to let dd1 (6) be late for school one day?

(76 Posts)
muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 13:57:13

dd1 loves school and likes to get her attendance mark.
but every morning (including weekends) she stands around doing nothing while I try to get us all out on time.
she comes down at 7 and eats breakfast, no problems, but as soon as we go upstairs to get ready she literally just stands there. I put her uniform out and tell her to wash and dress. 5 mins later while im washing dd2 I look in her room and she is gazing out the window. I tell her again to get ready and 5 mins later she is looking at some pants.
I have tried making it a race with me, with her sister, counting while she does things, getting ready and going downstairs without her sh she can just get on, telling her she will be late, but everyday is the same.
aibu to just once not nag her and let her be late so she realises it is her getting the late mark not me.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 22-Nov-13 13:58:54

Yanbu good idea

bundaberg Fri 22-Nov-13 14:03:11

will she care though?

she is only 6

3bunnies Fri 22-Nov-13 14:03:43

Yes, you could even prompt the teacher/ head teacher to have a word with her when she does get there. Worked for a friend of mine. Her children haven't messed around since.

WooWooOwl Fri 22-Nov-13 14:05:23

This is the sort of plan that could backfire too easily.

What if she misses something that she's glad to have missed? What if the teacher doesn't mind and sends the message that it's ok that she's late because its a one off?

BackforGood Fri 22-Nov-13 14:08:58

No, I wouldn't, can't see it working with a 6yr old.
Why don't you have her in the same room as you to get dressed ? confused, then you can be prompting her, item by item, as you are helping dd2.

sOODdragon Fri 22-Nov-13 14:12:04

Try "We are leaving in 5 minutes whether you are dressed or not."

and follow it through.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:13:11

dds share a room so their clothes are in the same room ready but im in and out washing and dressing myself, washing dd2, packing swim bags etc. even when im in there and say put on your socks she picks up the socks then gazes at them.
she would definitely care about being late, she loves school and her teacher.
this isn't to avoid school, she is the same even if we are about to go somewhere fun at the weekend, she wants to go she is excited, but she is found standing looking at an ornament when everyone else is ready.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:14:19

I also do a countdown from 15 mins to go and she knows she needs help with her hair before we leave.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:15:00

we walk to school and im not taking her out naked.

Jenny70 Fri 22-Nov-13 14:16:01

What about getting dressed before breakfast to be done, then not go back into bedroom etc, to be distracted by stuff?

If not, bring clothes with her to breakfast, maybe being back in her room is being a distraction?

Try few other strategies before the late card - and what would happen to other child (you mention her sister), would she be late too?

I had to take my reception child to school in PJ's last year with uniform in bag, without breakfast, all over a tantrum about milk in his cereal. But told him it wasn't fair on the other children to make them late, had lots of warnings, counting down to departure etc. Hasn't done it again!

gwencooper81 Fri 22-Nov-13 14:16:30

Put the clocks forward one hour. Tell her you won't be telling her more than once what she needs to be doing. What ever state of dress she is in when it's 'time ' to leave (obviously an hour early) she will leave for School in.
I did similar with my 8 year old who was mortified at the thought of going to School half dressed.
I think genuinely being late would be being unreasonable especially if no one at School actually pulls her on it.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 22-Nov-13 14:18:29

I don't know what to suggest but if it makes you feel any better my Y1 DD is exactly the same...

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 22-Nov-13 14:19:58

I think it is probably a good idea, given what you've said about how she behaves and how she feels, but wouldn't work for all children.

Might be worth warning the teacher in advance, possibly not in so many words. Something like "I'm struggling to get DD out of the house on time at the moment because she dithers" or whatever.

gwencooper81 Fri 22-Nov-13 14:20:57

Just to add to my idea. Obviously you would have an extra hour /half hour?? To rectify the situation and you wouldn't actually be taking her out naked!

redskyatnight Fri 22-Nov-13 14:21:34

I did a carrot/stick approach i.e. "we are leaving at x hours if you are not ready by then I will impose x sanction" coupled with a "when you are totally ready to go you can watch tv". And then obviously follow through. to start with you may want to make "x hours" 10 minutes before you actually need to go, so that you do have time to sort out any last minute hiccup.

