August born - how are/have they coped?

(43 Posts)
Peculiarparenting Thu 08-Sep-16 17:46:56

Hello

My ds turned 4 at the end of August (literally). He has started reception now and seems to be coping with new routines etc.

However I am concerned that he is not coping in terms of emotional resilience with the new school environment. He has come home upset about people 'hurting his feelings' - his words. This is for a rangebif different reasons. Someone told him he had a big head. Another time someone pushed him to the floor. Another time a boy he thought was his friend told him that he didnt want to see his face anymore and wouldn't share with him.

For me this has been quite difficult to cope with as he is my pfb. I am seriously considering delaying his start to full days as I can see he is physically shattered and emotionally distressed (though not crying at the end of the day).

How have other people with children which are August born been coping this week? If you had an August born child what was your experience of reception onwards? At what point do they stop seeming so much younger then the others? Also if your child has had similar difficulties and is not August born how have you coped or dealt with it?

Any help would be much appreciated as I'm doubting my decision to start him in September.

MidnightVelvettheSixth Thu 08-Sep-16 17:56:27

Hi OP, my August born (26th August) has just started his first year of secondary, he's doing fine smile

Historically through primary he has always kept up academically, in some subjects he is ahead however I do see differences between him & the oldest in his class. He is always the smallest, which means he always comes last in class races & sports day. He's not a sporty child & I don't know if the 2 things are linked, he prefers chess & maths both of which he excels at (& are not dependent on leg length or physical prowess/strength).

Emotionally he's not been bullied or had problems coping , but to me there's a marked difference between his emotional age & his peers. An example is that last year in Year 6 we walked to school & his classmates were walking sedately quietly discussing Minecraft & my DS was bouncing along pretending to shoot things. I suppose the older ones had more dignity smile but his confidence is fine & he will not be pushed around.

He hasn't appeared to have struggled in any way tbh due to his age smile

WunWegWunDarWun Thu 08-Sep-16 18:02:18

I presume you've spoken to the teacher about all these things? What have they said?

AppleAndBlackberry Thu 08-Sep-16 18:08:14

That stuff sounds pretty upsetting whatever month your child was born in tbh. I'd be encouraging him to tell a teacher at the time, and if he knows the name if the child maybe talking to the teacher myself. I do have an August born child too and she did struggle a bit socially and with tiredness in Reception but she had caught up by the end of year 1. I didn't find that children were excessively unkind to her though, like you have described.

Peculiarparenting Thu 08-Sep-16 18:14:57

I haven't spoken to the teacher yet but have emailed her ask to speak to her sometime tomorrow or next week. This is his first week. He is my first child in school so I'm not sure how much of this is normal 4 year old behaviour and to be expected and how much is excessive?

proudmummyoftwo Thu 08-Sep-16 18:18:40

My DD is one of the youngest. She struggled first few weeks of reception then she settled in. Emotionally she struggled with some concepts but after a few months she was excelling in everything. She progressed so quickly and grew up a lot in the first few months. By end of the year she was exceeding in all areas and reading year 2 material!

She's just started yr 1 and is now so confident. The difference is amazing. It takes them a few months but they soon excel

MegaClutterSlut Thu 08-Sep-16 18:20:55

My august born DD struggled for a couple of months but then it all evened out and she loved school.

Peculiarparenting Thu 08-Sep-16 18:48:12

Thanks proudmummy and MegaClutter. I'm glad to hear your dcs eventually settled in well. How did you support your dcs when they were struggling? Did you speak to the teacher? Do you think the main cause of their difficulties was their younger age?

Peculiarparenting Thu 08-Sep-16 19:16:18

Has anyone else had settling in problems with reception for August or summer born children in general.

ExtraMushroomsPlease Thu 08-Sep-16 19:23:31

I have a summer born DD, although she is end of July. It took her a while to settle in, and I wouldn't say she particularly enjoyed the first few months. I can and still can see the differences between her and the older ones she is less confident and likes to stick to what she knows. However academically (if you can be academic at 4!) she was on track with her peers. It was more her emotional wellbeing I was worried about. Anyway roll round to first week of year 1 and she seems much more confident than last year and her reading/numbers are coming on fantastically. I do think however if I had my time again and could afford it I would have sent her when she was 5.

