What do I do with my 5 year old who hates school and spends most of his time telling me this?

(28 Posts)

Feel so clueless. DS is nearly 6 and in year one. He got on ok in reception, perhaps in part due to the wonderful teaching staff, but seems so unhappy now he is in year one. I know it must be hard for lots of children to make the transition from the play based learning...but I just feel at a loss of what to do about it.

Every day his first words are that he doesn't want to go to school today. I have tried to ignore it a bit (sort of, being light hearted rather than completely disregarding him), but he has become more upset - promise of reward if he goes in without a fuss has had no impact - I sat down with him over the weekend and talked about it but have come away with no real insight - he just hates school and doesn't want to go. He wants to stay at home with me all day. He wants me to be his teacher. How do I know how seriously to take him? He didn't seem to miss school or friends over summer, unlike some of my friends children who apparently couldn't wait to go back.

He enjoys a lunchtime club he attends and he likes playing with his friends, but that's about it.

His teacher is so far dismissive - I hope she's right and it's a phase that passes but if not...then what? How long do i wait for him to get into it?

It seems to be occupying a lot of him time and energy and he seems unhappy...I just don't know how to handle it or make it better.

I think it's interesting that he's ok being left places by your DH but not you. Both of mine were similar. DS is now 9 and is fine with going to things. DD is almost 6 and still struggles a bit going into new situations. The thing I learnt with DS was to accept he was going to cling to me, to not get upset about it, and to try to be relatively no-nonsense at the handover iyswim. We did discuss things, check there was no bullying etc and I realised he just needed to have me being brave in order to help him be strong.

Having said that it may be that HE is right for your child but it sounds like he just loves you do much he wants to be with you !

nobutreally Wed 02-Oct-13 09:23:04

My two are 7 & 9 now, but just to say a LOT of ds's & dd's mates had huge wobbles going into Y1 - even though the school said it was trying to make the transition gentle, there seems to be a huge leap from R to Y1. Especially for those who aren't really ready to spend more time in sitting still, directed tasks, it suddenly feels like hard work, and no control. And I think a lot of them suddenly focused on what they couldn't do - iyswim - suddenly being able to write things down (neatly) was important. And a lot (esp of the boys!) felt they just weren't 'good enough'. There were lots of tears & school hating for a while in both classes.

It sounds like maybe your ds has also got a teacher who he bonds with less - which is just bad luck, but is going to make that process harder for a while.

All of which says to me that giving it a bit of time, is sensible - and the idea of focusing on good things AT school is a really good one (I also went through a stage of asking them to tell me one thing they were proud of at school - help focus on their successes?)

When dd had issues in Y1, I had a meeting where I sat down with her both her R and Y1 teachers - I felt that her R teacher had a much better grasp of her as an individual - having taught her for a whole year, and frankly also being a much better/more experienced teacher. If your teacher is being a bit dismissive, it might be something to suggest? (Is there any way you can casually see the old teacher and mention he's having issues/ask for her advice?)

nobutreally Wed 02-Oct-13 09:26:08

(PS And agree that it's interesting that he's fine being left places with your dh - which suggests that actually it's not something about the activity that is a problem - it really is just that process of leaving you.

A random thought - a friend who had this issue tried getting her ds to walk in with another adult (the child's best friend's mum) - so there wasn't that person to cling to at the door, and of course handing over to the other mum was easier, because walking into school with x was a treat. Worth considering?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now