My kindergartener constantly says she doesn't want to go to school...advice?

Anyone else have a kindergartner that is already saying they don’t want to go to school everyday? This is our first to go to school so not sure if this is just normal as they adjust to the new schedule and stuff or if she’s really expressing she doesn’t like it.Side note: she’s only 4.5. She was accepted into kindergarten early bc she is academically ready


That’s really early… even if she was ready

I didn’t read the other comments, but my child was the same way. She cried every single morning of kindergarten. She prayed through 5 more years of school, absolutely hating every second of it, until I pulled her out and let her do online. It’s been the best thing for our family, there’s so much more peace. :heart: good luck!

It’s a tough transition. My son has been home for four years with me. We picked a school for him that is play based and it’s expensive but he loves it. He’s been 2 weeks. My older son went to a public school and it ruined his thought of school. So I get that. Kids are too young to be forced to sit. They need to play and run around at that age

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Totally normal. The excitement has worn off and they are now realizing that it isn’t all fun and games like staying at home. As they adjust and make friends they’ll start to like it again.

My son is in 3rd grade and we struggle with this almost daily. When he was in Kindergarten he would wake up crying everyday. It has improved but is still a struggle. I always get up before him and have my tea so I’m ready to handle his big emotions. I make a healthy breakfast, give his vitamins and we have at least an hour to play before we go. I play nice music and we try really hard to transition those negative thoughts into what we are grateful for. I also use essential oils in the diffuser and on his spine and it really helps!


My son is the same way. He’s 5 and just started this year.

Academically and emotionally are 2 different things. Give her time to be a creative child before a bored child school lol

All mine started at 4. There is definitely an adjustment period. Give it time mama


Kindie is hard. Its such a drastic change to what they are use to. Lots saying 4.5 is extremely young- in Ontario- some kids start school at 3 depending where their birthdays fall…But its a huge adjustment for them. Just hang in there take mental health days when needed etc., see if doing every other day is an option. Going from playing all day, being in their comfort zone is a huge change

Academically ready doesn’t mean emotionally or mentally ready. I’d pull her and wait til next year, but be sure to lead up with the return next year explaining that you won’t be pulling her out again.

That’s super early! I’d aim for headstart half day. Even if she is academically ready she’s still pretty young to be expected to sit in one spot all day


Out kindergartener loves going to school, our first grader hates going.

Our daughter was held back with September birthday. She is now a mom herself and thanks us for holding her back. She has always done well in school and was oldest in sports.

Kinder is so hard for little ones. It’s fast pace and a lot of work. My kiddos hated their first couple months of school but then the routine started working for them.


Its hard. For many kids it’s the first time away from mom and thrust into a situation with a lot of new people.

It’s normal. My son started kinder at 4 also and he was way too young. He just graduated in June at 17, but he was always socially a grade behind. I would honestly consider waiting a year for your little one to be fully ready.

My son went to preschool at 4 he absolutely loved it last year he did kindergarten he absolutely hated it and it was a very tough year for us this year he is 6 and in 1st grade and he’s doing amazing so far and absolutely loves it idk what it is but kindergarten is rough.

My son was loved school and would always come out smiling every single day started at a new school this year and his demenour was a 180 after school. Never came out smiling & happy. Turned out our intuition was right and he started asking to not go to school and when I started pressing bits and pieces started coming out. The school said It would be a transition. Know your child. When I brought up what was said the teachers acknowledged it. Turned out … My kid was being pushed, spit on, toys taken, on a daily basis. My momma heart hurt so bad that he wasn’t remembering this enough to tell me, but knew something was off. We pulled him and put him at a different school. He’s back to himself. Open that communication up and look for those cues… This was 4 year old preschool.

Definitely too early whether a academically ready or not socially and emotionally not ready. Even 5 -6 isn’t fully ready.