Katexxy Thu 08-Sep-16 19:30:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

proudmummyoftwo Thu 08-Sep-16 19:33:06

I spoke to her teacher about a few concerns and she was fab. I also did lots of work at home with my DD to help to prepare her and help her through. I think a lot depends on how much time you spend with them to help catch them up. I'm lucky though that my DD loves learning. My youngest a July baby and just about to start nursery so will see what she's like hmm

chamenager Thu 08-Sep-16 19:35:09

Hi, my DS is end of August and has just started Y2.

In reception he was absolutely fine/ahead academically. Emotionally IMO pretty mature with the exception of some anxiety regarding rules. But he struggled hugely socially.

I think on average, just-4-year-olds are at a very different place regarding being able to deal with peers. And going from a pre-school setting where peer interactions are usually monitored by adults who intervene when necessary, to a school setting where the kids are pretty much left to themselves unless they actively seek out that adult intervention, is a huge step.

DS was treated badly by one boy in particular. He was spat in the face, pushed, manipulated (e.g. boy promised to buy him treats if he'd give up his place in the line, or that he'd buy him Lego if he stopped being friends with another child), excluded, made fun of, called names.

DS had had no previous experience of any such behaviour, from anyone - and was totally confused. Just didn't get it. Kept trying to do things for that boy and wanted that boy to be his friend.

The problem is that a young child will learn that being treated like that is ok (rather than outrageous) if nobody intervenes, and once it has happened once or twice with no consequences, will never think to tell a teacher about it. Because the child will not understand that this is the kind of behaviour that one should tell a teacher about.

My DS also learned that 'telling' is bad. Friends don't 'tell' on each other and he so badly wanted to be friends.

For these two lessons that he learned, I regret not having deferred his start. However in a different school, different group of peers, he might have been fine, so I don't think this is a general rule.

How did we deal with it? Once we became aware of the extent of things (he never told us anything, because he didn't realise how awful things were - he just became more and more subdued) we talked to the teacher, who kept an eye on things, and steered DS towards other children. This worked for a while but after a month or so the teacher said the two boys had played beautifully and the topic was closed for her from then on. However that boy continued to be mean outside of sight from the teacher. In fact still does.

So we had lots of chats with DS, working out strategies. Such as 'walk away', 'find someone else to play' (best to have specific ideas of WHO he could play with instead), and 'tell a teacher'. We also worked out what he could say in response to mean things.

Until DS was solidly 5, so well into Y1, he was still trying to be friends with that boy and was still being constantly hurt and rejected and belittled. It was only after he had reached a degree of 'social maturity' that he realised that it was not his fault that the other boy was being mean to him, and only as he gradually built himself a small but strong group of friends, that he eventually was able to say 'X is often mean to me and therefore I don't want to invite him to a playdate/my birthday/...'

Of course bullies come at all ages and there is nothing to say that DS wouldn't have been bullied just as much if he had joined the class later. But I do believe that he might have had just that much more time to develop 'social maturity' and might have been able to see the other boy's behaviour as what it was - mean and manipulative.

TheHiphopopotamus Thu 08-Sep-16 19:36:23

My ds was born at the end of July. He definitely seemed like he was behind the rest of the class when he started Reception and into Y1 but from Y2 onwards, he just accelerated. He wasn't quite in the top group, but he did and is still, doing really well.

I do often wonder if he'd been in the year above, whether he'd be doing that bit better, but I'm happy with how he's progressing.

Friendship wise, he didn't really have a proper friendship group til Y3/4, but never seemed unhappy about it.

TotallyKerplunked Thu 08-Sep-16 19:41:18

DS was born 31st August and is the pfb, I didn't want him to start reception as I was worried how he would cope as he really lacked emotional skills. However I couldn't risk him not getting a school place the following year so started him 1/2 days but he refused to come home when I went to pick him up so did full days from the outset. He did struggle with tiredness and other children teasing him (mostly calling him a baby because he liked paw patrol and had no clue who Spiderman/hulk were) and didn't know how to deal with it very well so he often came home upset or in trouble for retaliating by pushing/hitting. We spoke to the teacher who was very understanding and we worked on strategies to help him deal with it better but it still took him about a term before he got into his stride. He is in year 1 now and there is very little difference between him and his classmates, however he tends to gravitate towards girls and won't join in the rough play with the other boys. As for supporting him at home I try to allow plenty of wind down/quiet time after school and I never push him to do homework.

firawla Thu 08-Sep-16 19:49:09

My youngest is August born and it took him a while to settle into reception, he would cry and didn't want to go in etc. Eventually he warmed up to it and got used to it. now that he's just started year 1 he went in happily with none of the upset he had last year. Once they make a good friend or two they seem to settle down. I find they gravitate to the other younger ones in the class (my eldest is summer too but not August, and also did that).