And then I stopped micromanaging i.e. I don't nag, I don't do things for them (if they need help with e.g. hair, of course I will help). I will give them a 10 minute warning if they really seem to be staring into space and doing nothing.

It only took a couple of times of Mother's wrath for them to get the idea.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:23:20

she is year 2 and not improving, if I ask her what she needs to do she lists everything so she knows, if I ask why she is standing in 1 sock looking at a card she doesn't know??
I don't want her dressed before breakfast because of spills but might send her up much earlier to get ready and then she can play if she has time.
at the moment 7-7.30 is breakfast then they play till 8 then get ready for 8.30. might go up and get ready at 7.30 then if she takes an hour she wont get to play/read.
I am fed up of hearing my own voice say wash/teeth/socks/pants.
she also distracts her sister and encourages her to play instead of put on her socks.
dd2 is 3 so only at playgroup so wouldn't be late for anything

Ledkr Fri 22-Nov-13 14:24:41

Yes I did this at juniors but warned the teacher.
I asked her to do stuff to get ready just once then sat and drank my coffee.
We meandered in at around 9.25 and she hated it.
She is pretty much always early for school now.
I think she needed to experience being late to avoid it.

LemonBreeland Fri 22-Nov-13 14:26:35

Yes definitely stop the play time, no playing until ready for school.

If it does not work I would try the late thing, with the teachers on side. My dc would be devastated at being late for school.

allmycats Fri 22-Nov-13 14:27:21

She's 6 for god's sake - why cant you get DD2 ready in the same room as DD1 so that you can encourage (help) DD1 - a child of that age, is very easily distracted.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 22-Nov-13 14:29:54

play for ds is only after he is ready for school and if he is really good one game of angry birds

he is so easily distracted I give myself a headache most mornings sad but it seems to be working

GhostsInSnow Fri 22-Nov-13 14:33:24

Friend of mine used to set her clocks forward half an hour. Worked like a dream grin

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:33:55

allmycats they are in the same room, im in and out washing dd2 and sorting myself too. dd1 only needs help with her hair and sometimes I untangle her from her tights grin
but is it normal at 6 to pick up your pants and then sit there holding them and do............nothing.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Nov-13 14:34:20

DD2 is 7 and she's the same.

I just make sure I'm yapping at her heels.

DD1 was the same at that sort of age,but it did pass.

I think it takes them a bit to learn the sense of urgency and passage of time.

BackforGood Fri 22-Nov-13 14:35:01

You've just identified your own problem the moment 7-7.30 is breakfast then they play till 8 then get ready for 8.30.

Obviously you don't have time to play until you are all ready to go out.

Things like swimming bags can also be got ready the night before if it's causing a problem in the morning.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:35:02

at school she changes for pe twice a week and swimming once a week, I wonder if she just sits there holding a sock??

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Nov-13 14:35:27

I think it also improves when they can tell the time easily themselves.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:36:13

she has no sense of urgency even if its for her benefit.

DIYapprentice Fri 22-Nov-13 14:36:43

That's too much time!

Get her dressed as soon as she wakes up. Get them BOTH dressed. You can either use an old shirt to put over their clothes to protect them from getting dirty, or use it as a method of teaching them to eat neatly, and just sponge off any minor marks or swap jumpers at the last minute.

I do this with DS1 and 2 who are 4 and 6, so similar ages to yours. DS1 is a complete dreamer just like your DD2, I swear he seems to go into some sort of trance when it's dressing/undressing time!!!! But as they share a room they are getting dressed together so as I help DS2 I chivvy DS1 along. The word 'focus' is a heavily used one in our house.

I've also found they eat better for having had a bit of time before breakfast.