My 4 year old is the same. He had to go into kindergarten cause preschool was filled up. I feel bad but I tell him like this is your job now to go to school. He wants to be a big boy so I tell him that’s what big boys do

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I was in school at 4 with a november birthday. Its hard always being younger- driving- even graduating at 17 so not a true adult yet…. My son started early too , with strong academics. then at 5th grade he went back and was with his age group. Adding extra activities can keep their interests, while staying with their age group. Also with covid many kept their kids back a year so she is 4 1/2 with 6 and 6 1/2 year olds also!!

Social skills are very important but just because they are academically ready doesn’t mean they are emotionally ready…. I would give it some time though they do adjust.


I’d put her in prek… my son did an extra year of prek and he absolutely LOVES going to kindergarten now (he just turned 6)

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Just because she’s academically ready she might not be emotionally

Both my girls were this way in preschool. They had a hard time being away from me. It got better the second year.

just maybe you should have waited until she was 5, It jsut might be too soon for her, take her out & let her do kindergarten next yr & if she is that smart, when she gets older she will be in advance classes

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I waited until the very last minute to send them off, they were ready earlier, but I was youngest in school and hated it. I think they need that time with family to be socially ready and still get some kid time in. There is nothing social about school and its Too long at that age in my book. They can learn just as much,probably more, hanging with family. Just my thoughts

She sounds like she isn’t emotionally ready. I have read people saying this isn’t too young. Every child is different and prek is different then kindergarten. I would put her in a half day prek program. Give her more time to adjust.

Mentally and emotionally is probably not ready. There’s a big difference between 4.5 and 6. She may just take more time to adjust. Personally, I wouldn’t have put a 4.5 yr old into K. Education standards are very different than they used to be. It’s not all the fun play centered crafts and activities like it used to be.


This is 100% normal . I would send her .

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My son was the same way in kindergarten. They go from hanging out and just playing all day to having to learn 5 days a week. No more sleeping in. No more quiet naps. It’s a lot for them. My son’s already complaining now that 1st grade has started: “I have to do school every day AGAIN” :sweat_smile: Yeah buddy that’s life


Honestly, as a teacher, I would recommend letting her wait another year to go. Academically ready does not equate with emotionally and socially ready. My own son has a September birthday and we waited until he was turning 6 to start Kindergarten and he could have gone when turning 5. From what Ive seen firsthand, she will always be a bit behind emotionally and maturity wise bc a lot of growing happens between 5 and 6.


my 4yo loves school. if I were you I’d dig into what all goes on at school… at this age they should be having a lot of fun

Our daughter started kindergarten this year and she loves it :woman_shrugging:t2: She gets so excited every Sunday night because she can’t wait to go back to school and see her friends

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Mine was too. Talk to her teacher for my daughter’s teacher said the whole i hate going to school hanging onto my leg to be dragged into school was for my benefit as she jumped into all activities excited and connected once i left.

My kids both started school at three years old and they were completely different. My son was completely fine.
 My daughter on the other hand, she used to nap up until she was six years old so she was extremely tired and grouchy. They tried to keep her awake, but sometimes cannot the principal said that if she fell asleep, they wouldn’t wake her.
She also has IBS she ended up pooping herself, at least twice a day she was embarrassed…

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Don’t listen to the not ready comments. They’re just plain silly. Kids are in day care and pre school at that age. My son hated kindergarten but I’m pretty sure he just had a not so great teacher because that was her last year. He’ll adjust. If he continues to have issues talk to his teacher and school admin to find a solution

She’s 5. Send her butt anyways. They probably don’t let her do whatever she wants and now don’t wanna go. Too bad!!

Too young…. Kindergarten is highly academic now and she’s going to be competing with 6 year olds. Great that she’s smart… but that’s not the only thing to consider…. She’ll still be smart next year…

When does she turn 5? Idky everyone is saying she is 2 young. 1 of my kids turned 5 on the 1st day of kindergarten she loved it. 2 of my other kids turned 5 end of June and started k in Sept. They liked school also. Has she ever gone 2 pre k? Maybe she’s just missing you? Maybe some kids are being little jerks (there’s alot of them these days) after a couple weeks she will love it!

