Monday, January 10, 2011

My heart hurts...

I could use a little advice here...

Gavin attends pre-K everyday. His day is long, from on the bus at 9 to off the bus at 4:20. His teachers are darling, he is learning a lot and enjoys school just fine when he's there. The problem is getting him there. I would have thought things would be easier by now, but they are not. He doesn't fight it (like he did for a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving) but it seems almost worse to me. Every day he asks how many days until his half day (our school district gets a part day on Wednesdays) and then how many days until the weekend. The other problem here is that he doesn't enjoy the weekend. He spends the entire Friday night-Sunday night counting down, in dread, how many days until he goes back to school. Nothing to my knowledge has happened. I know he hasn't gotten in trouble. In fact his teachers adore him. He has friends and he says nothing has happened. He just doesn't want to go....Sigh....He tries to be brave waiting to get on the bus, but if you know Gav, this about breaks your heart. He just squeezes my hands tightly and tries to keep the tears back and the quiver out of his voice. Taking him to school didn't help either. It just prolonged the stress of leaving me and there were more tears while he was at school instead of just a little on the bus. Part of me thinks maybe he just isn't ready for school, but I can't keep him out. He is already 5 and needs to start kindergarten next year. It is also a full day program (they don't have half day around here). He is ready to learn and does and Gavin needs the structure from school. I have tried to teach him things as I did Jos (who didn't go to preschool or pre-K), but he doesn't like to learn with me or I don't know the right way to teach him.

If you have any suggestions or have dealt with this yourself, I'd be more than receptive. Thanks! Sorry for being a sob-story, but it hurts me....

11 comments:

Jill said...

I'm sure you've already done this, but pray for guidance. Pray about it, perhaps seek a priesthood blessing. God knows our children better than we do. You are a great mom. (((HUGS)))

whitney said...

I'm so sorry, Lib. It about breaks my heart to imagine Gavin with his brave face on. I wish I had any advice but, as you well know, I don't. Hopefully someone does. (((hugs)))

Aubrey said...

I'm so sorry Liberty, that would be so hard to go through. I'm trying to think what kind of advice I've received through therapy with Samuel. One thing they always tell me to do is ask if you can observe the class. Maybe something is happening that is making Gavin upset but he doesn't want to tell you? If you could go one or two times and just observe the day without him knowing maybe that would give you some clues. Also, if you think it's the amount of time he's gone you can always say that you will pick him up at lunch time. The teachers might disapprove, but you do have rights as a parent and you don't want him to be so scared of Pre-K that it follows through to Kindergarten. Maybe by next year he will be more ready for an all-day classroom setting. I'm finding through everything we are going through with Samuel that we have to be our child's advocate and follow our gut (and promptings we receive from the Lord). I wish I could help more but I feel very unqualified. I'm sending my support.

P.S. Oh - one thing I do is check out books from the library about whatever is bothering me. I like to be over-saturated with information then decide what's the best course of action for our family.

Steph said...

This reminds me of both my boys...and bit of myself when I was young. I loved shool (mostly) whilei was there. But, the build-up was painful. Can you ask him what about school bothers him? The behavioral specialist in Stillwater helped me with some language for anxious children that I can talk to you about. Another thing, and I won't be offended if you don't take my advice, but have you checked him for signs of anxiety?? As I am learning, anxiety is passed down, and well, you know the rest. ;) We can talk and maybe I can help you with a plan of action. I'm sos so sorry that you have to go through this with sweet little Gav. It hurts my heart for both of you. I love you and give a squeeze to my little man.

Jenny said...

A couple of thoughts... maybe he can't see very good. I had to get glasses in Kindergarten and some of my anxiety over school was because I had not clue what was going on because I was friggin' blind!

And, I'm going to be the mean mom here but since I'm probably the only one with kids in a daycare, it's the story of my life every day! Pearl screams and cries, clings to my legs, etc when I drop her off and Cole is at the age where he now realizes things he can't see are still real and is super clingy. On really bad days her teachers always tell me how good she was but you'd never know it from the fits that happen when I have to drop her off. I think they do it because it's their only way of acting out that they miss you or whatever other emotion they are experiencing. But right now I have to work and my kids have to go to daycare. Sometimes I leave in tears with a screaming kid behind but I know once I'm gone it only takes a few minutes and then Pearl is playing and having fun with her friends. I know, I sound horrible for saying all this and for even suggesting you just let Gavin learn how to deal with uncomfortable situations but sometimes life is uncomfortable and hard. I don't know. I sound really terrible and mean but really, I feel your pain! It just sucks to have your little ones upset.

bits and pieces of our family life said...

