My son is 4 and for the last couple of months has had a REALLY hard time leaving me. He has gone to preschool since he was 18 months old. Mind you, it's only twice a week. Well, in the last two months he starts crying, holding on to me and running after me when I leave.
I've tried keeping it short and sweet. I've tried giving him extra hugs and reassurance. Neither ways seem to work. He doesn't even want to stay with grandma and grandpa anymore. And he loves them!
When I ask him why he gets so upset to leave me, he says he "just misses me." I've asked many questions to make sure nothing is happening to him, and I'm most certain it's not. It is an incredibly small pre-school and run by women who are amazing. I am in constant connection with them through other areas in life as well. When I leave they text me and even give me updates. And usually I after I leave he has an amazing time. He'll tell me about all the fun stuff he did. He's also in no rush to leave when I pick him up which makes me think that things are fine there.
Has anyone gone through this? I'm just puzzled. I've experience seperation anxiety with him before but usually wears off after a couple of weeks. This is two months and going now! Help please!
Cody did this only a couple of times when starting Kindergarten though he had been in Pre-K full time the year before. I tend to think that maybe they realize "Oh wait.. I used to be with mom all the time and now she is sending me to school". I know its a bit different for yo because its only a couple of days a week. I think reassurance that he does well can help. I reminded Cody if he would feel that I miss him to while he's at school but, I loved to hear about all the cool things get got to do. After a while he it didn't take him long to not feel sad. It will get easier though its not going to last forever.
We just went through this with Olivia about a month ago. She absolutely loves school, but she would cling to me and cry and tell me she was scared every time I left her. It was totally out of the blue. I talked to her teachers and to her many times to see if something had happened that made her upset, but she said no, everything was fine. And once I was gone, she was totally fine and would have a great time at school, like always. DD's teachers were great and would just peel her off of me and redirect her so I could sneak out. It lasted about 2 months for us, but I am happy to report that one day, she just stopped doing it and bounced into school the way she always had before. I think there was one day in between where DH was home and he took her to school, and she did not pull this for him. Then the next time I took her, she was fine.
I hope it is just a short phase for you and he goes back to being his happy self when you leave. It must be something with 4 year olds - maybe struggling with the transition of being young toddlers to "big kids"? Have you ever read the book The Kissing Hand? I used to use it with my students and had just ordered it for us when DD snapped out of her phase. But essentially, the mommy raccoon (I think!) kisses her baby raccoon's hand so he always has a kiss from her nearby. Any time he needs it, he can just put his hand on his cheek and he has a kiss from Mommy. Maybe something like that would help?
Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)
Thank you ladies! I appreciate knowing that this is somewhat "normal" behavior.
I haven't heard of The Kissing Hand but am definitely going to look into! I think that would be a great thing to help reinforce what I'm saying.
There is an episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (on pbskids.org) that talks all about how "grownups come back" complete with catchy song. That actually really helped my girl around that age...
Thank you tapir. He likes that show so I'm going to be on the hunt for it now!
Originally Posted by tapir