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Erykah27
Erykah27 asks:
Q:

Why is my 4yr daugther crying all of sudden at school?

My daugther just started crying this past week at school everytime i drop her off . I really don't understand why, she use to love going to school, she started school on september and all was fine until now, I have ask her what is wrong, but she just says she doesn't want that class anymore. I spoke to the teachers about my concern but they just say she probably just wants to be with me , but i know that's not it ... Help please !!
In Topics: School and Academics, Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 26, 2014
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What the Expert Says:

This is not all that uncommon for a 4 yo, but certainly something you want to get to the bottom of.  Here are a few scenarios that could attribute to her not wanting to go to school.

Often times this type of behavior can happen with a routine change at home.  It can be a big life changing event such as a new baby in the home or death of a loved one, or something as small as a new job for a parent, going back to school after a holiday break, feeling like they are missing out on an activity at home. In these cases she would be wanting to "run to something" her home -- her family -- her parent.

Other times an event they witnessed or heard about on a TV show or even the news like a school shooting, kids bullying a classmate, a mean teacher,  a student getting in trouble or something of this nature might truly be a concern she has and the anxiety comes out as not wanting to separate from the safe haven of home.

Sometimes something happens at school and a child wants to "run away from something."  She might have been excluded from a few girls during free time, someone might have made fun of her artwork, she might have fallen or answered a question and a kid laughed at her.  

You did the right thing by alerting her teachers.  Ask them if they can give you a little update at the end of the school day for the next week or two.  Your daughter will read your body language so be calm, firm, and encouraging when you drop her off.  Usually the quicker the drop off time, the easier the separation.  It might come with screams, reaches or tears, but usually the quicker you separate, the sooner your daughter will calm down.  Even call after you go back to your car after about 5 minutes and see if the director can peek in to the classroom unbeknowst to your daughter and report back to you.  Even after school, give her a great big hug, but don't ask about the school day right away.  Wait for a few hours, talk about the scenery, enjoy snack together, read a book.  Give it a few weeks.  If you can observe without her seeing you, see if that is an option.  If anything it might ease your mind.  

Laura - Crisis Counselor
 
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Additional Answers (3)

ellsb001
ellsb001 writes:
Hi Erykah,

My daughter is three and has done the same things a few times in various day cares. The first incident took place when she was 2. It was her first time going to daycare, and for the first month or so she LOVED it. All of a sudden she would cry and scream when I dropped her off. The workers told me it was normal; but my instinct was unsettled. A few weeks later an older child complained about a worker hitting them. After an investigation the worker was fired. After she was removed my daughter returned to her normal self. The second incident happened recently. This time around I was able to communicate with my daughter. I took her in her room and asked to play school. I told her we would pretend it was Dora's first day at her school. I asked her questions like "Which teacher will Dora like?" "Are there any mean teachers?" "Why are the teachers mean?" "Will Dora have friends?". At the conclusion I was able to see she was beginning to dislike school because one of the girls in her class no longer wanted to be her friend and because she thought her teacher was being mean to her. I was able to remedy her concerns, communicate them with the teacher, and we've moved on. I think your best initial action would be to talk to your daughter to gain better insight on her change in behavior. Hope this helps!
> 60 days ago

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genermcmillan
genermcmillan writes:
Dear try to give more comfort to your child with care and love...:)
> 60 days ago

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TeacherandParent
TeacherandP... writes:
Something is happening at school. Either the work has gotten too confusing for her or someone is picking on her. What is her teacher like? Is this a warm and supportive teacher or cold and demanding?

Make an appointment and spend time observing in the classroom to figure out what's happening.
> 60 days ago

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