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Academically ready doesn’t mean emotionally or socially ready. Respectfully, don’t rush it. She’ll have many years in school but she’ll never be this age again. Speaking as a mother of growns. Once she starts school you house could become a petri dish for colds and flu.

It could be normal.
My youngest likes school but he hates having to get up and get ready in the morning…so he doesn’t want to go

She maybe isn’t emotionally ready. You can work with her at home on academics until next year. Don’t be one of these parents who pushes too much and does more harm than good. Very troubling she doesn’t want to go. Listen to her.


My daughter is a 5th grader and was telling me the same thing every day. She begged me not to send her to school. It took me 3 weeks to find out she was being bullied and violently threatened by a student in her class. Please visit the school, talk to her teacher and principal and also the school counselor. It could be nothing serious but then again it might be. Just a tip from one parent to another.

Maybe just the wake up makes her feel that way. Try and make it exciting. I let mine pick out her own outfit and she helps me pack her lunch and I tell her she is in big girl school and try to make it fun. It may be too that it’s a lot of kids and be scary so tell
Her how exciting it is and I tell her that mommy and daddy both go to school every morning too.

Academically ready doesn’t mean emotionally or mentally ready. Clearly she isn’t ready. Put her in a Pre-K that has less demands or pull her until she is old enough which usually means emotionally more able to handle it.

I don’t know. I have always felt school is not for every child. For some it is torture. I myself remember the anxiety that would rack my entire body even in grade school and all through high school until it finally made me sick enough that I was checked out. I ended up taking 4 years off from schooling and then went straight to take my GED the day after my 18th birthday. Passed with very good scores, without studying or long GED prep course. School is not for every child.

I’m gonna say…not really. I teach elementary school and the kinders are generally pleased to be there. I have a 4 yo and kept her out. You can unenroll her and try next year. My 4yo used to give us a hard time about going to school too but now she’s happy as a clam being the oldest girl in pre K (versus the youngest in kindergarten). Academics aside, kindergarten is very rigorous and not what we had as kids. It’s more like first grade now

My son came home on the first day of kindergarten and said he never wanted to go back he’s in first grade and begs me to unenroll him …

Look into TK, Transitional Kindergarten, helps.

Academically ready doesn’t mean emotionally ready. My daughter was 5 a month away from 6 when she started kindergarten and had an awful time for about 3 months. She will be in school for nearly the amount of hours an adult works a full time job and for 13 years minimum, why push her in so early? Let her be little and enjoy the short time she’s not in school.

I think 4k would be better. It’s usually only half days vs full days

My little one is five, and she’s doing 3 days a week, half days. Cause as her mom, I know that’s all that she’s gonna be able to handle. Have a very unpopular opinion about school. I don’t think any child between 4-6 maaaybe 7 yrs old should be in school for 6 hours a day 5 days a week

My son was going through this last year in 2nd grade. Every morning it was him saying he didn’t want to go to school. He eventually told us his 2 teachers were being mean to him. He was diagnosed with ADHD, and they told him there was nothing wrong with him. And I knew they were bullying him cause I could tell in the comments that they put in his agenda. I had to call a meeting and sit with them, and called them out on how they were treating him and even talking to him, and they never denied it. So maybe make sure her teachers and possibly classmates aren’t bullying her cause it may be a reason she doesn’t want to go.

Way back when my youngest was academically ready to start kindergarten and had a Sept birthday so would have been 5 soon after school started. My older two had half day kindergarten and it had just changed to all day. They said my youngest was academically ready, but wasn’t emotionally ready and to wait a year instead of starting early. Ended up in academically gifted classes in elementary school and has an MBA. Kindergarten is now more like first grade, no naps, etc. To me, 4.5 years old is too young for that.

He may not be ready yet. Those classrooms are loud and chaotic for little ppl. May be too much.

Maybe academically ready but probably not socially??? Kindergarten is a difficult transition and maybe since your child is only 4.5 they are not socially ready for kindergarten.

Son in grade 4. Still would rather be home.

