My son hates being without me: Advice?

I’m a single mom, and my son is four years and five months old. He has never been to daycare. Not that I didn’t try to get him into one! My son’s father isn’t involved too much. So I’m not sure if that makes him extra clingy to me or not. But I can’t do anything without him. Bathroom, shower. He cries when i leave the house. He is potty trained, but he refuses to put his clothes on himself. I try hard to work on it because school is around the corner, and I’m doing my best to get him ready for it. He also won’t go to the bathroom without me. When we talk about him going to school soon, it breaks his heart of the thought of having to go without me. I do my best to come up with encouraging reasons as to why he will have so much fun there. And not to be worried about it. All of this kills me I side tho lol I’m very worried. This is my only child, so all of this is new to both of us. I try to be strong, but I swear I’m going to cry along with him over this lmao we are both scared for this next chapter in life. So what I’m looking for is for maybe people to share their stories of their first child’s school experiences that can relate to this. Even better if they never been to preschool or any of that. I’m just looking for some guidance on this. Thank you.


Preschool. Transition him now.


I am a nursery/preschool teacher and a mom- my advice would be to try to get him into a school setting ASAP. I know you said you’ve tried, and I’m spurious why it didn’t work? Too full or because he was upset? Either way as a momma I know it’s tough but it’s best for both of you to try to break it sooner than later! PM me if you’d like to talk further and good luck mama :heart:

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You just have to do it, it’s going to be hard at first but the best thing for him is starting the transition for day-care and school now, when u leave he will cry but they are used to thank and know how to redirect the kids to calm them down and it will be like that for some time but then he will know mommy brings me here but mommy always comes back for and will be ok

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Start going to playgroups. The library also holds fun kid activities i suggest you teach him to socialise because school isnt optional and he will struggle


Find a local preschool/daycare with kids who are transitioning into kindergarten at his local school next fall. That gives him plenty of time to adjust in a less strict school setting, AND make friends who he is likely to see in class on his first day of school, and on the bus.


Also star charts are great. A star for each thing he completes,at the end of the week a treat. Perhaps u could have choosing his clothes getting dressed helped tidy up brushed his teeth simple achievable goals


Also parks are good and theres often another kother just dying to get out and to talk to someone

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Is he socialized at all? Maybe try a story hour at a library or a mommy and me type class. There are places like MyGym, Little Gym, and Gymboree. Get him around other people with structured activities.

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Baby steps… focus on one thing at a time. Maybe like toileting first and use a reward chart.

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My kids all started at a family day care then moved onto a bigger kindy then school. 2 days a week could be good for the both of you xxx


Girl… You will cry i am a mom to 4 and cried with all, its a special/bittersweet moment. Be encouraging and don’t let him see you upset. It does get easier, especially when the excitement to go grows and it will :blush:


My son was the same-way
I enrolled him in pre school program at age 5 it was 4 days a week only and only from 1-4 pm it helped him so much
( first day was hard) but he loved it !
It help prepare him for kindergarten the following year now he is 11 and at times he does not want to be bothered with me lol
It will be better once he goes to pre school or kindergarten


I suggest starting at home first. When either of you go to the bathroom explain how long you’ll be in there and give him a timer. Shut the door. If he throws a fit dont engage. When you’re done. Open the door and be excited to see him. If he sits patiently, reward him. Stamps, stickers, extra 5 minutes of electronics. Once hes good with that work your way up to something bigger like a chic fil a or McDonalds play land. He can still see you but he can go play. Then I’d work up to leaving him alone at play dates or at a friends house for an hour and increase time.


He needs play dates at a park or at a location that is not home. You need to be there so he doesn’t freak out but he will start to enjoy being with other kids his age and start to was up on needing you right there at all times


Maybe see if hes autistic

It’s hard and some kids are more sensitive and “clingy” than others. My youngest is 4 as well and still clings to me when I drop her off. She also plays me lol she doesnt pull a lot of the stuff with her dad or other family. Just make it a good experience. Kids pick up on things. Get him in a program, even if it’s a few days a week. He will carry on I’m sure, but just know it’s for the best and what he needs. Also, start holding him accountable. If he refuses to get dressed tell.him ok no going with mommy or if he wont potty without you tell him he will be losing a toy. Anything to show there are consequences

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Mother’s Day out program to start

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See if your library has story time or some other activities with kids his age. That would be a good place to start bc you can go with him. Take him to the school where he will be attending and let him play on the playground. That way when he attends it will be somewhat familiar. If the school has a play, take him to it. Anything to help familiarize him with the school. Also maybe try a reward system for him when he does something independently. Maybe start with allowing him to pick out his own clothes. When he goes to the bathroom are you just sitting there with him? Maybe start straightening things in the bathroom so you’re technically still with him but he’s doing it on his own. Then each time move a little closer to the door where perhaps you’re not within eye sight. Or try standing outside the door and talk to him through the door so he knows you’re there but not in the room. Then again, each time get a little farther away from the door.

