Looking for advice with my 5 year old DS.

 Just wondering if other people have experienced this kind of behavior at this age.

He JUST turned 5 about two weeks ago.   He is a pretty even-tempered kid in general (although definitely a kid who likes a schedule) but recently he has been having big emotional outbursts.  An example;  we are planning on getting solar panels on our roof and when the sales person came to present the first information there was a BIG,  BIG meltdown from DS all about how he didn’t want solar panels .  (DH had the genius idea of telling DS that Luke Skywalker’s house was powered with solar panels and then they watched a video about it so now he is all excited about it.)  We’ve had outbursts over swimming lessons, and things as irrational as my NOT going in the cellar w/ him, his sister and DH.  

But the worst of it is at pre-school drop off.  He has gone full day to this place 3 days a week for almost two years and it is a great place and he loves it.  But since his birthday every day the drop off has been difficult w/ him on the edge of tears ( or in tears)  and clinging to me and refusing to go start his day.  

I checked w/ the teachers and he is fine once I leave and they say that they are not aware of any changes (but are watching to see how things go).  I really don’t think that it is the school since when DH picks him up he is fine and has had a great day. 

So I have been doing remediation to try to have him not be so upset, asking him what are his ideas about how to help the situation (so far we’ve come up with writing a note for him about how we love him, letting him put a toy/book in his backpack , sharing  two big hugs and kisses, going over the day’s schedule to remind him of how things go ) but so far  it  has not improved. Now two weeks isn’t very long but I will be honest and say this behavior is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  I have been trying really hard to remain calm however and have mostly been successful.  He is capable of calming himself down when we count to ten (or 20) and he is very verbal so can express how he feels but you know he isn’t a reliable witness  😉 so I am not really sure what might be the root of the problem.  I do try hard not to make a bigger deal of it than it is but maybe I AM making a bigger deal anyway.  Oh and he really only does it with me not with DH so it is something with me.

I have thought about WHY he is doing this now and I have two thoughts;

1)      He is aware that big changes are coming.  He will be leaving his safe school and going to kindergarten.  Also that at school they are asking him to do harder things like writing letters or sounding out words (and let me add that they aren’t pressuring him, just that he is capable of doing the work so they present it to him and that he refuses and says he’s scared or it’s too hard.)

2)      DD is 20 months and is an active little girl who is all over him and his stuff and she requires a lot attention from us right now to prevent injury to her or our possessions  🙂 Maybe his clinging to me is a reaction to his feeling that I don’t give him enough attention.  I feel like he gets plenty of attention but maybe I need to carve out 5 minutes of just him and me time besides bedtime story time.

Anyway, just looking for people’s thoughts, experiences , ideas, reassurance whatever you got.

April 12, 2012