I have had this same pain with Emily. I now know that K isn't required in Idaho and I wish that I had kept her home during that year. The anxiety she had from just walking into the school was too much for her. Sometimes I couldn't even get her to get out of the van. It was awful and even went into the first grade. But, you did say once he is at school he is fine....I don't think that was the case with Emily.

To help Emily one of the secretaries would come out and meet her and walk in with her. Is there anybody who could pick Gavin up at home and take him to school and see if that is easier on him?

I taught Emily how to read at home, if you want I could tell you what I did and you could do that with Gavin, maybe give him a break and try school again in August.

My email is ladybugchic@hotmail.com send me a message so we can talk about it more or your phone number and I'll give you a call.

Annie said...

I don't know your situation fully, but this is one of the hard things about being a parent - knowing when to let go and when to pull them in and wrap a protective arm around them. You'll know what to do - I'd say just keep building on the positive things about school. Keep building on all his positive experiences and things he loves about school, even if it's just lunch. Good luck!

Ashlee said...

Oh Lib, this just breaks my heart. I know what Gav is feeling as I was very anxious at school. Even now, the some of the smells that remind me of school give me that melancholy feeling. Poor little guy! I like some of the suggestions already given on here. I would definitely observe the class. Sydnee did this for Ellee and it was a huge eye opening event. Also try going to visit him at lunch for a little while. Perhaps knowing that you will be there soon, will make it easier. But you don't want to make it worse by him having to say goodbye twice, so just play it by ear. Also, would they allow him to attend just certain days of the week? Remember, he is still very young and he doesn't have to be a big boy yet. All day long is a long time for little kids and he may not be ready. My kids have to go to day care, so it isn't a choice for me. But if I could make it work, I would prefer to just have Michael go to pre-school a couple of days a week. Pre-school is good, but someone told me that once kids get into kindergarten, the kids who went to day care and pre-school are only ahead for a little while and the rest of the kids catch up. What they can really tell are the kids that come from a stable home. So just give him as much love as you can and pray for guidance.

Love you!
Ashlee

Ashlee said...

One other comment. As I mentioned above, I was anxious to go to school, but I also whould get so homesick that I couldn't spend the night with friends and I would cry when my dad would leave for a conference (even if it was for one night!). This went on until I was well into elementary school and I still have some of these characteristics. The point being. I'm sure my mom was sad to see me so upset all of the time, but that was just me. A real homebody. But look at me now! I am a well adjusted adult, with no major issues (at least I don't think I have any! - you would tell me if I did right! :)

Do what you can to see if there is a specific reason for it. Then if there isn't, just do what you can to make him feel loved and be grateful that home is still his favorite place to be! :)

Grammy said...

Oh my heart is breaking! Gavie is such a special little boy, of your boys I think he is the most affectionate. He easily shows his love both verbally and physically. He father is very much like this, too and so is his grandfather. When Mike left home for college he told me the first 6 months were the worst of his life. Ashlee and Steph have told what they remember so unfortunately I think this is part of who Gavin is. Which makes him a really great person! As a mom who was faced with this same situation my heart aches for you. Countless times I asked myself, what am I doing?! Ashlee went to pre-school 3 days a week for about 5 hrs. It was the OSU program which was outstanding. She loved it there and thrived but real school was a different thing. She had to go to school. I tried to be so excited when she came home, always had a snack and asked lots of questions about her day. I know you are so much better at this than I was. I've watched and admired you as you interact with your children. You have lots of great suggestions here on your blog. Visit the school. Have his eyes checked. Poor Sydnee was so blind. Glasses made a huge difference in her life. One word of caution, I found with Kit the educational system was very quick to label children. Gavin is so young and I know he is not the only child who suffered from seperation anxiety. I hope the school will work with you on whatever your decision may be. You all are always in our prayers both morning and night. We will send an extra dose Gavs way. Keep your chin up! You can do anything!! You are amazing!

Charee B Mcclellan said...

I was almost in tears as I read this. I am sorry that this is happening right now. i have now clue what to say and how to help. BUT i do think that more and more prayers heaven word is always a great option. He hears and will answer in due time. love you girlfriend. please keep us readers posted!