I would speak to the teacher about the unkind comments, but also give him a bit of time - by Christmas he'll probably have settled in loads more. There's a lot of variation academically anyway so I never found it a big issue about being behind

Peculiarparenting Thu 08-Sep-16 19:49:27

Thank you for all the replies. They have reassured me and saddened me in parts.

I'm not really concerned about his academic progress but more about his emotional wellbeing. My son is a very sensitive boy so he takes things to heart easily rather then letting it brush off. For example he told me another boy had said to him that he wasn't part of their class. Now I don't know whether the boy said it spiteful lyrics or just didn't realise he was in the same class but the comment upset my son.

I do feel that he is just on a completely different level when it comes to emotional maturity and being able to navigate social interactions.

My DD is an end of August baby. She has just started year 3 and tbh it hasn't affected her at all, she is at the top of her class for literacy and reading, middle of the road for maths and science. Her school does a split year so she was in a mixed reception/year 1 class, then a split year 1/2, and is now in a straight year 3 class.

Reception is a big culture shock for kids too - she was quiet shy and timid in reception but can hold her own now and is v comfortable in the juniors playground with the big kids.

Peculiarparenting Thu 08-Sep-16 19:54:06

*spitefully

Ideally I would have preferred for him to start reception next year September. However our LA would not have made it easy.

proudmummyoftwo Thu 08-Sep-16 20:00:29

Honestly it gets easier. My DD come home in tears cos xyz didn't want to play with her and she said she had no friends etc. I was heart broken. Fast forward literally 2 months and she invited to every party going and everyone knows her and plays with her. It's a big shock at first but they learn survival techniques to deal with these emotions until eventually it's no longer an issue

Mercedes519 Thu 08-Sep-16 20:07:06

I have a DS who is right at the end of August and he did struggle with reception as his behavior was as you'd expect of child who was basically three. However we perservered and worked really closely with the school to manage the situation and they were very understanding of his limits and the impact of his age. You can see it now (he's in Y6) as he is one of the smaller ones but he is thriving academically and has loads of friends.

The situation you describe is really upsetting and it does need tackling. However I wonder how much of that is to do with his age and how much is that the other child is not very nice. Is there anything that calls out that he is picking on him because he's the youngest or is it a straight case of bullying that needs to be tackled by the teacher? That happens at every age sad

You are doing the right thing - if your LA wouldn't allow them to go into reception. Y1 is such a leap from foundation - I don't think you would be doing your DS any favours if you kept him out until then.

MrsJoeyMaynard Thu 08-Sep-16 20:16:43

DS1 is August born - started Reception last year at just gone 4 and did not cope at all. His teacher wasn't concerned about his academic potential, it was other behavioural stuff related to emotional immaturity, social situations, difficulty sitting still and so on. Bad enough for the school to put him back a year into their nursery class.

However. The nursery teacher raised concerns that his behavioural problems may be related to possible SEN, he's been subsequently referred to a paediatrician, and they're starting assessments, so he may have had similar problems coping even if he was a September baby.

So now he's just started Reception again. Even with the possible SEN issues, compared to how he was this time last year, in terms of emotional and social maturity, he seems so much readier for it now than he did last year.

Peculiarparenting Thu 08-Sep-16 20:48:18

Thanks for all the replies. They make for very interesting reading for me. Its sad to hear so many August and summer born children had to struggle for a bit in reception. Do you think that some children born earlier in the year also struggled as much aa your August born? I ask this as when I have discusses my ds problems this week with my dh he minimises it telling me that other children will also be struggling. Not just him. So what I'm asking is from your knowledge and experience did other children in the year group have similar emotional and social difficulties as your August/summer born?

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Thu 08-Sep-16 21:00:51

My late August DS started full days in Reception yesterday, his school has started the youngest children first. He has been quite tired but not exceptionally (although I'm sure there will be cumulative tiredness), he has been very keen & first in through the door on both days. His teacher did say today that she would not have guessed DS was one of the youngest as he is quite tall & confident.
I'm watching the other replies from more expended mums with great interest

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