DD is desperately unhappy at school

(24 Posts)
howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:06:57

My DD is in year 5 and has told me she's unhappy at school a few times now. I put it down to the usual friendship issues 9 year olds go through but last week her teacher told me that my DD broke her heart for a good 10 minutes when the teacher asked if she was okay. She seems worried about her. My DD has never had easy friendships at school and her best friend now seems to have turned her back on her too. DD is quite different from the other girls in her class-she's a tomboy and loves science and enjoys quite deep discussions. She wants me to send her to another school-I think she feels she'd cope better even if new classmates already had their friends, than she does with classmates who were once her friend but have now shunned her. Is Year 5 a terrible time to change schools?

schilke Thu 15-Nov-12 22:22:48

I'd be reluctant to change schools in yr5. Does she have any good friends?

My ds2 had a torrid time in yr5. His teacher told us he was very worried about him and ds2 told a close friend of ours that he wanted to kill himself sad

He felt different to other boys - never really got to the bottom of why he felt different. He is a very deep thinker - can imagine him as a philosopher when he's older! He thought he didn't have any friends, but was actually very well liked.

Sorry, none of this is helping you. If it is because your dd feels different to other girls, that might not be any different at a new school. I'd try and encourage her to stay. Invite some friends round perhaps.

My ds2 is now in yr8 and very happy most of the time. Year 5 was a very odd time for him.

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:27:41

Thanks for that. Yes, her teacher actually told my DD that 'teachers know the children who don't have friends and you're not one of them' so I think its her perception of herself that's skewed-particularly as her best friend has, in DD's eyes, completely gone off her. It's a lovely school and I would rather she stayed so I'm going to speak to the Headteacher about it on Monday. I wish I could send her to a Steiner school as it would be perfect for her!

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:29:36

By the way-I'm sorry your DS had a bad time too-maybe Year 5 is an odd one! Glad he' okay now!

schilke Thu 15-Nov-12 22:33:17

I was so close to yanking ds2 out and home schooling. I was really worried about him.

The positives(?) I took from the situation were the teacher noticed and ds2 had actually told someone how miserable he was. Your dd is talking to you and her teacher noticed her unhappiness.

Do you have a senco at school? Ds2's senco was lovely - he chatted to her for an hour, cried etc and was told he could go to her office if he ever felt worried/sad. She really helped.

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:38:20

That sounds a good idea-there are some lovely members of staff in the school, senco included. Another thing thats upsetting her is that she still bedwets-we had an appointment at the continence clinic recently where she thought they'd give her a magic pill but we were told she needs to drink more and we have another meeting set-up. I think all this is really adding to her poor self-esteem. I will follow your advice-thankyou.

Floralnomad Thu 15-Nov-12 22:38:56

My DD changed schools at around that age and it was great . If she wants to and its possible I'd say go for it but do make it clear that a new school may not necessarily be any better and that you can't keep changing. I wish we'd done it sooner as my DD had not been happy for a while .

kissmyheathenass Thu 15-Nov-12 22:39:45

This has happened to my DD too. She's in yr 3.last year she invited 15 girls to her party and only got 3 invites back. She never gets asked anywhere for tea despite me having lots of girls back here. It saddens me. The mums at the school are v v cliquey, they all do pta and church stuff together. As an atheist in a c of e school I do feel like we are outsiders tbh. Crap isn't ? Dd went for a taster day at a different school today, if she does move I hope it gives her the opportunity to start afresh.

kissmyheathenass Thu 15-Nov-12 22:40:41

Howlingcpw my DD also bedwets.

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:42:24

Thats good to know Floral incase it does come down to that-wouldn't be ideal as I have 2 younger DD's in the same school who love it there but if DD1 is that unhappy-I will consider going down that route.

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:46:15

I really feel for your DD heathenass-it absolutely breaks your heart doesn't it? I just hope that our girls will bloom as they get older and everyone will want them at their parties!

BooksandaCuppa Thu 15-Nov-12 22:47:52

My dsis moved my dniece at the beginning of yr5 (just now) as her previous school were not providing for her either academically nor pastorally/socially. They knew the new school would be better academically but could not know in advance about the social side, but decided it probably couldn't be any worse (dniece helped to come to this conclusion).
As it turns out, because the academic side of things is better now, she is much calmer and happier generally and so is gradually making friends in her own time - and has kept in touch with a few from her old school too.
I don't think it's too late and in your shoes would consider it quite strongly.

Floralnomad Thu 15-Nov-12 22:48:23

TBH I learnt the hard way because my DS who is several years older loathed his Grammar school and I didn't move him , he changed for 6 th form and was so much happier that spurred me into not going down the same route with DD . I still feel quite guilty that I didn't move him but it all panned out in the end. There's nothing worse than seeing your children unhappy .

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:52:37

Thanks Booksandacuppa-it's good to hear some positive scenarios. The school she would go to is also a lovely little school and she knows a few people from cubs there-I think the main thing is the fact that, even if she doesn't make many friends quickly-at least she wont feel she's been around old friends who have abandoned her-she was actually begging me to move her so I may have to get the wheels in motion for a January start.

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 22:56:13

I know Floral-it's awful to see them unhappy and I think whatever steps we take-we always feel guilty!!

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 15-Nov-12 22:56:44

howling I really feel for you and DD but have to say that unless you've been to a few Steiner schools and seen how they work, it's best not to see them as a fix for DC who are individuals in their personas.