My daughter Kayla Noel Jackson. Is goin thur the same thing.My grandson will stay with me.And he loves to play with other kids.So were lucky in that area.But hes never been n daycare or preschool yet.Seems lik everyone is giving good advice.I tagged her.So she can also read the advice. Im sure u both will b fine.It is very hard sometimes😕

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Wait til he’s six for school

My son was alot like this till he started school. He cried a few times but he was fine after the first week. He will eventually realize momma isn’t leaving forever. He’ll be okay

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So hard to answer. You wanna love and be there everyday every moment with your baby (no matter what age) but I cried a lot as I heard him crying for me when I would leave him at daycare. He would only go with his grandpa happily. That was my only break.

My son was that way and still is to an extent now and he’s almost 13.

He is feeding on your fear. Put on your big girl panties and present a strong front to him. I baby sat some kids once whose dad said they would cry when they left and right on cue they started crying and cried all evening. Talk positive about this stuff. Start with finding out why he so scared to be apart from you. Maybe start with something you can do at home such as going to the bathroom alone. You both need some counselling. Something has happened to him.


Get him in a daycare if possible NOW. Just to get him ready and soften that blow of kindergarten

My oldest daughter was very clingy. I never went anywhere without her. Until she was about 4 yrs old. I started going to grocery store, or just for coffee at a friends house. She would FREAK OUT when I was leaving. Screaming Mommy don’t leave me. Grabbing my clothes, my legs…trying to stop me from going. And she was staying at home with her dad & little brother! She would do it if I left her at my moms too! Awful scenes. Her dad wasn’t the greatest help but my mom would say “Just Go! She will be fine!” Eventually she got better with being without me.
First day of school was tough…I cried. But she wasn’t too bad…took only a few days and she was fine.
But if I hadn’t started the transition before school I’m afraid things would’ve been a lot different.
Start slow. Leave him for 15-20 min with a trusted family member or friend. Make it longer each time.
As for going to the bathroom? You’ve got to start on that right away. Explain that you need privacy…that might work. Have him sit on other side of the door. Do not give in. He is feeding on your fear and knows you’ll give in by throwing a fit. Be strong!!
Baby steps. And all will be fine.

Look into a charm, keychain necklace or something he can take with him for when he thinks of you. Or maybe do a set where you have the other half

My son was like this!.you need to make him do.things alone, for example the bathroom… I my.son get dressed hes in kindergarten. But you have to just explain that the teacher wont take him potty

As other moms have suggested, I would start with playdates where you are present but not engaging with him. I would also introduce the concept of privacy and tell him he is a big boy now and he shouldnt see mommys vagina anymore unless its for safety in public, so he needs to wait outside while mommy goes pee pee.

What does he do when you are at work? Maybe enroll in a library reading program at the library so both can be away from the house for a short period of time. And there you can meet other moms and plan play dates at your home, at their home
at the park’s. Socializing with children his own age is so very important. Playing tag, hide-n-seek, and ball are played at school recesses everyday. These games can also be included during play dates. You got this.

My daughter was a clingy kid. She still follows me around talking my head off, she is 8 now. But I love it she talks to me about everything! I got her not so clingy by going to the park as much as possible. Our library does tons of programs so I got her doing those and would walk out of the room. Also VBS is a good 1. By the time she got to kindergarten she just ran in there. I had to go in to get a hug and kiss bc she left me hanging :cry:.

I’d suggest looking into a part time preschool or daycare just to get him used to the idea of being without you all day. Most places have half day programs (breakfast through lunch) and you can pick 3 or 5 days a week. The first few days will be really hard but you definitely want him to have a trial period before throwing him into all day school. It gets easier - as he gains a routine he won’t be as clinging. You’re his comfort blanket right now but you need him to spread his wings a little and still feel safe.

You should be consistent with him. If not, you won’t be able to do anything else.

