DH and I are overwhelmed by the challenges that my son is having, and i think we need some perspective!
DS (7.5, 2nd grade, and an identical twin, with a newish baby sister (9 months)), normally a very confident, energetic, silly and active boy, is suddenly
-- and by suddenly i mean the change in his emotional state happened very suddenly, but it has now been going on for two full months-- is totally overwhelmed by anxiety.
He cries everyday before leaving the house, in the car on the way to school, and upon entering the classroom- if he makes it that far, often he can't and starts out the day in the administrator's office.
He's very clingy when we're out, is unwilling to enter certain situations (crowded restaurant, etc), has to know where we are at all times, is no longer comfortable being left with his grandparents, etc...
It's awful and i fear that the tearful and forced separations may be causing some added trauma, on top of the emotions that seem to be causing the anxiety in the first place.
We have seen the doctor to rule out lyme, and to look for other indicators of a physiological issue. Nothing came up.
We have been to a child and family counselor who encouraged us to reign in the activity level, make our lives very rhythmic and predictable, and give him extra one on one time. We've done those things.
For separations we have tried
a worry stone
a watch, to know how long till we come (which ended up not being allowed in school, but i wonder if ultimately it would have just fed into his anxiety anyways).
I decided that i would be willing and able to pick him up from school at 1 instead of 3 (which is offered as an option for first and second graders at his school), which seemed to help him worry less, and because i see that he needs extra time at home/with us. But it certainly isn't a golden ticket, and he's still falling apart every morning.
He says that he misses us and doesn't want to be apart from us. I can see fear creep across his face as a separation comes closer. He is beginning to say things like "i hate school" which is super toxic for his poor twin brother, who is trying so hard to be strong.
My husband does drop off and is losing patience.
I just want to take the poor guy out of school, but i don't really think that's the issue.
We don't know what to do!