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Thread: Kindergarten Drop Off

  1. #1

    Default Kindergarten Drop Off

    Drop off was HORRIBLE. Well, the whole morning basically sucked. Elliot was VERY “I don’t want to go to school” all morning at home. Never once did he veer from that mentality. He pretty much fought me at every request. Last night we talked through what the schedule of events would be for the morning: eat breakfast, wash hands, put on uniform, then time for a show. When I asked him what was next in his schedule he went off about hating rules and I said “these aren’t rules, Elliot, this is just your schedule of events.” And then he was like “oh” and responded with what the next event was. Sheesh!!

    Elliot has complained about his tummy not feeling well EVERY school day, so far. On Friday (first day) I chalked it up to nerves, and he pooped before we left for school that morning. Monday, again, he pooped before we left for school. Yesterday he did not, but today he did. He has been panicky about his tummy “not feeling well” since he thew up two Saturday’s ago … so I don’t know if that paranoia has just stuck in his mind (he got like panic attack level afraid of throwing up like that the following Monday/Tuesday after being sick). OMG, I swear that sick event feels like this horrible event that happened that’s changing the course of personality for your child. Like getting bit by a tick and contracting lyme disease … it’s starting to feel epic if he’s going to be panicked about throwing up all the time.

    So about halfway to school he’s earnestly escalating his fears over getting sick. By the time I’m turning into the business park he’s talking about “what happens if I get sick, will people be mad at me?” And I kinda chuckled and said “Actually, if you get sick people tend to be nicer to you because they feel bad for you and know that you don’t feel well.” So he’s going on and on about how I need to take him home and how he doesn’t want to go to school and how he might be sick, etc. I told him that IF he got sick at school they would call me and I would come pick him up … that we weren’t going to stay home because he felt like he MIGHT get sick. Once we get into the parking lot at school I let him get out of his car seat (I’d planned on letting him get unbuckled anyway to kinda speed up the car exit) and come sit in the front passenger seat because I figured he could use some extra love and cuddles. That seemed to go well until the line lady opened the car door to help Elliot out. His arms immediately snapped into a vice grip around my waist and he was panicked and was NOT going to let go. I basically had to pry him loose and the line lady had to pull him out of the car. He didn’t scream or cry, but he was very upset and didn’t want to go. The line lady was as nice as she could be about it and relayed a story about her own kid, but at the end of the day she had to get him out of the car so that the line could progress. He seemed to get it together once he was out of the car, though … just started walking toward the building. He didn’t like crumple on the ground and throw a fit, so that’s good. Of course this is when I started crying.

    So he’s basically been hot and cold about a lot of different things school related over the last 2 days. Mostly he hates “all of the rules” though he’s gotten smiley face stickers for both days, which means he has followed the rules and hasn’t broken any … if you break a rule you don’t get a sticker and the # of the rule gets put on your sheet. There’s also some sort of green/yellow/red system of folders AT school and he’s still in the green he tells me. Maybe it’s just the adjustment of structured rules and being afraid to break them and not be “right/good” that’s stressing him? Not much can be done about that, that’s just life. On the way to school today he said he cried at lunch yesterday … but that was the first I heard of that and he didn’t go into too much detail. When I saw him yesterday afternoon (right after pickup) he was in good spirits and told me they learned more about gravity and I said “that’s awesome, you love gravity” he said “actually, I prefer to be weightless.” Which was funny and cool because clearly he gets the concepts. He was all smiles, so I think he’s just having these “in hindsight” moments where he’s remembering things he didn’t like later? Grrr. This putting your children forth into the world themselves is super difficult!!

    Has anyone else had a similar experience with their LO's early days of Kindergarten? I assume we're in an adjustment period, but how long does that last (roughly, I know all kids are different)? Just looking for some support and suggestions on how to deal with the transition.

    Glad I haven’t gotten a call about a puking child! ;) After I dropped Elliot off and called Mom and cried I told her it’s tough because I really don’t have a good way of checking on him, ya know? I’m connected to everyone else through technology, throughout the day, except for my 5 year old. I kinda get why parents get kids cell phones at young ages … not that I’m even remotely considering that (I’ll just have to adapt) but I kinda get it. It is weird to have access to everyone else, except your most vulnerable family member …
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  2. #2

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    Poor kid, I haven't had that experience mine is the opposite where Cody is like "Later gator". I do however have a long memory and I remember that horrible feeling of about to be ill when I went into 1st grade. Gosh that was 19 years ago!!! I was so shy and miserable. I would remind him on how well he is doing so far. Like: "Elliot remember buddy you have a smile face, that's great we are so proud of you". The other idea I have is maybe he isn't ready just yet I wonder if he'd benefit from one more year of Pre-K?
    *** Lindsay ***



