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professional_Alison
professional_Alison, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
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My 4 year old son has been in junior kindergarten since Sept.

Resolved Question:

My 4 year old son has been in junior kindergarten since Sept. 2 days/3 day weeks. Hes a strong willed boy but usually not this much of a problem. He has decided he does not want to go to school anymore. Started with being picked up for a stomach ache (sobbing etc) and since then has a total meltdown, tries stomach issues, attitude and general obstenance. Took him to the school today and he was happy to see his friends (although reserved) but did not want to stay. He just says he does not like school anymore and wants to stay home. He has given no indications that theres any problems there and I volunteer in his class and have not seen any issues. We are at a loss as to "force" him to go or let it be for a bit. Weve tried several approaches....talking, discipline, removing things he like until he goes back etc. Nothing is working!!
Kelly
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  professional_Alison replied 2 years ago.

professional_Alison :

Hello there, may I help you?

professional_Alison :

This can often happen when children first start school, they love it to begin with, then when the novelty wears off and the realisation that they have to go every day kicks in, they then can protest about going. They can decide that they actually prefer to be at home with you. Sometimes they feel that they are missing out on what is going on at home.

professional_Alison :

Children will try every trick in the book to make you question whether you are doing the right thing sending them, being ill, crying, etc. If you have observed him in class and have a good relationship with the teachers, feel comfortable that they would let you know if there are any problems then stick with it. If you pull him out then you will have the same problems again when you start it up again. Try to make any conversations about school positive ones, dont entertain any conversations about not wanting to go. Perhaps have a friend to tea after school one night as something to look forward to. If they are doing a topic encourage him to take something in from home. Or if you go somewhere special at the weekend then say " lets buy a souvenir to take to show your school friends on Monday".

professional_Alison :

When you leave him say goodbye, dont hang around but be very positive, " have a lovely time darling, I lookk forward to hearing all about your day when I pick you up this afternoon".

professional_Alison :

Keep talking with the staff let them know how he is feeling and then they can keep a close eye on him too.

professional_Alison :

Remeber this transition is a big change that takes time for a child to get used to, time, patience and positive encouragement are key here.

professional_Alison :

I hope this helps.

professional_Alison :

The separation distress is a relatively short phase and I promise it will pass ans he will be able to go in happily and wave to you, as long as you continue to be consistant with how you handle the situation.

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX booked him for an ultrasound just to rule out there really is not a problem there (since his tummy hurts for other issues as well) as he was fine at school until one day he was eating and his stomach started hurting. That is one of the "excuses" he uses is that when he eats at school he cries. He has missed his two days this week but I have informed him that he has to go back next week. I have said it happily and cheerfully and it has invoked tears of "I dont want to go to school" instantly. We have 4 days to work on it and I will see if we can get it anymore positive over those days, but he is so adamant he is not going back and when we start to try to discuss it, the upset just grows. THe ultrasound is next Friday so I am hoping I can convince him to go to school the two days before that and it all works out. I feel like he is trying to be in control as he does have that nature. You ask him to do something like :can you please go put your book away?" and he says "no thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I will just play and do it later". We do get him to do it and not "win" but he is always trying things like that. THats why I feel this is most likely more behavioural than health related. oh, he did go through HUGE separation from me but it has been good for the past year. He would lose it when I would leave but then be okay after 20 min. He has not been like that at all at school since the beginning in Sept. but all of a sudden he is clingy to me again.

professional_Alison :

It may be that he finds the lunch times difficult but it will just require a period of adjustment, make sure if you send a packed lunch it is interesting varied and small portions so not overwhelming.

professional_Alison :

I think you are right to check his tummy pains as it also shows him you believehim but mean business by taking him to the docor.

professional_Alison :

You could also try when you say good bye a distraction technique of "when I pick you up later which toy shal I bring with me?"

professional_Alison :

If he is anxious about school I would not push the conversation but perhaps on the morning of school say who is going to be there today that you would like to play with?

professional_Alison :

Children are very good at making us question if we are doing the right thing and making us feel guilty, stick to your guns and dont back down, work closely with staff and in a few weeks this will be a distant memory!

Customer:

His teacher thinks it has to do with pooping at school. he would "hold it" until he got home becuase he didnt want to wipe his own bum and they are not allowed to help. Sometimes he would be in so much discomfort becuase he had to go so bad. Plus since christmas he was sick (strep/pnuemonia etc) and on lots of antibiotics so his system is/was gassy and irregular. Hes on a probiotic now to get things back in order but that is partly why I do think its a stomach issue but just not neccessarily a serious long lasting one. The day I got called for a stomach ache, she made him go poop there (which he does wipe now but I think in his head he still doesnt want to go at achool) and then he got upset a bit later and said his stomach hurt again. So I do think hes anxious about that a bit too...alot of little factors and hes just four so maybe its just alot for him to figure out. But its good to hear that we are doing the right things and it will hopefullly move along soon. Thats a good point about not pushing the conversation during non school days as he then gets anxious about it for sure. Will not talk about it and be non-chalant about it if he brings it up. I hope your right and it is a distant memory very soon! Hes got good "holding" power for his attitude but I think we can out hold him!! LOL Thank you for your input!!

professional_Alison :

with regard to toileting if he cant wipe his own bottom practise at home helping him. If he is worried about pooing at school perhaps when you first arrive you could take him and also just before you go home so he knows its nothing to worry about going at school. Its a scary thing learning to be independant at only 4! Bless him.

Customer:

Yes he is doing it now at home and very confident now, but maybe he just doest feel at school it is something he can do. My other son (10 yrs old) would not go at school either when he was young. This one will go anywhere, restaurants, grocery stores etc but I think thats becuase there weve always been there to help him and at school we cant be. maybe he just needs convincing that its no different than at home and he can do it at both places.

Customer:

Well, I think that is about all the things I can think of and as far as giving me some reassurance that we doing the right thing, you have definately helped me. Now we just have to stay firm and see what happens! Thank you!!

professional_Alison :

Its also good to encourage a teacher that he really likes to talk about "sarah" for example and let him know he can talk to her if he need to and she can take him to the toilet if it helps him fee more confident but cannot help him wipe.

professional_Alison :

Glad I could help, please accept if you are satisfied with my answer, many thanks

Customer:

Thats a good point. Perhaps just having someone (his older brother) come to his class during lunch and if he needs a poop break, will help him get his confidence back. I will accept. Thank you again!

professional_Alison :

Great idea!

professional_Alison :

Do message me if i can help you again!

Customer:

When I click accept, will I still have access to this info again to reconnect if I have something else to add to the issue?

professional_Alison :

yes you just have to private message me or I can arrange a follow up if you like?

professional_Alison :

the info will all still be with your question for you to see.

Customer:

okay, I that sounds good. If it goes poorly over the next week or so, I may be in touch!! :-) thank you

professional_Alison :

thats fine, gladly help you more!

Customer:

thanks! Accepting now!! Bye for now!

professional_Alison :

bye!

professional_Alison, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience: Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
professional_Alison and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  professional_Alison replied 2 years ago.
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