My son has something that's bothering him about school and he won't (or can't) tell me. It's so frustrating!

He's 4 – going on 5 – and he's home today with a phantom stomach ache. He's been fine for weeks. He's been enjoying school and listening to us and the teachers and life has been *finally* as I'd imagined it would be. I even signed up to chaparone his preschool class on a field trip a couple of weeks ago.

And then last week, it was like he had regressed to his 2s again (only being pottytrained, thank goodness). Last Thursday and Friday morning, specifically, were like torture. He was fine all morning both mornings, until it was time to leave for school. Last Thursday he refused lunch, refused any participation, and pretty much just sat there in a corner whimpering and glowering all day. Last Friday he at least ate, but wasn't any more willing to join the other kids for any activity.

Last night he started complaining of tummy pains right around dinner time. I figured it was just the usual "ate too much" kind of cramps, you know? So I told him to try going to the bathroom and he'd be fine. This morning he, again, complained of tummy pains. So, at my wit's end and hoping for some kind of inspiration to hit me, I kept him home.

I know he's not sick. He's acting just fine otherwise. He plays and laughs and is otherwise his sweet and fun-loving self. It has to do with school, I can sense that. And I know he misses his old teacher – he's moved from her class to the pre-K class this year. But he LOVED his new class when the year started. Why the sudden change? What happened at school that is bothering him so much he's worrying himself sick?

If any other parents out there have any creative ideas on how to get my boy to find the words to tell me what's wrong – or, at least, find a way for him to cope with his anxiety – I'm all ears!

1 Comment
  1. HoneyBunny 12 years ago

    Hi Princess, sometimes children can "fake" an illness when it’s something they want to avoid.  I’ve taught preschool for many years, and there are times when the parent or teacher has to become a "detective."  You simply ask questions…if that doesn’t work, try role playing.  Allow your son to be the parent and you become the child, let him ask about school, and you reply that it’s ok, except…..hopefully, he’ll jump in, and give you the answers you’re looking for.  Or, you could ask his teacher if she’s made any observations about his behavior in school, maybe he gets bored easily, or dislikes circle time, or maybe he’s afraid of another child in class.  Also, keep in mind that your son’s recent transition into a new class can be overwhelming and stressful.  There are new teachers and children, and making the adjustment isn’t always easy.  Good luck!



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