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My First Grader and separation anxiety

post #1 of 2
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I am a Mama of three boys (9, 7 and 5).  My nine year old has always had a hard time with separation but this year he seems to be doing better.  He is able to say goodbye to me with out tears welling up in his eyes and he can walk away without running back for "another hug."  He skipped 2nd grade last year so he's been in school for Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd and now 4th - so four years.  This is the first year of semi-smooth goodbyes.


Now I'm struggling with 7 year old.  He's in first grade this year and he did two years of kindergarten before this.  This is his third year of schooling.  It's week two of school and he has such a hard time saying goodbye.  It's like he is physically scared to say goodbye.  This morning at dropoff he was so upset that his little body started shaking and quivering.  He has to be pulled away from me daily when it's time for me to leave.  In his two years of kindergarten it was very difficult to leave him but if he was attached to the teacher by hand or sitting on their lap he seemed to do OK.  The separation anxiety seems to be getting worse rather than better with more schooling.  My final straw was today when I went to pick up my kindergartener at 1/2 day kindergarten pick-up (He's doing well with goodbyes so far) and my 7 year old was clinging to the fence on the playground screaming "Mama!  Mama! Mama!" as I drove away.  My windows were up but I could still hear him.  It is so heartbreaking...  I daily drive away crying and my every instinct is to sweep him up and take him home.  Today seeing his little body pushed up against the fence was totally devastating.  Everyone says that making goodbyes quick and smooth by being fast and not getting pulled back in is the best but when do you know that it's doing more harm to walk away then to go back and nurture?


I'm really struggling with this and feel like other perspectives might help.  I'm not opposed to homeschooling him but I know his brothers will also want to homeschool as well.  I just don't know if I could do them all.  Any ideas or supportive stories about others with separation anxiety would really help!


Thank you!



post #2 of 2

How early do you get to school? If you get there 10 or 15 minutes before the bell, does he cling to you the whole time or will he loosen up and play with his friends? I have had experience with children who need 10 or 15 minutes before the bell to acclimatize and visit with friends, and then they have no problem leaving their caregiver. Without that time, they scream and cry and will not leave the caregiver without being ripped away. 

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