7.30 - 7.50 getting dressed and beds made
7.50 - 8.15 breakfast (while I make their lunches)
8.15 - 8.30 teeth brushing, last items into bag, loo trips
8.40 - 8.45 out the house

Play time only happens when EVERYTHING is done and they are completely ready, bar shoes and coat.

You need to get yourself ready either before they are up, or after they have finished breakfast.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 14:37:28

she cant tell the time yet,

DIYapprentice Fri 22-Nov-13 14:37:50

but is it normal at 6 to pick up your pants and then sit there holding them and do............nothing.

If DS1 is anything to go by, then yes. And he does it at school too, the teachers have had a good laugh with me about it. (When they not pulling their hair out grin)

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Nov-13 14:40:42

Honestly you could be talking about my DD. muddy
I could go back in the room after 5 minutes and find her tights are still halfway up her legs and she's sitting doing precisely nothing.
Even if we're going to go to do something as a fun day out,it's the same old same old.

Not worth getting stressed about imo.

She'll get there and until then,constant reminders to avoid the last minute mayhem.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Nov-13 14:42:51

muddy I really think being able to tell the time themselves is the crux of it if my experience is anything to go by.

It's only then mine seemed to get the feel of what 5 minutes feels like,and how close it's getting to leaving time.

My DD(7) is still not 'fluent' with time.

Artandco Fri 22-Nov-13 14:46:02

You need to change the morning. As soon as up they get dressed/ hair/ teeth. Everything that needs doing upstairs so you don't have to go back up.

Then breakfast, play if time and out the door. Then if dressing takes forever they are ready at least and will have to cope with a banana and piece of brioche on the way to school and no play.

Mattissy Fri 22-Nov-13 14:46:32

Mine get dressed before breakfast, they then only need go back upstairs for teeth brushing and face washing, they never have to go back to their bedrooms where there's distractions.

If you don't like that put their clothes in the lounge and make a thing about getting dressed in front of the fire or something?

SparklyFucker Fri 22-Nov-13 14:52:08

I've dragged mine to school in their pyjamas before, and in just their pants and socks. They've never done it more than three times between them. If I say we are leaving the house at X time, then we are leaving, regardless of what you are wearing at the time. Clothes will be budled into a carrier bag and taken with us. If you can get them on in thirty seconds flat on the doorstep (with the door closed and locked behind us), fine, otherwise start walking. Even in this weather.

I agree with others that perhaps you need to re-jig the order of things. Get them dressed first, then do breakfast, then any other tasks (homework etc), and only when you would be ready to actually leave if necessary are they allowed playtime until the true departure time.

SparklyFucker Fri 22-Nov-13 14:53:40

They're 5 and 7 now, ds2 was taken in his pyjamas within the first half term of reception last year.

lougle Fri 22-Nov-13 14:53:46

It will tire you but if you get a set routine going, it will sink in.

Ok, DD1 - knickers.
Great. Socks.
Skirt - go on, skirt! 30 seconds...ready
Quickly then, shoes.


TwoTearsInABucket Fri 22-Nov-13 14:59:10

Definitely leave to playing till after she is ready. Dd watches tv in the morning and it has to go off for her to get dressed. I do sit with her and do a running commentary of what has to go on next otherwise it wouldn't get done at all. She is reception.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 22-Nov-13 14:59:46

I feel for you op.

I have a 5 (nearly 6) year old ds and a 3 year old ds.

I swear that ds1 is taking longer and longer to get dressed every day.

I lay out both of the boys clothes as i'm finishing off last minute bits (lunches etc). After 2 minutes flat, my 3 year old will come find me, fully dressed, shoes and everything, and asks me to help do his buttons.

Ds1 will still be sitting naked, looking at his pants/socks/shirt/an interesting mark on the wall/whatever...

I remind him, I cajole him, I stand over him to watch, I make it into a fun race, I threaten, plead...

He will do it, eventually, but he takes aaggeeeesssss.

He is otherwise very well behaved, will do anything else I ask/tell him immediately. It is a PITA.

redskyatnight Fri 22-Nov-13 15:02:31

Agree leave playing till she gets ready. Actually why not make it a reward "If you get ready quickly you can play for longer"?