  3. #3

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    sounds like an ajustment period, can you talk to his teacher about it all and see what she says? she may have a way for you to check in and see how things are going. do you hve a lunch period that you could go to the school and check in (some places have mirrored windows so you can check on your child without them knowing)



  4. #4

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    Ooooohhh right there with you. My kid is starting 2nd grade and it is getting better but not perfect. It is so hard as a mom. It is a big adjustment and a lot to figure out for small people; as he gets more familiar with the situation he will settle in. What has helped me (besides wine) was letting the teacher know what I was seeing at home and getting feedback on how things were there. It is a lot easier to tolerate the drama when you know they are totally fine 3 minutes after they arrive. Also, the teacher can help more if s/he knows that a kid is having a harder time. Hang in there, momma. It's brutal.

  5. #5

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    Still crying my eyes out reading that! I hope he adjusts soon change in a routine is tough on me, I can just imagine how hard it is on a child. Many many hugs for you and him!!! In a few weeks this will all be a thing in the past.

  6. #6

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    To Lindsay's point ... this is his first foray into an activity that requires him to be away from home, for any length of time, without his family.

    We didn't do pre-K and he has never been in daycare. SOOO ... I guess we're just paying for all of that at once. ;) I really didn't even think of it. I didn't feel pre-K was necessary from a education standpoint because he's pretty advanced ... I didn't consider some of the soft skills aspects. I still think we made the right decision and that he will transition just fine ... but we're dealing with 1st experience outside of home AND school whereas a lot of kids are old hats at being away from home and just having to hit their stride as far as the school aspect goes.

    I think he's totally ready for it, I just wasn't prepared for the level of stress that he's feeling over it ... which isn't too crazy considering that once he was out of the car he was fine. He totally just walked into the building and every day after pickup he's all smiles about how great school is. He's probably mostly just mad that I have to get him out of the house in the morning.

    Thanks so much, ladies! I'm feeling a lot better about it. And, Lindsay, I am definitely pushing the positives but sometimes people don't want to hear that when they're in a bad mood, and that might also be his deal. Just putting the pieces together with the whole "didn't do pre-k thing" will allow me to be a bit more patient ... which is super hard at 32 weeks pregnant anyway, but I've got this!
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  7. #7

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    I'm so sorry it was a rough morning My oldest is starting 4 yo pre-k so we haven't done kindergarten yet. But I used to teach K and it is very common for kids to be stressed about a new situation. The one piece of advice I would give is for you. I know it is extremely tough to keep it together when your child is upset and you just want to comfort them as much as possible. But I would definitely focus on the positive and keep making school sound fun and exciting. I had a few kids who had trouble with the drop off because their moms were having trouble letting them go. They were not doing it on purpose at all, but the kids could feel their mom's stress about leaving them so, in turn, the kids felt stress about going to school. It sounds like you did a good job of keeping it together until after your LO was out of the car - and I would continue to try and keep the happy attitude when you are talking about school.

    Does the teacher have an email address? If he/she has offered this as a form of communication, you can always send her a little note expressing your concerns and your LO's fears, and ask if she could let you know if she has any suggestions as well. If he is acting perfectly happy in the classroom, he/she may not be aware of his fears and anxieties. I was usually a "no news is good news" kind of teacher, but I would try and periodically give parents updates or let them know if there was something that was positive or that could have been a troubling behavior that we might have needed to focus on.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by khadijavye View Post
    To Lindsay's point ... this is his first foray into an activity that requires him to be away from home, for any length of time, without his family.

    We didn't do pre-K and he has never been in daycare. SOOO ... I guess we're just paying for all of that at once. ;) I really didn't even think of it. I didn't feel pre-K was necessary from a education standpoint because he's pretty advanced ... I didn't consider some of the soft skills aspects. I still think we made the right decision and that he will transition just fine ... but we're dealing with 1st experience outside of home AND school whereas a lot of kids are old hats at being away from home and just having to hit their stride as far as the school aspect goes.

    I think he's totally ready for it, I just wasn't prepared for the level of stress that he's feeling over it ... which isn't too crazy considering that once he was out of the car he was fine. He totally just walked into the building and every day after pickup he's all smiles about how great school is. He's probably mostly just mad that I have to get him out of the house in the morning.

