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Lunch hall distress = dd not eating a thing(14 Posts)
Into 2nd week of full time reception and dd has stopped eating her packed lunch all together because she finds the environment too noisy. She used to have the same reaction at nursery when they started taking them to the lunch hall and she did get used to it. Different school now so lots of change. She said she doesn't want to go to school tmrw, I suggested I come and get her lunch time tmrw and Fri and that we'll try again on Mon. Have I just made a massive boob!? So hard when they are so distressed... She got so upset during lunch time today that she cried for most of the afternoon and wouldn't do her 'work' :-(
Reassurances please lovely mums......
Do the school (dinner ladies) notice she is not eating anything?
I volunteer in a reception class and there are 3 kids who don't eat their packed lunch. Their lunch boxes are checked during afternoon registration and if nothing/not much is eaten, then they eat something in the classroom to keep them going. Maybe the pressure of not having to eat in the noisy hall might help.
Maybe have a word with the teacher.
TBH reception classrooms can be pretty noisy. So is it the noise that's the issue? I'd suggest a sticker system where she gets a sticker for each item of lunch that she eats and then puts these towards a special treat on her lunchbox on a Friday. Of course there is no issue with her going home for lunch - but is that something you can manage longer term?
No advice, just sympathy. DS had this problem. School lunch halls are too noisy. What is the rest of the lunch set up like? Is her problem more that she dislikes chaos or more that she just can't hear in that situation? Could you dig a little deeper to understand if there are some specific things that could be changed e.g. She sits in a quieter part of hall? she has an allocated table so she isn't worried about where she will sit?
I ate almost no lunch at primary. Eventually dm got it down to something I would eat. 1 digestive biscuit and a drink. Because it was only a small amount to eat I would manage it. Any more than that and I couldn't eat a bite.
Thank you all. Yes the dinner ladies & gents do notice. She has been going in earlier with a friend so she can settle down before anyone else comes in. She only has an illegal choc spread or jam sarnie & a drink. I think it is all too much for her, the noise, the amount of people, she isn't a fan of chaos!
I got my DD a lunchbox with a slot on top for a photo....she chose one of herself and her sister and it really helped. Also I put in notes...just a smiley face and a heart....I told her I'd do that...and that when she saw the notes then she knew I was thinking of her and sending her an "invisible hug"
DD is nine now and gobbles up her lunch like her mates do....don't worry it's so heartbreaking but it will pass.xx
I had that problem too. Dd ate very little in reception. She is 7 now and things are much better but she has a pretty small lunch compared to what she would eat at home. It's very noisy and also she claims not to have enough time.
DS had an egg timer to eat his (small!) sandwich. It helped him focus on getting the sandwich done instead of gawping at the chaos around him in a shell-shocked fashion. I also drastically reduced the contents of his lunchbox so he could achieve a clean plate sticker. It got a lot better by half term.
It is horrid when they are upset and hungry though. Change is hard work for kids and their mums!
I don't think you have got in wrong, picking her up at lunch. I'm sure that taking things a bit slower will help a lot further down the line.
I think you have stuffed up saying you'll collect her... she isn't going to adjust if she knows she can get pulled out whenever she finds it too much. And it is really unsettling on the other children who are also tired etc that your DD gets to go home at lunchtime and they don't. We had this and the class behaviour went from settling into a routine to worse than day 1 because one child was being collected at lunchtime every thurs & fri - all the kids were melting down wanting their mums to come etc...
Could she eat in the nurses room, reception area as an alternative? I think you need to work with the teachers & lunch staff to find something that will work long term, not a band aid solution of collecting her.
Do what YOU feel most comfortable with. If you feel the only way you know she will be ok is to have her at home, then do that. I think forcing a child (introverted by the sounds of it) to be in this environment which she is clearly not comfortable with it can be damaging. Early school can be a real struggle for introverts.
Well ladies, she ate all her lunch at school today. I didn't mention collecting her and I think she forgot all about that option, thank goodness!! She did however have night terrors last night, hang on to me this morning in tears but she settled - I went back to check - head of school went to look and she was quite happy doing some 'work'.
Tonight she has said she never wants to go to school again!! I've told her not to worry about it tonight, that I'm close by if she feels she needs me etc. Thankfully its Friday tmrw!!
We made her v small lunch together this morning and decorated it with stickers, think that must have helped.
Love the photo idea thanks ICamOnTheJitney and thanks for the sticker inspiration RiversideMum.
Jenny70 thankfully I didn't have to follow through as after I'd said it I thought of all the other kids, the teachers etc, phew!
Dh has reminded me that the teachers and staff will have sen it all before so let them get on with it and rightly so.
Such a difficult time but she'll get there (and so will i) :-) Thank you mums!!
That's very encouraging Jolly! She'll be tired by now...half term soon. My DDs are 9 and 5 and they're also shattered.
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