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Have you talked to your doctor about this… Could be something else is going on here

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It’s time to get him comfortable being around other people. Any grandparents or relatives/trusted friends in your life? If school is literally the first time he’s with anyone else then it’s clearly going to be a trauma. What happens when you go to work?


My 3rd child was like this; I went in for only a few mins; then the aide would guide them to toys or books with other children around; they would get to laughin’ then the teacher would shoo me out the class; this only went on for abt a week; then it was a piece of cake after that; EXCITEMENT ABT GOING TO SCHOOL BECAME NORMAL…

my two eldest were adults when i had my third child there was just me and him and as an older mother i spent all my time with him took him everywhere i went including dr and dentist when it was time for him to start school he grabbed my legs and refused to let go he cried i cried it was horrible this continued every day for a week or so then all of a sudden he couldnt wait to get to school turns out he made a friend no more tears just happy smiles

Codependent. Get a counselor for both of you.


I would say go to church on Sunday they offer bible school for an hour while your at church he’s in bible school and it’s appropriate with his age on just doing arts and crafts he’ll be in an age with his own age and you’ll be right around the corner this will start him out also library’s have special days for reading to kids he’ll be in same age and get use to being with other kids


I only have one child and there aren’t any kids in our family near his age, so he was used to just being around adults all the time. We got him into preschool when he was 3 so that he got used to being in a school setting, following school rules, being around other kids and getting use to other adults being authority figures. He only wanted to talk to/play with the teachers in the beginning, but he eventually warmed up to the other kids. We never had a problem with being as attached to us as your kiddo is, though. My kid is pretty chill about going wherever, thankfully and even he was nervous about starting K. You need to get your kiddo into something structured like that before kindergarten begins, because he’s going to have a really, really hard time adjusting if he has never been in anything and now all of a sudden has to stay somewhere all day, you know? It will be stressful for him, you, the teacher and the other children in his class. If he absolutely cannot handle it, you might want to look into some sort of homeschooling and ease him into socializing/being with out you. Hopefully it’s something he grows out of. Good luck, Mama <3

It sounds like he has a fear of you not returning. It also sounds like this has already happened that’s why he’s so scared.
Start small. Ie go to the bathroom and tell him you will return 2 or 3 times then go. If he cries it’s ok. But then when you come back make a huge deal of seeing him and how tough he was being alone ( if he’s cried or not). So this more and more each day. He will get better and it’s less stressful to him.
Good luck and hang in there


Yes God is your answer…and see if u can find a book related to ur issues to read with him…Good Luck & my Thoughts & Prayers go out to u both :pray::pray::heavy_heart_exclamation:

My son was always with me as well because I decided to stay home when he was born. He cried when he had to go to school and I would have to go eat lunch with him at his school almost every day to get him through it. It’s a really hard time, BUT it does go away lol. He’s now 12 and would die of embarrassment if I came to his school lol. Every kid is different and they all go through phases…and all those phases will pass.

My son was same way. He is almost 10 now. He has sensory issues and slight autism. Got him on low dose of Prozac and he does much better. It ran into problems at school and he had started slamming doors hitting his head on brick wall ect. It lead to worse things when he was about 8

It sounds like anxiety. Are you his sole or primary caretaker? Does he settle down and give you space once you’re in the same room or he’s been attached to your hip for a while?

My son was this way. Other than a few overnights with his grandparents, he had never been away from me. I tried daycare once, and it was so bad that my dad pulled him out and kept him while I finished up my classes. When he started prek, the first 2 weeks were heartwrenching and nerve wracking. But I just had to keep reassuring him and he eventually saw that school wasnt that bad, and mommy was always home when he got there. Be patient, but firm. We were blessed with an awesome teacher his first year and that made a huge difference. Praying for you and your little man💙

Keep giving him the encouraging reasons why he will like it and have fun at school. This is not unusual in the least. The first few times you drop him off at school will be difficult for the both of you. Just put a brave face on, smile even though your heart is breaking and send him on his way. Wait till you get to the car to cry. He will be watching how you react to all this so stay strong. It will get easier with time. Pray with him and pray over him. God speed. :heart:

Hi there! Im a mom of 5 but my youngest spent a lot of time with my mother instead of putting him in daycare and i believe this assisted with his suffering separation and social anxiety. I was told by the pediatrician to get him into therapy before kindergarten started. Therapy was super booked and costed a fortune i was willing to pay. Unfortunately he was only able to get in a few sessions that werent able to help before school started. Surprisingly, with my openess to the principal, he did really well and got a really good teacher who was skilled with children like mine. Dont worry so much about it, leave him for short periods at a time to make a routine and most importantly communicate with him. Trust me, he is very smart and will eventually understand that it is possible without you. Good luck!.

