Child Hates Preschool
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Child Hates Preschool
Our almost 5 year old is HATING pre-k. He is getting in a
lot of trouble for being too wild and silly and then, when
he gets in trouble, doing horribly with his anger (Shouting,
some hitting/biting,etc). Now some of the behavior is
bleeding into home-life. Thisweekend he was so intense and
mad and saying ''you stupid Mommy'' and lots of mean stuff.
Nothing is going on at home that is bad... this has all
started since he started school.
From my perspective, having sat in on class for about 8
hours on different days, is that the teachers don't engage
the boys enough. They are getting SO wild and silly. I feel
like the teachers are too interested in having them sit
there and not do the things little boys want/need to do. I
do know that he has to learn to sit still and be in class at
some point, but that seems like a lot to ask of a bunch of
4/5 year olds to sit in Spanish and learn words.
We gave the teachers VERY specific instructions about our
son. He needs lots of positive reinforcement and quick
action before he gets himself in too much trouble with these
boys. They seem to not be able/willing to do that. When I
have sat in, I have seen so many lost opportunities to
praise him and bond with him. He HATES school and
just keeps saying that his school is ''not a place for me''.
I feel your and your son's pain. We just went through a
similar situation with our son's kindergarten and are in the
process of transferring him to a more boy-friendly,
developmentally focused program. What you've described
sounds like a bad fit for your family, and I strongly
suggest searching for a pre-K that really understands and
supports boys' developmental needs. You might try The Model
School or Rockridge Little School...
Boys aren't ''bad''--just energetic!
Hi, I have a boy of the same age and recently changed his
preschool from a home daycare and somewhat more academic
based, to a ''center'' type preschool where there was a lot
more outside activity with a lot more room to run. My son
had always been quite well behaved (never pushing or
destructive)but when he reached 4 years old he seemed to
need a lot more room to run and yell and be a boy, so to
speak and his behavior went from being compliant and
passive to mischevious and at times quite rambunctious, at
school anyhow. So although we'd been happy with his
daycare for over 3 years (he'd learned to read here and so
much more), we realized that he'd outgrown it and that
there was nothing wrong with our child's behavior, which I
was really surprised and even hurt that the teacher who
knew him for so long was trying to imply.He is thriving in
his new placement, no behavior problems reported. They do
classroom type work in the morning but have outside time
before and after to ''get the wiggles out''. I guess what
I'm trying to convey here is that it seems like the school
may not be a good fit, even if you like the teachers and
they seem to be trying everything. Feel free to email me
back if you want to chat about the mysteries of 4 year old
I think you should listen to your son. This school is not
for him. He is telling you in every way he can. Lots of
things stand out for me in what you have written. For one
thing, 4/5 year olds should not be getting in trouble for
being wild and silly. They should be given some time and
space for acting wild at silly and redirected when
necessary. Children this age should get in 'trouble' for
aggressive behavior or disregarding safety rules but not for
normal/ age appropriate behavior.
If the hitting, kicking and biting just started with the
change in school setting I would guess that is the biggest
problem and focus on finding his a better fit. If the
aggression problems pre-date this school there may be other
work to do as well. Feel free to get in touch if you would
like more assistance in sorting this out.
Just wanted to put in a good word for
Nursery School. I know from personal experience that this
school works with children and families to meet the needs
of each child. There are current openings in the 4-5 year
old room. The program in play based and very aware of the
energy that 4-5 year old boys (and girls!) have. The
teachers' approach to the children is very hands on and
they quite successfully engage the children in play, allow
for creative exploration, and redirect behavior in a
loving, yet firm manner. Check it out...it might be
perfect for your son!
Happy BHNS Parent
I didn't see your original post, but I have a very active boy
who's now in first grade. When he was in pre-K, we were at the
Child Education Center
in Berkeley and it was so great because
one of the two preK teachers is a man who totally understands
boy energy. (The other teacher is a woman with an active son
my son's age who understands boys, too.) There was a group of
active boys in with my son and their teacher was so great with
them, and there is lots of room to run around outside. My
daughter is two and is at that school now so I know these preK
teachers are still there. You may want to try them out:
My 3.5 yr. old daughter has been happily attending preschool
(Chatham) for about a year. She is smart, outgoing and friendly.
About a month ago, we switched her schedule from 3 half-days to
one half day and two full days.
Shortly after this switch, she has become very reluctant, and
mostly refuses, to go to school at all. She cries every time we
drop her off, and a couple of times this crying has persisted
throughout the entire day.
The teachers are great; they hold her, comfort her, etc. But it
has gotten to the point where if we even mention the
word ''school'' she freaks out. She starts crying and chanting ''I
don't want to go to school. Don't make me go to school''. Her
sobs soon become uncontrollable fits (and this is just in the
morning before we even get in the car!). I have spoken to the
director of the school, who said she is just going through
something and it will pass. In the meantime, I am at a loss of
how to handle her when she gets this way. I tried to reason with
her, ask her specifically what she doesn't like about school,
but with no success.
My husband and I suspect the the 2 long days are just too much
for her, plus there is a new teacher and many new kids. Maybe
she just feels out of her element b/c of all these changes.
We have decided to change her schedule to 5 half-days per week,
due to my husband's work hours (he works pt from home) and are
hoping this will make things better. In the meantime, does
anyone have advice on what we can do to make our daughter feel
better about school, and get her to want to go again? I feel so
bad for her, especially when she says things like ''Mommy, I
don't want to cry at school, but I can't stop.'' On the other
hand, we can't let her think its ok to throw fits every morning,
so have had to give her time outs, which I feel bad for and end
up driving to work in tears. Its just a very difficult situation.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
This is a tough situation because you know your daughter liked
the school before. I would ask your daughter first if she feels
like things have changed at school. Maybe there is a new child
that makes her very uncomfortable and the teachers just can't
detect it. Crazy as it seems, I remember still the boy that made
me feel afraid in ''nursery'' school - and that was 33 years ago!
It sounds to me like more than just the new schedule. Follow
your instincts if your daughter cannot articulate her fears.
Maybe they will lead you to a different pre-school. Best of luck
to you. I am sympathetic to your concerns.
I suggest you take a day and spend it with your child at
preschool -- there may be some reason that is hard to see in
discussion with the teachers that your child hates preschool --
conflict with another child, or some part of the day that isn't
working for your child, or a less than sensitive adult. You
might also consider skipping the time-outs and just making your
daughter do what you need her to do -- i.e. dressing her
yourself or carrying her to the car and buckling her in. It will
convey the message that she needs to do what she's asked to do
with natural consequences rather than punishment; and will also
save time. After all, she is already fussy and miserable, and
the goal is to train them to behave, not to hide their
unhappiness. This part does get better as they get older -- by 5
or so they can get ready for something even if they don't want
to do it.
veteran of some rough mornings
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