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separation anxiety in 3 yo - need encouragement

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My ds just turned 3 last month - so he is a young 3 and just started a 2.5 hr. each morning preschool. This is starting his 3rd week there - so it is still very new - AND I had rarely ever left him before - RARELY!

The first 4 days he had a blast!!!!!!!

The second week became very difficult. He complained of stomach hurting, began to wake about 6 am (rather than 7 or 8 am), poops became hard and small, and what little he does eat appeared to dwindle to less and he became very defiant!. On Thursday, I kept him home bc I was concerned it was too much for him. We had a very relaxed day at home and all was peaceful. Then friday morning was lots of crying at the school. But today was the topper. He screamed and cried. The teacher and I decided I just needed to pass him over and make it quick. He quit crying in about 5 min. (I stood outside) When I picked him up he had had the best time! Of course this is what I want, but it made me a bit angry at him. I KNOW that he loves it there and I KNOW he is well taken care of. He talks about it alot while at home But when it is time to go, he says, I don't want to go, I want to stay home with you mommy. over and over.

I am unsure I am dealing with this in the correct way and need some phrases that I can use to help him transition better.

Please help. jen
post #2 of 5
They go through the same thing with a new sibling- at first they are great and you think "This is a piece og cake!" Then the kid realizes the sibling is here to stay (or in your case that he's going to preschool every week) and they start to test- can we give it back? Maybe I can throw it our or give it away? Or in your case- if I cry do I still have to go to school? Just make it a quick goodbye and let him cry at first. Like you said in 5 min he was fine and had a great rest of the day. You may be able to find a kids book about separation to help- or write one yourself for him. "It's tough to say goodbye sometimes, but there are nice friends to play with and play doh to use and mommy always comes back to get me at the end of the day" That sort of thing.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
thank you for your kind words and help.

I worry (about nearly everything!!!) that I am doing damage to him by leaving him quickly. I respond verbally and physically (hugs and kisses) to let him know that I love him, will come back, that I hear what he is saying...

I wish it didn't hurt so much.

And to top it off, I am due with our second at the end of July! I hope he has adjusted by then, but then his world will be rocked again. Anyway, enough rambling.

Peace jennifer
post #4 of 5
Dear Prarie Mama,

I had the same thing and the best advice I received was to kiss, say 'I love you and will be back to get you later' and then leave. Let the teacher hold the crying child when you leave. They should then try to distract the child.

I think it was harder on me. I was SO looking forward to 2 hours of ME time and leaving DS when he was so miserable ruined it for me.

Perservere. This whole pattern is normal. You aren't hurting your child. You can try to prepare them by saying what is going to happen while you are travelling to preschool.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your encouragement. The feelings that overpower me are so very strong. But good news!!!! Yesterday dh and I both talked with him about the school, feelings, etc and today he went peacefully into the class!!!!

We feel so good about our parenting skills at this point (that will be shattered at some point later - LOL).

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

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