her to playgroups with you and building her confidence again

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Go to the school with her if possable sit with her and also interact with the other kids to show her they are ok… its hard when someone u trusted hurts you and you never want hurt again so u push people away so u dont feel that pain again. Sucks shes so young and already dealing with this . Was there sexual abuse or was the friend a boy that hurt her? Bacause for her to push dad away is either she is afraid of boys now or she wants mommy to herself and shes afraid of loosing you … she may need to see a councler to help …

I would talk to a doctor. Preschool anxiety is normal, being rude to dad out of nowhere is not. Something happened that she isn’t sharing.

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Have you tried a.mommy and me style of class? To maybe re introduce to her kids while you are present. She may have a bad case of separation anxiety…therapy may help…but it’s something to consider…she could just be lashing out at dad because of the anxiety in general…

Keep her home with you! Would take her to a child phycologist. You can teach her what she could learn in preschool.i never went to kindergarten and had older siblings, much older than me.i was more or less an only child but by the time I went to 1st grade I knew my numbers and could write the alphabet. Never played with children until 1st grade but I was and am fine. I was always a leader and I am a people person today.relax take your little girl to therapy and keep her close and have fun with her. I clung to my mother too. Even slept between my parents until I was four. God bless you.by the way I’m 72 raised 4 remarkable independent children and I have 5 grandsons. Let me know how things work out. I’ll pray for you God bless you and your little one.

Preschool fits are normal. She’s going after dad for no reason and would be a good cause to look into that. Have a doctor check her out

U should check why ur daughter behavior is like that towards her daddy its to weird why shes like that if shes bullied in school why she’s angry with her dad the normal reaction to that is she should look at her dad allies not enemy… for me check ur husband whereabouts

Talk to a professional

Give her another year and try again. It sounds traumatic and will make it worse. Is there maybe like a library story time you can go with her so she exposed to kids but you’re still there.

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The best advice I could offer would be a therapist. Removing her from preschool and keeping her home again would only set her back and, in a way, encourage her excessive dependence on you. And the reaction to her father is strange. But I’m sure there are lots of things that can manifest in this way. A therapist is definitely better suited for working through whatever she has going on. I just don’t think hindering her social and educational development by allowing her to stay home would be beneficial in the long run. Have you been able to try having someone else drop her off? Maybe not starting her day off with that separation at preschool would help? It definitely sounds difficult, but socialization is very important to childhood development and personally I’d rather work through it in preschool than have it affect her in kinder or early school age.

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Sounds like separation anxiety. Girl I get anxiety and feel like throwing up with even the thought of mine going to preschool she is only 2 though. Maybe she should wait a little longer to go.

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Would you be open to pulling her out and maybe trying again next year? I wouldn’t want her to be traumatized of school and her never want to go again. I definitely say pull her out and get her back at it next year. Maybe she just isn’t ready.

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See if they will let you stay and volunteer in the class. It may help her adjust to being there. She also may not be ready for school just yet. There’s no hurry at her age. Taking her to parks where other kids are to play might help also. She was traumatized by the experience and may still just need time to trust other kids again. Hope you find a solution that works for her.

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She sounds like she’s just not ready or it could be the preK that she doesnt like… My daughter was the same when she started day care. We didn’t live close to family and she didn’t have siblings, so it was just us. So I thought she would enjoy day care so she could make friends and play with other kids her age. She HATED it. So I ended up pulling her out and then when she was 4 she did a mother’s day out program 3 days a week and she loved it there. She made a friend and she ended up really enjoying it. Plus they helped her prepare for kindergarten.

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I would check into this very carefully. It seems to me this child has had a very bad experience and not with this friend.

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Let her stay home one more year. There is no hurry with her only being 3. Maybe letting her do something else involving other kids a few times a week will help make her feel better

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Is it possible to be a visitor at the school for a whole day to see what the everyday routine is about ? One of my nieces had a bad experience as a child in preK. Her mother took her out of the school. When she grew up, married, and became a mother, she got a job at the school where her children went to preK. She said that she wanted to make sure they were safe. My niece had no problems when she went to kindergarten even though her mother took her out of preK. May God bless you and your family. Is it possible to volunteer at her preK class?