    Thanks so much, ladies! I'm feeling a lot better about it. And, Lindsay, I am definitely pushing the positives but sometimes people don't want to hear that when they're in a bad mood, and that might also be his deal. Just putting the pieces together with the whole "didn't do pre-k thing" will allow me to be a bit more patient ... which is super hard at 32 weeks pregnant anyway, but I've got this!
    I didn't think about that but, what you are saying makes sense. I hope it gets easier for him.
    *** Lindsay ***



  9. #9

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    Anne, thanks for the good advice! The paperwork we got from open house just said to call the school or send a note. :/ I would SO much prefer an email address!! I will send a note and ask for an email address. .

    Am I going to become "that" parent if I send a note the first week? There's just so much I feel like isn't being communicated. For instance, you're supposed to be able to go eat lunch with your kid but I also believe you have to have a background check beforehand ... So has that been done? When can you eat lunch with your kid? When is lunch??

    Elliot hasn't rate his snack ALL week ... What's up with that? Nerves? Missing the snack time?

    As far as this morning's drop off, I do feel that I handled it well ... I pried his little hands from my waist and told him he had to go. I've had no personal anxiety about this process and haven't been upset a drop off. I basically only cried from his negativity when I was well down the road. Tonight he asked if he could stay home (at dinner) by bedtime he was cool with going to school in the morning and agreed we'd have a better drop off.

    We shall see! ;)
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  10. #10

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    Glad he's feeling somewhat better about school! I wonder if he's just too busy playing/socializing to eat snack? Goodluck tomorrow morning

  11. #11

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    Oh dear, today reached epic proportions!! Crying, screaming "Mommy don't leave me!" Followed by me having to pry his hand off of the headrest.

    The teacher that had to pull him from the car was very kind and reassured me that everyone was crying today.

    The other teacher that popped her head in and told me to have a good day nearly got dragged by the car.

    I just don't know what to do for him.
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  12. #12
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    It usually gets worse, because they're finally coming to terms with the fact that this isn't a one or two day thing, and the excitement of all the cool new stuff has worn off. It usually tapers off, in a few months. While we're not there with Mira yet, I *was* that kid. And I have vivid memories of the first few days of school. Obviously, everyone adjusts, some taking a little longer than others. What I have noticed in Mira's class is that by and large, the kids that are used to being separated from their parents young tend to adjust better. That said, there is one boy in her class who still, after 2 years, breaks out the waterworks when his mom leaves him. He is JUST FINE 30 seconds later.

  13. #13

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    Good point, Suja, about reality sinking in.

    How old is Mira? What grade is she in?

    I don't let the drop off ruin my whole day, but it's pretty traumatic at least 30 minutes afterward. I reassure myself that he is likely fine and goes with the flow shortly after he's in his classroom. I would like to cut the school negativity and completely meltdown at drop off, but I guess time will only make that better.

    I tried to talk through it all with him and rationalize stuff and I think my strategy tomorrow will be just to ignore it. We'll see how that goes.

    Thanks so much for your support ladies!
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  14. #14
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    Mira is 4, but she's been going to daycare since she was 6 months old, and to a Montessori since she was 2, so she has had some experience with a school environment already. I'm expecting another period of adjustment when she starts first grade, in a public school.

    She had a rough patch earlier this year, completely out of the blue. Started screaming upon drop off, tried to run out of the class, wouldn't calm down, etc. It took a few weeks to work through that. What helped was 1) reassuring her every day that mommy loved her very much, and will be back to pick her up *every* day, just like she has, all the preceding years 2) A picture of our family for her to keep in her cubby, so she can look at it if she missed us, and 3) http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0875167349/

    This series of books can also be helpful: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0807589039/

  15. #15

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    Another good book for the transition is The Kissing Hand. We kept numerous copies of it in our classroom and handed it out to many parents

  16. #16

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    There's also a Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episode about "grownups come back" on PBSkids.org...

  17. #17
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    Ugh I am so sorry. This is so hard on the parent too

    How is he when he gets home? Has the teacher reported that he is totally fine after the initial drop off horror? DD2 did that with preschool but within minutes of being there she was fine.

    As for the eating, DD1 would leave most of her lunch and it drove me crazy! She never had trouble with school but they only had 20 mins to eat and she was socializing and just not used to eating within that time. At home she was not under any time constraints to eat! He will get used to it.

    Sounds like you are handling it great. I would have a very hard time not being a crying mess myself.

    I hope things get better.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  18. #18

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    Thanks Ladies!! They read The Kissing Hand on the first day of school, I believe. For whatever reason, Elliot didn't seem impressed with it.

