Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
My 5 year old son doesn't want to be in kindgarten
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My 5 year old son doesn't want to be in kindgarten

Recently my 5 year old son started kindergarten.  He doesn't want me to leave him in the morning.  It is like he is having separation anxiety.  He will hold onto me and cry and his teacher has to literally hold him back so I can leave.  He also is afraid of other children that aren't his brothers. He also is a loner and only plays with his older 9 year old brother.  He even has cousins that are his age and he says they are scary too.  He used to play all the time with other kids.  This has just started in the past year. He has been in daycare for a month, my parents or my husbands parents have watched them on several occasions, we had a babysitter that watched my boys a few times.  Also between the ages of 6 months to 1 1/2 years old I was part of a play group and we got together several times a week.  In the play group all the kids were the same age.  He knows his ABC's, numbers, shapes, colors, etc.  But he doesn't want anyone to know he knows them.  I have tried to work with him on these over the years, but he refuses to learn them, but I think when I have been working with his 4 year old Autistic brother that he has been listening and learning then.  He is so stubborn.  He only in the past 4 months has gotten potty trained and it wasn't that he wasn't ready he just didn't want to do it.  I am wondering if this isn't all connected into some kind of behavioral or social problem that I am not aware of.  Please let me know what advice you can give me on any of this.
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If you're concerned, I'd see about having him evaluated by a pediatrician....but first, maybe you should speak to his kindergarten teacher as he/she could be a good judge of whether or not his behaviour is "normal" compared with the other children in the class who have recently started school just as your son has.  It also would be helpful to know if your son acts the way that you've described when you're not around - his kindergarten teacher, after some evaluation, should be able to tell you that.  You mentioned that he's been in daycare for a month, too - that person or facility should also be able to give you an evaluation on that.  In both cases, I'd give it a couple of months of observation because, if he's just started school and is only a month into daycare, it's really not a lot of time - some children need more time to adjust to new situations and environments.

On some level, separation anxiety is very common, especially when a child hasn't spent much time being cared for by others who are not family (ie. you, your husband, your parents, your in-laws).  There is a big difference between being cared for by, let's say, a grandparent with whom your son already has a bond and established trust and a daycare provider who is, at first, unknown to him and with whom he has to develop a relationship over time.  Did you attend the playgroup with him?  If so, that, too, is much different than being in a class by himself where he doesn't have the security of having you there with him.

I wish you and your son all of the best :)
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