Even if she can't tell the time you can tell her the configuration of hands/time on the clock that means you need to go. And tell her the same for 15 minutes earlier, which means she can't be sitting there staring at her pants any longer.

magentastardust Fri 22-Nov-13 15:02:50

So glad to have found this thread, DD1 age 6 exactly the same. DS -up bed made, strides down to breakfast , gets teeth done dressed in about 5 mins.
DD-I lay out her clothes , leave room to wrestle with DD2 into some clothes , pop back into her room 5 mins later and she is just standing there, I hurry her up , another 5 mins passes and she is standing in a pair of pants and no further progress!
I have tried to hurry her up in a nice way but we just end up with me nagging in the mornings which I don't like and isn't fun for anyone.
If you find an answer please let me know.

magentastardust Fri 22-Nov-13 15:04:40

and just to add dd is very well behaved I normally only have to ask her once to do anything but for some reason she just can't get going with getting dressed in the morning.

Iwaswatchingthat Fri 22-Nov-13 15:09:25

Oh dear OP I feel your pain. My dd1 was exactly the same and still is as dippy now she is 8 at times.

Solution for us was you don't come downstairs until you are dressed.

I bath them the night before too so the only washing is teeth and a quick face wipe with the flannel.

We keep another pair of toothbrushes downstairs and do it down there, so once they are downstairs they don't go back up.

ExcitedEmmy Fri 22-Nov-13 15:16:43

My six year old is in a dreamy morning state too. I wake her, try to instigate chat to wake her while I brush my hair and do my make up, I then tell her it's time to get ready and she comes to my room with me where we wake dd2 and get ready. She doesn't get up until 7.45 and we leave at 8.25. We have the radio on and dance around as we get ready which wakes her up a bit and I remind her if necessary. Her hair gets done last so she knows if she isn't ready before me she will be going to school looking like a scarecrow. We get downstairs for 8.10 and have breakfast.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Nov-13 15:17:57

I have to say that agree with others that things did improve in our house when we started doing breakfast after dressing.

At 6 they should be able to eat breakfast without getting it all down their fronts (which was was stopped me when they first started school)

Perhaps its the way we are too?

I hate getting dressed and will leave it till the last minute.
It seems so futile when you're warm and comfy in what you've got on,and you know you'll have to do the reverse later.....

LadyVetinari Fri 22-Nov-13 15:28:02

Routine: bath sorted and everything laid out the night before, teeth first thing in the morning, then clothes on, then breakfast, then shoes on and hair done, then playing.

Also, could you get her a stopwatch for dressing? If she can't tell the time then a visual "10, 9, 8..." countdown will probably help her to understand how long she has.

LadyVetinari Fri 22-Nov-13 15:29:47

Oh and if all else fails, make sure the bedrooms are a bit chilly when they wake up so there's a benefit to getting dressed quickly. My mum used to have to confiscate my duvet in the morning for this reason... blush

MorgauseIsNotBlinking Fri 22-Nov-13 15:30:42

When I was teaching a little girl arrived late with a note from her dad saying she refused to put her shoes on every morning and they'd had enough, so left her to it. They brought her when she finally put them on.

We were busy on the morning's work. I read the note and looked at her and before I could say anything she burst into "sorry" tears and was never late again.

2goatytocare Fri 22-Nov-13 15:40:33

She sounds just like my 6 year old DD, I might try this as I know she'd hate to be late

Oh God I feel your pain. I send DD1 (5) downstairs to start eating breakfast with DH and DD2 while i have a shower. I do have very quick showers on weekday mornings so not ages but I come back into the bedroom and she's lying in my bed doing air writing without a care in the world. I can't bear it!

sOODdragon Fri 22-Nov-13 15:52:24

at the moment 7-7.30 is breakfast then they play till 8 then get ready for 8.30

As others have said.
There is your problem and solution all in one - they don't get to play until they are ready.

paperlantern Fri 22-Nov-13 15:55:23

yabvu. what if she decides she quite likes being late? you're totally up the creek without a paddle cos you've let it happen once.

yes of course no playtime before she's ready to go with bag by the door

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Nov-13 16:08:42

I try to time it so there is no playtime.