    Tapir, I've had that "Grownups come back" song stuck in my head, actually. I was thinking perhaps I needed to find that episode to play again for him.

    Macksmom, thanks for the reassurance about lunch ... I hadn't thought of the fact that he's just naturally a slow eater! Coupled with stress/nerves I think he's just not feeling hungry as a form of self preservation. He really does NOT want to get sick at school. It's his #1 fear that he talks about on the way. He's endlessly worried about what will happen if he throws up at school. I just literally packed him snacks today. I figure once he gets to the point that he's eating those completely I'll start worrying about better content. Luckily he's not going to wither away. ;)

    Suja, it's oddly reassuring to me that this is an issue that can kinda crop up anytime, anywhere. I was kinda second guessing my decision to NOT send him to preschool when the drop off drama started to unfold, but it sounds like it probably would have happened anyway. Thanks for kind of helping to erase my guilt on that front. I did learn today that he's afraid I'll forget him and he doesn't like for us to be apart, so it's similar stuff as Mira is going through. We printed out a family picture for him to keep in one of his folders (it has a nice little pocket that protects the picture) and I showed him a map of how close Mommy's work is to his school. His school is *exactly* a mile from my work and google maps says it's a 2 minute drive. I took a screen shot of the map on my iPhone and he asked to see it again right before drop off.

    He did actually have a reasonable complaint about school today. He said "The kids names are weird." Which is pretty funny because when I got the list of kids in his class I was so excited about the cultural diversity ... it NEVER occurred to me that it might be intimidating to him. It's also pretty funny since his Mom's name is Dorcas. ;)

    If anyone has any experience with the following names ... can you advise the correct way to pronounce them? ;)

    Nayani
    Amilliana
    Temidare
    Prayas
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  19. #19

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    I wanted to share our experience with preschool "meet the teacher" today because I thought it might make you feel a little better DD is a very social child, and is starting her third year of preschool. She has gone to the gym daycare since she was 10 weeks old, and gone to some sort of camp the past 3 summers. She had total anxiety about going to meet her teacher today, and I was with her for the whole 20 minutes! Her main teacher is new to her, but very good friends with our next door neighbors so we talked about that with her. And the 2 aides were aides in her class last year, so she knows them very well. The girl would not leave my side!! She acted extremely shy and wouldn't talk to any of the kids - not even the ones she knows from last year and camp.

    So we didn't have any tears, but we definitely had some adjustment issues, and DD is a child who *should* (theoretically) transition pretty easily. You just never know what goes through our LO's heads!

    And those are some interesting names. Sorry I can't help with pronunciation!


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  20. #20

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    Thanks Anne! That is oddly comforting, though I'm sorry you had to go through it. Hopefully her adjustment period will be swift.

    Today Elliot says "I'm sad because I miss school. I never want to leave at the end of the day."

    So I've been working with him to understand that it is VERY SPECIFICALLY the DROP OFF that he doesn't like. I think we're going to make it. ;)
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  21. #21

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    This morning the clouds parted, the skies opened up, and my big boy did NOT cry during drop off!!!!!

    Completely unexpected!

    He cried at home before we left and a little bit after he got into the car and then he just let it go. He read his Highlights magazine, listened to some tunes, and then we talked about all sorts of things. We were caught up in being excited about Gideon's approaching birth and talking about the good and bad about being the oldest (he decided he liked being able to have all the experiences first) and then it was time to get out the door and he was fine!!

    So proud!
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  22. #22

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    Yay! Hopefully he will continue to do well with drop off. Today is our first day off drop off. DD was saying she was scared, but she just told me she is ready for school. We don't leave for 2 more hours! Lol Hopefully she keeps up her enthusiasm!

  23. #23

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    My fingers are crossed for you!!
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by khadijavye View Post
    This morning the clouds parted, the skies opened up, and my big boy did NOT cry during drop off!!!!!

    Completely unexpected!

    He cried at home before we left and a little bit after he got into the car and then he just let it go. He read his Highlights magazine, listened to some tunes, and then we talked about all sorts of things. We were caught up in being excited about Gideon's approaching birth and talking about the good and bad about being the oldest (he decided he liked being able to have all the experiences first) and then it was time to get out the door and he was fine!!

    So proud!

  25. #25

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    We had a little shyness and clinging for the first few minutes. But once a certain friend showed up, she forgot all about me! Lol she is ready and excited for tomorrow, so overall a success!

  26. #26

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    Yay!!
    Dorcas (36) DH (37) 3/13



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