I've looked at them because my year 4 DD has had some hard times....I wont derail your thread about it but in short, they are actually some of the least creative schools ever.

I have seen children move schools in year 5 and do fine....if there are any nice ones, it wouldn't be a bad thing for you to look around....is DD bright? Could she get a bursary to a prep?

howlingcow Thu 15-Nov-12 23:02:22

Wow you've surprised me there MrsCan't! They've obviously got very good PR machines!! DD is very articulate and bright (teacher agrees with this) however I don't think she'd get a bursary as she's not on any gifted programme and she struggles with maths.

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 15-Nov-12 23:07:53

It's a big topic here on MN if you do an advanced search. I visited three....as I wanted what I saw as a creative education without the pressure to learn to read too young...and with freedom to play outdoors and perhaps to do more art than DC do in an average primary.

What I found was not that! The first thing that alerted me to what was wrong....was that all of the children's art, (paintings) looked as though they'd been done by the same child! They have a specific technique which they have to adhere to and certain colour combinations have to be the same...

they all looked like this

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 15-Nov-12 23:09:25

And I won't add more than this which you should have a look at. Now I''ll say no more! smile

mam29 Thu 15-Nov-12 23:27:36

Cant speak for year 5 as my eldest dd year 2.

she dident do best academically in year 1 and seemed progressivly unhappy summer term year 1.

Over summer hols she seemed much happier.

Started year 2 sept-new mix of kids as split year group every oher year gain or lose 15 from her year group.

Her year 2teacher was very stict and formal , opposite to year 1teacher which she liked.

Term 1 over 8weeks and she was grumpy, tearful, had least 3rows in playground, told off by teacher twice for something she dident do.

I looked at moving huge debate between me and dh.

I asked dd last year you want to move-answer no mummy
asked again she seemed keen,

we looked at small village school-I liked hubby unsure reservations.

showed dd dident say much in visit but parts of it eyes lit up she recognised couple of kids from cheerleading.

Anyway we moved her tommorows her 10th day.

she loves it.

shes been assigned a class buddy from day 1
They gone out way to get her settled.
more to do than old school.
She has several freinds in playground including some boys.

its much less cliquey than old school.

A few of her close freinds in old school were very fickle and controlling.

There was constant petty rows within her year group.

Early days have no regrets even dh seems to see what i mean shes like different person.

Its highlighted to me looking back shes been unhappy for a while and was getting worse.

good luck whatever you decide.

Pyrrah Fri 16-Nov-12 00:05:19

I was miserable at one of my junior schools and wish my parents had moved me.

The plus with the school she is at is that the teacher has picked up on it and is sympathetic - that is a very good thing, but did she have concrete suggestions of how to improve things?

Children who are unhappy at school - especially when the unhappiness is due to social issues and lack of friends and/or bullying - can develop victim complexes which can follow them for years and affect the way they respond to others (defensive, expecting to be disliked etc) and can cause the same issues all over again.

For that reason I would think very seriously about moving her as soon as possible.

It's helpful if there are no real connections between the children at both schools. When I eventually moved school, the chief instigator in the problems at the old school told me that she had friends in the new one and would let them know who I was and to be horrible to me. It wasn't true, but I believed it was for a long time.

Hope she is happier soon!

DeWe Fri 16-Nov-12 09:50:47

Dd1 had this, though more in year 6.

Problem is (and I think this is a general thing) often teachers go "they're fine with friendships, they are friendly with X, Y, Z and a few more". But actually they're friends in that they say hello, don't mind them sitting alongside, don't mind partnering them if not a better offer comes up... But actually that's often miserable for the child (I think more in girls).

Because every time they're told to work in groups/need a partner they have to wait and see who's left over. If something bad happens, then there's not someone who will stick their neck out and stand by them. They just don't have that person they can rely on at lunch and breaks-so each one is a stress because they have to ask "can I join you?" knowing that they'll be let in if there's a space, possibly to do the part no one else wants...

Dd1 would walk round the school and she'd have all years, boys and girls, coming up to her to say hello, show her something they'd done, tell her about their weekend. Other parents would tell me that their child thought she was so kind. But she thought she had no friends. And when she was having problems no one would stick with her.

I didn't move her, but she didn't want to move, plus it was year 6 when it really errupted. However she's just gone to a new secondary. We picked the one that not many from her school went to, and there's no one from her school in her new form. She's enjoying it much more. I wish I'd made more fuss at juniors (not that she wanted me to). In her own words "it's nice to get up on Mondays not worrying that I've got a whole week to get through."

I would move your dd if there's a good school you can move her to.

rrbrigi Fri 16-Nov-12 10:06:13

My son is different from other boys too. He has some friends in the school, but mostly girls. So probably your DD would feel better herself with boys, who also like science and discussions etc... Probably your DD does not like "girly" thinks as much as her old friend. Why do not you discuss this with her and she might be able to find a very good friend who is a boy. It is just a suggestion.

GreenGables1 Fri 16-Nov-12 13:02:38

DeWe your post sounds so familiar... DS year 5 going through so much of this. So sad but also a bit reassuring so many of our children have experienced something like this. Its a question of how much is ok to put up with for us, as its a new school for him. Head trying to be very supportive and he's reading a book about self esteem which he is really enjoying. Its given him the language though to express hs feelings which is good but slightly scary for us - he's talking about feeling depressed and says sometimes he feels like hurting himself, which according to book means he should phone Childline straight away. So sorry for all our children going through things like this... and us parents too sad

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