Otherwise mine have messed their hair up again by the time they've wrestled on the floor with the dog!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 22-Nov-13 16:18:07

The "playtime last" thing seems to work well with dd and bedtime. Her bedtime is 7:30. If she eats her dinner sensibly and cooperates with getting ready for bed then there is a good half hour for bedtime stories. If she doesn't then there may only be a few minutes or even no story at all.

It's what I call the "up to you - I don't mind" school of parenting.

Sokmonsta Fri 22-Nov-13 20:12:12

Ditch the play time as it's time she could spend getting dressed. She will learn she gets none the longer she takes.

If you're worried about dressing before breakfast and spillages, invest in an apron. Alternatively my school of thought is if it gets dirty I'll wipe it up and they will still wear it. It's not like they come home pristine every day anyway.

It honestly only takes once or twice getting to school on time but in a part dressed state for them not to want to so that again. Dd went minus hair being brushed and no shoes or socks - I made her put crocs on before walking to school as I'm not quite that mean. The disappointment from her teacher at seeing her come in all sulky and half ready was enough for her to apologise on the spot and be mindful when reminded that I've done it once so have no qualms doing it a second time. I refuse to let her be late to school as that has a knock on effect of ds being late for prescho.

trinity0097 Fri 22-Nov-13 20:47:14

Speak to her teacher and ask what she is like getting changed at school. I teach a boy who cannot cope with getting dressed without constant adult supervision and he is in yr 6, but meant to be in year 7. From what you have described is just like his mum described getting him dressed in the mornings and i know the pe teachers find the same changing for sport. Could she have special needs and this is one of the symptoms?

TheIggorcist Fri 22-Nov-13 21:02:21

Based on the comments on this thread about other people's dcs I think it highly unlikely we can diagnose special needs based on a reluctance to get dressed in the morning hmm

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 21:22:39

academically, she is doing very well at school but she is quite young for her age and overthinks things a lot.
it seems this is quite common after all.
dd2 is 3.0 and can dress very quickly and can be heard telling her sister what to do "dd2, why don't you put your socks on like me, its a school day"
dinnertime is also stressful as she is very slow (and at school) and again sits staring or just relentlessly talks so we all finish and she has hardly eaten.
she is very slow.

muddyprints Fri 22-Nov-13 21:23:57

I will start no playtime till she is completely ready and if that doesn't work she will dress before breakfast. they are good ideas thank

unlucky83 Fri 22-Nov-13 21:30:46

I agree - no play till ready
You could try a wall chart/timetable...if she can't read - or even if she can you can draw stick people
So she has pants and socks on by x time, blouse and skirt by x time teeth and face by x time you will brush her hair at x time..
All you do is tell her the time - ie is 8.05 (at first you might have to say you should have your pants and socks on now...) then it is 8.10 etc etc
DD1 was a nightmare for this - I used to end up helping her get dressed - she did eventually improve but even now at almost 13 I have to remind her of the time - and sometimes help her put her blazer and coat on at the last minute in order for her not to miss the bus!
DD2 (6) will get her own clothes out and get her self dressed in 5 mins flat - although she likes racing with me the best...I think it is a personality thing ...she does daydream sometimes and needs reminding - perhaps once once a week!
I'm always late - DP is always early. DD1 has my genes - DD2 DPs ...

ShriekingGnawer Fri 22-Nov-13 21:35:24

Put an apron on over her uniform at breakfast. No going downstairs until she is dressed.

ShriekingGnawer Fri 22-Nov-13 21:36:09

DS1 was like this at 6 but at 7 he's always the first one ready. There is hope!

moogalicious Fri 22-Nov-13 21:44:26

What DIY said. She doesn't need to tell the time. This is my routine with 3 dcs, dc1 still being a daydreamer at 11.

