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#1 of 5 Old 09-07-2010, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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long story short my mostly mainstraem sister in law is struggling with her daughter when in comes to school, she is in kindergarten and last week was "donuts with dad" she was really upset when it was over and she had to go to class. about an hour later my niece ran into the house crying and screaming "mommy I missed you and love you" there was a man in thoe door way, he asked if this was her house and sil said yes... he said that my niece flagged him down and asked if she was still in *the town we live in* he said yes and she gave him directions to the house... she was about four blocks in the wrong direction from the school.... he asked if she was to be in school she said no and that she needed to find her mommy. my sisterin law said

I thanked him so much with tears in my eyes. Then he said sure anytime. Then I turn to *her* and she has this look of devastation on her face. So I have her come sit on my lap and talk to me and all she wants to do is latch on me and cry. so I ask her what happened and she said she wanted dad to stay with her but he left so she went out the door, through the gate where they come in at and tried to walk home. I then call the school to tell them what's going on and they are shocked . anyways i then call my hubby and tell him and he is shocked too. i just don't know what to do. So I get the other girls ready and I took them over to the school we talk to the principle and then try to take her back to school but she screams. so I gave her two options to either go to class with me or the principle she doesn't want to do any and just stay with me. so the principle comes out and says just go and I'm like um OK....she tries to run after me as I'm walking out and he ends up picking her up with her screaming mommy don't leave me mommy I need you. that's the hardest thing Ive ever had to do. I start crying. Now a little back ground. I remember so vividly my mom coming and helping when I was in first grade and then when she tried to leave I started crying and saying don't go and the teacher having to hold me while I kicked and screamed and cried watching my mom walk away. it was SO traumatic to me!! its the reason to this day i HATE being alone I SWORE I would never do that to my kids that I'd make sure they wouldn't feel that way. I've hated how even moving out on my own and such is so hard for me. I hate how I can't be stronger for my kids and that I feel so alone when people leave me for short times. then when I had DD and found out she was going to be the same way as me I was SO worried about her having the same thing happen to her in school as me and me ruining her life, so I swore I wouldn't do it to her, that she'd be through so much especially in the last few years that I would always make sure she felt secure and safe and not left there alone and scared. but it happened. I did it. I did what I said I'd NEVER do, and I'm not happy or at peace with it. the image of her being picked up and screaming will always be in my mind. even now, almost a week later I can't shake it. I can't seem to do ANYTHING. it's completely consumed me. did I do the right thing? is she going to be hurt to the point she'll never get over it? did i just damage her for the rest of her life? did i do something i thought was right that is going to end up being something so wrong? sometimes being a mom is so hard. i just don't even know what to do. i decided to come home and do things around here in case something happens, but I just can't seem to do that. I've spend the first 30 mins of getting home on my knees in tears begging to have peace and praying that T dd wont be hurt like i was. praying that I did do the right thing and to know things will be OK. I do feel like I did the right thing. I mean on one hand I can't just let Tara think she can try and get out and walk home and then stay home, I think that sends the wrong message. I think she needs to know no matter what she goes back to school. but I just can't get over that picture of her screaming in my mind. her devastated eyes looking at me with tears. it was like I was taking her heart out and just stomping on it. I just don't know what to do. I feel so lost.

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#2 of 5 Old 09-07-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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I suggest calling to see if they have developed a plan to make sure kids aren't leaving the school without a safe adult knowing. It is great that the guy was so nice, but it could have gone the other way also. Hopefully drop offs are going better and she is more in the routine of school this week. If not a drop off routine may help. Perhaps they can get ther early and she can do something with her dd before the bell rings. The bell can be their signal to hug and mom leaves while dd goes to class. A clear routine and signal can be very helpful for kids as they get used to school. The kindergarten teacher may also be able to work with mom to make the dropoffs easier. I think it is good she sent her dd back to school but she probably should talk to her dd about her total and complete love for her dd but also about why she did send her back and will send her back if she leaves school. A talk about who keeps kids safe and why it isn't okay to leave school without a teacher or a mom is probably also important, though I am pretty sure she heard it from her teacher and principal.
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#3 of 5 Old 09-07-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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Putting aside the whole question of whether or not it is OK to leave a child screaming for mommy, there are some much more troubling aspects to the situation.

First: doing "donuts with Daddy" during the complex first week transition when separation routines should be being carefully setup and established, is a recipe for disaster. My guess is they thought that dads are less likely to be upset about abandoning their clearly upset children, and the easiest way to entice dads to do the drop offs the first week was to bribe them with donuts. Of course the result is that a clear predictable routine is not established in the minds of the students. A predictable routine is important at this age.

Second: they allowed a very small child they were supposed to be supervising leave. This shows very poor supervision.

Third (and worst): they didn't notice or act on the fact that said child was missing, for about an hour.

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#4 of 5 Old 09-07-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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You may want to cross post on the special needs board; it may be that she has some anxiety issues that go beyond starting school jitters.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#5 of 5 Old 09-07-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Putting aside the whole question of whether or not it is OK to leave a child screaming for mommy, there are some much more troubling aspects to the situation.

First: doing "donuts with Daddy" during the complex first week transition when separation routines should be being carefully setup and established, is a recipe for disaster. My guess is they thought that dads are less likely to be upset about abandoning their clearly upset children, and the easiest way to entice dads to do the drop offs the first week was to bribe them with donuts. Of course the result is that a clear predictable routine is not established in the minds of the students. A predictable routine is important at this age.

Second: they allowed a very small child they were supposed to be supervising leave. This shows very poor supervision.

Third (and worst): they didn't notice or act on the fact that said child was missing, for about an hour.
OMG YES to all of this. What a scary, scary thread... and not even because of what you're posting about! I would be very, very concerned about this school because they managed to lose a 4 year old and not notice! I don't even know what to say to that!

As for separation, I wish I had real advice. I disagree that this goes beyond normal separation anxiety... it sounds pretty normal to me for many kids. I would call the teacher and ask for advice. There's a book in the Llama Llama series about going to school and separation anxiety that might be helpful to read to your niece.

Good luck, and I hope that the school takes a good hard look at its security procedures.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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