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Anxiety of being in a new home and being at a new school is common for children at this age. Anxiety can also be contagious. Moving into a new home and getting things up a going is a stressful time for any family and this changes can result a stressful environment. First grade is also a transistion itself. School is a little more focused (depending on the teacher). Recess may be with older children on the playground, in the lunchroom etc.
Don't be afraid to touch base with the teacher. Many students that show anxiety at home are quiet in the classroom and don't show signs of issues early in the year. The teacher will be appreciative learning that your son has a hard time transistioning. Your son may not be as worried about the transistion to school and may be more worried that home will be there when he returns, that you will know where to pick him up and won't forget where to go, things of this nature. This can stem from the new home and school environment.
Make sure that you have upbeat conversations with your son about the exciting things that he is doing at school, all of the new friends that he is making, etc. Try not to focus on the emotion and focus on the positive. To do this you need to engage the conversation with upbeat statements early in the evening before he is able to focus on the negative. Things like, "Wow, I am jealous you get to see all of your new friends tomorrow." "I know your teacher is going to be excited to see you tomorrow morning, when you get home I want to hear about all of the cool things that you did".
The other important thing to come the anxiety is to set-up routines that are predictable (as much as possible). The same person picks your son up at the bus stop. Making lunch together the night before together. Anything that can encourage a routine. If things are different be sure to inform him of the changes early and give him a few reminders that the transistion is coming. While you are tucking your child in at night, it is a great time to go over the following days schedule. This allows him to mentally prepare and ask any questions that he may have.
not/ come / calm
Once your child is in bed, it is normally a calm time and hopefully he is in a calm state so he will be receptive to what you are saying.
If your child continues to become ill prior to going to school, I suggest taking him for a check-up to just check that things physically ok. I would also check to make sure there is no underlying reason that this anxiety has appeared. Someone at school that he doesn't like, something else that has changed in his life that you may not be aware of, ect.
Sorry for the random thoughts, as I type, I think of other things. To help build the routine of leaving in the morning, you may want to play a game to pratice the desired behavior. I know this may sound strange, however acting out the expected behavior in a calm state may help with the behavior in the excited state. In the evening act out with your husband or other sibling or really anyone else how you would leave for school and then have your son try.
I hope I have been able to give you some strategies to help with your son's anxiety. If you need some more ideas or if there is anything else I can help you with, let me know.
Thank you for your response. His teacher is aware of his anxiety and does what she can in the morning to get him to come into the class and sit down. We had the pediatrician check him out too for physical reasons of his becoming ill etc. I asked him if 2nd garde was too hard or too easy of if someone was picking on him and all answers are no...he tells me he doesn't undetsand why he gets sick or feels nervous or scared and that he doesn't like to feel this way. It just breaks my heart to see him so upset.
It sounds like you are working hard to lower that anxiety. The role playing may help him to see option on how to handle the situation. Talking prior about the next day and the expectations.
Work on finding the comfortable home, with everything being new, it can be overwhelming. Maybe a calm place to wait before going to school.
Working with him to have a signal if he is feeling anxiety and having something that he can do. Have him put his hand on the end of your elbow if he is feeling anxiety and then have him sit on exercise ball until he has calmed down. It doesn't really matter what you do, just giving him control of the situation can help.
If he has the ability to inform someone how his feeling without a long discussion and a strategy to deal with it, it may help.
I would give him strageties and then control of the situation in a positive way. I hope that makes sense...
If he is able to offer ideas on things that can calm him, giving him input on the coping strategies will be even more helpful.
I have seen students come in with stress balls that they have been allowed to pick out at the store. The ball is the key to calm down. They got to pick the item and they have control on when to use it.
I hope that I have given you some ideas and I know that your son will successfully conquer this, as it sounds like he has a strong support system. If there is anything else I can do, let me know.
Ok thank you. I feel a bit better about ways to help him. Thank you so much for your assistance.
Please don't hesitate to contact me in the future if I can assist; good luck.