6.30 me up and showered, go downstairs have breakfast
7.00 dc1 in shower, dc2 and 3 get dressed
7.15 dc2 and 3 breakfast
7.30 dc2 and 3 teeth and wash, dc1 breakfast
7.45 dc1 teeth

They can then watch TV/play/whatever until we leave at 8.10

Dc1 is older so needs to shower, but the younger ones are always dressed before they come down for breakfast. An no tv etc until they are ready.

tallulah Fri 22-Nov-13 22:02:03

You've described my 6 yo to a T. We've always done breakfast then come back upstairs to get dressed, because she always drops food down her front, but she will just sit.

Just lately we've started getting dressed before breakfast and it does seem to speed everything up a bit.

Mine is like it at school too. When I collect her from after school gymnastics all the other kids will be ready with shoes and coats on, and she will just be sat in her pants.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Fri 22-Nov-13 22:06:17

I get ready when DC are having breakfast, I dress DD while DS gets dressed.

No tv or playing until everyone is ready.

junkfoodaddict Fri 22-Nov-13 22:08:33

I'm a teacher and 12 years ago a 6 year old in my class refused to get ready for school. Her mum calmly carried her out of the house (at this point kicking and screaming when she realised her mum was not just giving idle threats) and into the car. She practically dragged her daughter through the classroom door, calmly apologised for her daughter's lateness and for her 'state of dress' - she was still in her nightdress. Her mum had put her school clothes in a bag and politely asked if her daughter could change at school as she refused to at home. The little girl was mortified and promptly got dressed (at this point crying with embarrassment). She never did it again.
6 year olds do care and it will be noticed when she realises just how much trouble she'll be in if she cares enough about her lateness mark. Also, I think change your morning schedule - get dressed BEFORE coming downstairs and that way breakfast and play is leisurely.

ExcuseTypos Fri 22-Nov-13 22:15:32

Yes as everyone else says - no playing until you are ready for school. That means everything done, breakfast, dressed, teeth, school bag, coats and gloves ready etc.

It always worked with my 2 and they were never late. Do it now when she is young and it will stick with her forever.

Blatherskite Fri 22-Nov-13 22:21:18

My 6yo DS does this too and I also don't dress him until after breakfast to save on washing.

What has helped are :
No play time until he's totally ready for school. Sometimes this means no play time at all.
Taking him to school in whatever state he's in when the time to leave comes. I gave him his coat but the rest was stuffed in a bag.
and the best one...
Making him get dressed on the landing rather than in his room. He was closer to me in the bathroom getting myself ready and the change of scenery and lack of things to play with helped him to concentrate.

ExcuseTypos Fri 22-Nov-13 22:25:58

Another thing which helped my 2 get dressed quickly in the winter, was putting their clothes on the radiators.

They'll be toasty warm when they come to put them on.

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 22-Nov-13 22:34:58

I tell my Dd that she can play/watch Tv if she has any spare time., but that time is not spare unless you are ready to leave, so once you are breakfasted, washed, toothbrushed, hair brushed, dressed, bags packed, shoes and coat ready by the door, then you have SPARE time. Until then it's just time.

I agree with what everyone has said, but is your DD getting enough sleep, OP?

I only ask because I do the trancy thing too blush when getting dressed, if I'm tired and I'm a lot older than 6.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 22-Nov-13 22:43:58

Stop the play until they are all dressed, and if she isn't dressed, take her to school in pyjamas.

intitgrand Fri 22-Nov-13 22:45:26

Get them dressed as soon as they get up!

Retroformica Fri 22-Nov-13 22:46:15

I know you don't like the idea but the solution is getting changed before breakfast. Mine do. It works. Yes there is the odd spill but I just use a wet wipe.

muddyprints Sat 23-Nov-13 20:56:40

ok will try dressing first this week, and I like the idea of clothes on the landing so she cant grab a book or paper and start writing.
she sleeps 8 till 6.30ish when she wakes naturally. she is very tired by the end of a school week and gets teary and pale. she is too tired for after school activities. school seems to shatter her.

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