You will cry. It’s hard I know. You both will experience separation anxiety. It will gradually work out for both of you. He loves his mom very much. Hopefully there will be a special preschool teacher that will help you both get through this. I helped many children through this when I worked in child care. Don’t worry everything will work out💕

I highly suggest dropping him off with a friend or family member for a few hours each week. Soon he will be starting school and it’s going to be really tough for him.

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My first born son was the same,he will grow out of it,time, patience and love momma,my son is fast approaching his 38,the birthday and I couldn’t be prouder :heavy_heart_exclamation:

This is going to be tough for you .
Try again with the daycare option
, starting with a couple of half days a week .
Maybe Family Day Care to start with as it is a smaller group .
Explain the situation to the Director of the family day care group & she may be able to find a place for you

Lots of other great suggestions here also .

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Sounds like seoeratiin snxiety

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Try leaving him with a trusted relative for like one hour, then gradually increase the time as time goes by.

I had an only son too no dad really never started day care/ pre School till 4 an a half also… Start with a family member first just an hour an come right back do this for awhile then up the time & half day pre School 3 days a week gradually increase :revolving_hearts: he’ll adjust honey stay strong & consistent

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My son went to a daycare since he was two, by preschool he hugged me and waved bye with a smile on his face. I still cried on that walk from the classroom to the car. It’s a big milestone and it tugs at your heart strings. You’re absolutely right to try to convince yourself of all the good things he will have in school, and it’s totally normal to worry. That being said you HAVE to encourage him, and you can’t show any anxiety about school because he will feel that too. For some children it is harder, and that’s okay too! Stick to your guns, be positive, listen to his concerns and help him through them. I’ve seen children scream with tears rolling down their face as the teacher peels them from mommy’s leg and less than three minutes later they’re sitting quietly at reading circle, completely engaged in the story. No mom has it easy sending their first or only child to school for the first time, but it sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job so far, keep it up and hang in there :heart: everything is going to be just fine.

My daughter on her first day of day care she was 3 years old then yhuu she couldn’t wait to go there and play. At 2 years she used to cry for those kids who had already started going to daycare. I think what made it easy was that I taught her independency at an early age. Good luck dear

Yeeeeah it’s because you’re completely babying him. Severely. Put him in daycare now. He will learn quick from teachers and those around him. Better now than later cuz regular school will expect him to fully know the drill and be compliant. Let him cry. Eventually he will learn he can’t use it to get to you. Lock him out of the bathroom till you’re done. Sit him on the potty and make him go alone. If he’s defiant and pees/poops anywhere but the potty make him clean it up. You both need therapy.

My youngest was like this, so was my eldest, teachers will tell u to not cry in front of them because it will make them more scared, give a quick goodbye and walk out, then cry all you want.
It’s hard, very hard, but it’s something that has to be done.
Or do what others are suggesting if available. Sometimes. You have to show them maybe the hard way that they will be okay if your not there.

This might sound random but read the 5 love languages of children it has changed my child’s behaviours so much and made our house a much more pleasant environment I have stopped yelling. Anyway if you can understand his love language and fill his emotional bucket you will see fantastic results

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My daughter was excited to go to school. She told me to leave when we got to the classroom. But my son not so much. One thing you can try is having him go to daycare a few hours once a week while you run errands or clean the house or relax. Lol. Then build him up to not being with you all the time. Make it a game and make it happy times. Like let’s go play with your friends today and learn some cool things. Stuff like that. Try breaking the habits at home with rewards. Like gettin him to dress himself or go to the potty alone, give him a treat or new book. Just make it consistent actions and stand your ground he will learn.

As a Pre School teacher try breaking him away have grandparents watch him fir a couple of hours but once in school he will be fine. Just needs to adjust for maybe a week or two.Mom he will do fine.

Hes going to make so many new friends. He may be scared at the beginning, i’m hoping he will have fun and lose track of time. Sending good vibes

What about trying a half day program a few days a week now bc kindergarten will definitely be a tough transition. I’d also work on some independence; dressing himself, going to the bathroom, etc… use lots of praise when he does those things himself. He’s going to continue to do what you allow & it’s not benefiting him at this time from what you stated.