Help! Fourth grader with school anxiety - any advice?

United States
October 9, 2008 2:51pm CST
I have a 9 year-old who is having trouble adjusting to 4th grade. She has developed full-blown school anxiety. We're talking crying & refusing to go to school. We do get her out the door but one morning she had to be nearly pryed from my arms & into the school counselor's arms, yelling, "Mom, don't leave me!" Needless to say I left in tears. She's better when Dad takes her in. I think she may have some Separation Anxiety as well. She does okay for a while after we leave but she will have some teary moments during school. If it gets too bad she goes to the counselor's office for a bit. This just started last week & nothing has changed at home. The only thing is we started her on Claritin (I have since stopped it). I read on the internet of some side effects reported like anxiety in children. However, she was a bit anxious before starting the meds, just not to this level. Probably nothing to do with it but it's curious. The teachers, nurse, & counselor are all helping her through the day & we are not taking her out of school at all. It's best to push her through the day & be encouraging about it. Just wondering if there is anyone out there who is having or has experienced the same problem - any advice? I've picked up some books at the library dealing with the subject matter & that should help. I'd just like to hear from anyone who has had direct experience with this. Thanks everyone!
1 person likes this
2 responses
• United States
9 Oct 08
My younger sister used to have a problem going to school. My mother would bring her and hate leaving her because she knew that my sister was having a hard time. I'm going to tell you something that my mother started and if you want to give it a try, i'm glad i can help in any way. My mother started putting lipstick on and when my sister would get ready to go in or whenever it was needed my mother would kiss the inside of her hand and leave the kiss print there. She told my sister that anytime during the day if she started feeling sad or scared to squeeze her hand tight and know that even though she wasn't there physically for her, she was there for her. It helped alot and my sister got alot better. It made her feel that our mom was still there in a way. I think it was just the crutch she needed while venturing out on her own.
• United States
10 Oct 08
What a wonderful idea! I'm going to try that. I though of giving her something that would remind her of me while she is at school but we couldn't come up with anything. Thanks so much for this suggestion. I hope it helps!
@lilaclady (28240)
• Australia
9 Oct 08
I was exactly like that when I was at school, and to be honest for me it was simply because I just was not coping with the school work, I didn't have a good memory to remember things, I didn't do well in exams, I can honestly say i hated every single minute I had to spend in school, I hope your little girl gets through this because it is a horrible thing, I still have nightmares about school and I haven't been there for quite some years.
• United States
10 Oct 08
I'm sorry you had such a hard time in school. I remember liking it but I wasn't half as popular & well-liked as my little girl. She's always liked school but dislikes being away from me. Thinking back maybe I shouldn't have put her in preschool so early. Oh, well, what is one to do. We'll just keep plugging along & hope that she realizes it's not so bad. I sure hope you stop having nightmares - that must be awful.