I thought I would share my experience this year with school starting just in case someone out there is having a similar problem. I have a first grader this year. All summer we have talked about starting school again, going ALL DAY and eating lunch at school. He has been so excited – and so have I! 🙂 The first day he came home a little irritable and tired. I was thinking it may be a tough transition but so far so good. The second day was okay and so was the third. After the weekend I had to wake him up to get ready. Where was the excitement??? He was not happy. I had to put him in the car (someone else’s car for carpool) and send him off crying. And the truth is I was almost in tears as well! He has done this before and usually calms down by the time he gets to school and ends up being just fine. However, this day was different. He would not go to class. My friend had to walk him in and sit with him and then he still wouldn’t stay. After about a 1/2 hour (I still can’t believe she was nice enough to sit with him that long without calling me!), she took him to the office because he would run out of class after her when she tried to leave. What is that? Running out of class? I should mention that I usually don’t have any problems with this child. This is completely out of character! However, this particular child has a tough time with change and going to school all day is a big change!
I tried to figure out if it was the new teacher, the new building this year, going to school ALL DAY, or just going to school period that was the problem. I decided it was all of the above and he is going to need some time to adjust. I came up with a chart for him for the first 2 weeks of school. He gets a sticker each day he goes without a problem. If he gets 10 in a row, he gets to pick out a prize. I decided to go the positive reinforcement route and so far it’s working! I did set down some guidelines. For example, this is only for the first 2 weeks to get him used to going and then he is going to have to be big and go on his own. I have had to remind him a couple of times about the chart but so far he has gone to school every morning with little effort. Hopefully, he will adjust and go with a smile on his face soon! After all, going to school ALL DAY is a big deal. He is starting to come around. He actually asked me if he had school this morning and seemed a little disappointed that he didn’t.