I would ask her why. Maybe there is issues or maybe just separation anxiety. My kid loved kindergarten. But now as a 1st grader she tells me she doesnt want to go. Most of her friends are in a different classrooms she doesn’t want to go as much.

Sounds like bullying to me

That is awfully young for kindergarten. I would not send her and wait until next year. Like others have said, academically ready and socially and emotionally ready are different things. And pushing her too early and making it a bad experience can ruin her outlook on school for years to come. Trust me on that one.


For some kids it’s tough. My oldest started in 3k and couldn’t wait for me to leave when I dropped her off. My youngest is in Kindergarten, first time away from mama and she’s not handling it well most days even though she begged to go to school. I think she thought she could play on the playground all day lol. The first few days were great when I walked her in. But once I started dropping her and her sister(first grade)off she’s not too happy. It’s a big transition when they’ve been home with mama so long then sent off to school. She’s a bit lazy too and don’t like the work lol and so stubborn. My first grader did not want to start school until we went shopping for her supplies. After that she was excited and has done good.

I sent my child to school to early and ended up having to hold him back a year. Try to understand, she may be going to school with kids who just turned 6. That’s a huge developmental difference.
That’s what happened to my son, he was born in mid August and he just happened to be the youngest in the class. The teacher was more attuned towards the older kids so life was hard and confusing.
Send her next year when she’s a little older so she has that age advantage.
Our grandson was born in June and was not ready for school at 5 he was held back in kindergarten, he was told he was going to school too early. Now he’s in 4 th grade and is taking advanced classes and is being invited to the gifted program. Talk to her teacher, they are the experts in this area and try not to feel pressured to send her because other people in your life think you should. If I had it to do over with my son, I would have waited a year.
Good luck :grin:


School is stressful & overwhelming. I feel like teachers spend 90% of their day picking on unimportant crap like dress codes, the way the kids sit or walk, how their hair is styled etc. Every tiny action is punished. Then there’s the bullies. It’s a lot to deal with.

Yeah one of our sons went to K last year and had alot of trouble with him not wanting to go. Went on all year . Now this year we have 2 of our other sons in K and one is starting to do the same thing. Idk we tried everything with our son last year . They also bribed him and so it got worse over time. I hope they adjust .

Who cares what she wants. Send her anyway. She’s a child not a grown ass adult

Jk where I am starts at 4
My youngest is 4 and in jk my middle is 5 and is in sk
Does your child have good /decent communication? Do they tell you why they don’t want to go?
Or if something happened the day before they didn’t like?
We always as our kids after school how qas your day? Where you nice to your friends?,where your friends nice to you?
What happened today that you Liked? What happened today that you didn’t like?
What was your favorite part of today?
What did you do today ?
What did you learn today ?
Now of course you don’t have to berate them with all these questions the min they get home but we try to ask them at least a few of these questions within a few hours of being home

My son has been in a full time educational setting since he was 3, he’s 22 now. Do I regret it? No.

But, just because a child is ACADEMICALLY ready, doesn’t mean they are MENTALLY or EMOTIONALLY ready…

Have you tried speaking with your daughter? Has she expressed why she doesn’t want to be there?

My son wanted to quit after the first week… maybe she was ready academically, but not socially.

It’s probably separation :heavy_heart_exclamation:

Luckily my son loves going to school, he’s in kindergarten too. If they have a great teacher they like going I heard, but it is a big transition.

He may just not be ready yet but watch for signs of social anxiety, if that ends up being the case you would need to seek professional help.

There’s a reason most places require kids to be 5 before they start kindergarten… just because a kid is book-smart doesn’t mean they’re ready for full blown kindergarten. It’s not all play anymore. People don’t realize how much K is like what we remember as 1st grade.

Our school has a jr kindergarten class for kids just like your kid - just not old enough - as well as kids who are just not quite ready for the rigors of kindergarten… bdays usually range from June-Sept. it’s like a bridge between pre-k and K - slightly longer days, there for lunch, more academics, but not a ton of “sit at the table” time.

Has your kid been in preschool before this?