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Old Jan 31st, 2017, 13:56 PM   1
Mum (Mom)
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4 year old struggling with school

My son starts pre-k in august when he turns 5 and I think it's going to be a disaster. He has been going to a mother's day out program since he was 2 and he has struggled ever since. It's not as bad now as it was when he first started as a toddler but he still has really bad days where he will cry a little and then he will have other days where he is totally fine, plays, eats, no big deal.

The thing is, he has been going to this same school for as long as he can remember. But it's not real "school" and he knows a lot of the adults and kids up there. His new school will be a totally new place, new teachers and kids, and he will be totally out of his element. I really think he's gonna just cry all day.

This post was prompted by what happened today. Over the weekend, he had a stomach bug. I was feeling kind of guilty feeling like he hadn't been getting enough attention lately and being sick on top of it and I bought him a video game he had been wanting. Fast forward to today, he wakes up begging to play it and I tell him he can after school.

I get a phone call from his teachers at around noon saying that he had been crying all day, hadn't eaten, or played. Being that he was getting over a bug, I picked him up. I started questioning him, "are you sick, what's wrong, do you have a tummy ache, etc?" and he replied "no, I just dont want to be at school". He's being manipulative but he's still too little to really fake sick or lie about it.

Anyway, now we are home. He will NOT be playing video games the rest of the day or doing any technology. If he gets out of school early, he can have a "sick" day of rest. But what else can I do? next year is going to be so miserable....I'm really glad I started him at 2 years old cause I can only imagine how bad it would be if he had never been away from me until now.

I don't know what to do except NOT reward him for his behavior. In the future he can also just stay at school but the getting over a bug made me question what to do about today....he goes back to school Thursday (I work there Thurs and Fri so me and my two younger kids will also be up there). I felt like his teachers thought he was sick today and wanted me to get him but in the future, I feel like I need to just tell them that he's probably not and to just tell him to suck it up. :/

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Old Jan 31st, 2017, 16:43 PM   2
Mum (Mom)
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It must be horrible got you. I know its not quite the same but my ds1 went to playgroup from age 3 to 4 and he never really settled, he was in tears for the first few months but even when they stopped he still never really wanted to go. When he started school at 4 he too had to go somewhere completely different and I was really worried. I spoke to his teacher who was amazing and she arranged extra visits for him before he officially started. When he then started he took to it so easily it was like he'd always been there, he was a totally different child, maybe the change will break the habit for your lo?

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Old Jan 31st, 2017, 17:11 PM   3
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I'm sorry to hear it is not working out. My son has been in a Mother's Day Out program since he was 2 as well, he had a rough first couple of months but after that it is the highlight of his week. This year (3-4 years) he absolutely loves it. My daughter started and she is younger, she still doesn't love it though.

I wish I could help though, when he was having his rough time I was just told to stick with it and he'd get better - and he did. The month before he started enjoying it I left in tears after dropping him off, thinking I was doing something horrible. But it's been enough time for adjustment by now. My daughter still cries at drop off, but it is usually reported she was happy and cheerful during the day.

Maybe the change will be a good thing?

As far as the playing "sick" I'd just explain to them he had a new video game at home waiting and he was playing hookie, tell them that you know he sometimes says he is sick when he isn't, just give them a head's up about it. I'd probably tell them to be watchful for symptoms like a fever or diarrhea or vomiting, but aside from that just a "my tummy hurts" should just be taken with an extra watchful eye - not send home, if that makes sense?

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