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Just keep her at home with you. You don’t have anything else to do since you stay at home. She doesn’t even need to go to preschool, you can teach her everything she needs at home. My daughter will be 2 next month and I’ve been teaching her colors so now she’ll go around and say “Blue” whenever she sees something blue. I’m not having my daughter go to preschool, cause they literally go there to get sick and get lice. She’ll be home with me until kindergarten. Your daughter needs time.

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Don’t send her back to the pre-K she has a couple of years before she has to really go to school full time

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It sounds like she’s just not ready. Wait a year and try again. Kids don’t NEED preschool, so it’s not going to hurt to wait.

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I worked in a daycare for a very long time. Are you sure she had just one bad experience with the child? It sounds like something else may be going on. Normally the children have to adjust and crying is typical if just starting, but after mom leaves they are normally fine. Can you watch without her seeing you after drop off without the teacher knowing? Drop in a few times just to monitor what is going on in the classroom a few times through out the week.

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Something traumatic has happened to her at preschool. Keep her home with you until she gets over this.

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This is much more than just home sick.

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If she is used to being with you she is experiencing separation anxiety

She’s only 3.5, I would pull her out and try again next yr. I’m all about kids getting used to school, all mine did 2 yrs of preschool before starting Kinder, but my kids LOVE school and always have. 3.5 is pretty young I don’t think it would hurt to keep her home this yr

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Three and a half does she really need to go.

Preschool is just getting them ready for kindergarten, like getting them a headstart so they know what to expect. You don’t have to send your kids to preschool it’s just an option. I’m a stay at home mom as well but i send my son 5 days a week only because he needs to get out of the house and be social and i want him to get that head start. The thing is… he has hit and has gotten hit by other kids but he comes home and acts like it doesn’t phase him. He’s 4. So there might be something else going on. My son had separation anxiety at first but would stop crying when i left the teachers said. I wouldn’t send her back, she sounds traumatized and it doesn’t make sense that it’s just over a fight with a friend. I would look into it deeper…

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Keep her home ,and try again in 6mos. Maybe try a small private home situation ,and start for a very short amount of time . Set a timer and come back on time .Slowly add more time at daycare. No need to hurry school.

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It sounds as if it was more a traumatic experience, than just something with another child, I don’t want to ring bells if I were you I would talk to my pediatrician. Tell them how she is acting with school, with her father and other children it may not have been an adult/child who has hurt her but an adolescent who seemed grown up to her. At that age she doesn’t know ages, and what comes with age. She knows big people and little people and from what you’ve said it’s as if a bigger male person has hurt or scared her. I hope with all I am that she will get through this whatever it is, stay hopeful and love her everyday.

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I think a little more has happened to her. Are there males working there?? Why is she being rude to her father if she was a daddy’s girl before?? I believe I would keep her home.

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Homeschool her period! I homeschooled my son for Pre-K and yes they have home school options. It’s mostly what I consider arts and crafts but that way she can work at her own pace and be with you. If your a SAHM then it’s really great I was a pregnant SAHM when I did it and it really gave us a time to bond before the baby came! Me personally I’d be worried about developing separation anxiety. They are just too little in my opinion to be in someone else care for so long who’s basically a stranger I even let my kid stay home every now and then when he feels like he needs a break. They are kids and we can forget that at times and work them to hard.

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Keep her home then start introducing playgroup again to help build her confidence again.
Talk to her why she doesn’t want her daddy and work through that issue. If he was the one that said she has to go to school get him to be the one to tell her she can stay home.

She doesn’t sound ready for preschool.

A think you should take her to see a child counsler
Something is seriously wrong

I wouldnt take her shes not ready. Maybe she needs to be older. Poor baby.

I think you should talk to her pediatrician about it