My son is 6 years old and has started having meltdowns when my wife drops him off at his 1st grade classroom. The first week of school went well with only minor anxiety on one day. The second week went to hell (pardon my language). Upon drop off our son began clinging and crying. He refused to take his seat and every day has had to be restrained by the teacher or an aid to prevent him from running after mom.
We went through this behavior when we started him in a Daycare at 3 for a few hours each week to get him socializing. The second year in Daycare went amazingly well with only very issolated incidents. Kindergarden was no problem and he loved every day.
We've spoken to him about it gently and made it very clear that we just want to help. When he gets home he spends a good amount of time telling us how much fun he has. He does his homework without complaint and conceptually seems to "get it". Yet the next morning, despite the talks and encouragement, he fails to regulate his emotions and starts a meltdown as soon as they approch the point at which mom is going to drop him off.
Tomorrow I'm going to take him in the car and see if I get the same result (his mother and he walk about a mile to school each morning). Wondering if it's just a big anxiety buildup over the long walk that causes the meltdown.
We're considering seeking counceling but are unsure if it's necessary.
Is this just normal behavior or should we be concerned.
I don't see the need for counseling. This is not a very unusual situation (though it's also not the norm). Persist in bringing him each day and then quickly departing. There's no need to talk about it. In fact, the less attention you pay to it the better. It is likely true that the long walk with his mother exacerbates the problem, so if that can be eliminated for now it will be somewhat of a help.
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