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My 6yr old daughter is miserable at school to the point where she now refuses to talk to almost everyone we know.

(33 Posts)
sarahloureynolds Wed 06-Jul-11 11:04:35

my 6 year old daughter has had real problems with school for over a year now bad stomaches/headaches having to be prised out of my arms etc. This follows a period of time where she experience another child who was (this might sound strange) literally obsessed with her to the point where he would be verbally and physically violent to anyone who tried to play with her. This was witnessed by a number of other parents and children and classroom assistants yet when I spoke to her teacher they denied there was any problem with this and told me there was nothing to worry about. I then spoke to his mother (as the school would not) who thought it was funny that her son liked her so much. After months of tooing and froing at the school the headteacher was then brought in just to make me happy and at first she was of the same opinion as the class teacher however after speaking to my daughter and other children and staff she has finally admitted that he seems to be the trigger for her not wanting to be at school and what can only be described as a depression that she has slipped into. During term time she will whisper instead of talking will only play with one other child at school and is so miserable that she is hardly recognisable as the lovely little girl she is. the only thing school say is she must just be a shy child and that we have to get on with it. I don't expect her to be up on stage singing and dancing etc. I just don't want her being ignored and left to get more and more withdrawn.
I must add that when on holidays she is completely different bubbly social confident to try things and the first of my children to go over to other children to make friends.
we have another meeting with the head this afternoon and also I have made an appointment again with the doctor but I would love any advice that anyone can offer
thank you x

wahwahwah Wed 06-Jul-11 11:12:38

Poor girl! How much longer of this term do you have? Did they move the boy to another class? It sounds as if his parents need to understand the effect of his behaviour and not be allowed to brush it off as 'amusing'. Is she scared of this boy? Will he be in the same class next year?

What do you want from the headteacher and doctor? I would expect the school to approach the boys parents and ensure that they are aware of the full story and the behaviour that is expecte from him in the future - and the comsequences of this not being addressed.

Are you in a position to organise lots of playdates and activities over the simmer to bring her back out of her shell?

cjbartlett Wed 06-Jul-11 11:14:44

If it's been going on for so long didn't you ever consider a different school?

Marne Wed 06-Jul-11 11:17:50

I would look for another school, poor thing, if she's not happy then the school are failing her sad.

sarahloureynolds Wed 06-Jul-11 11:28:30

we have 2 and a half weeks left He is still in her class they wont consider moving him they asked her to move but the only thing she likes about school is the teacher she has so dont think that is an option either. They will be in same class next year and she still tenses up when he comes into the room or talks to her. I was advised by her teacher to take her to the doctors and my mam is coming to see the head as we just feel that they are not taking it seriously.
considered different school and that freaked her out even more. have been looking into home schooling but dont know if that is goint to be a real option.

sarahloureynolds Wed 06-Jul-11 11:29:41

had a place sorted in a different school and the thought of it sent her further into herself so have put that idea to one side at the minute x

sarahloureynolds Wed 06-Jul-11 11:31:28

oh and summer hols will be full of fun with friends and camping which she loves and as I mentioned she is fine making friends out of school and is now going to karate too which she enjoys x

munstersmum Wed 06-Jul-11 11:34:17

What has the school done to actively support your DC so far?

Ask for a weekly series of class circle time (or whatever they call it) focussed on good play relationships.

Ask that they not be placed on the same tables in classroom to encourage both to build other friendships.

Take minutes of your meeting if you are not already in the habit of doing so & send the head a copy in a few days.

I would try to have lots of playdates over the summer as others have suggested. Soon a social split between boys and girls at playtime is likely to become more visible. It could this autumn as they go up a year if you're lucky.

Good luck.

wahwahwah Wed 06-Jul-11 11:42:03

Why the hell won't they move him - he is the problem? God god. You remove the problem child from the situation.

The opinion from the school seems very much to be that this is your problem and not the boys. You need to explain this to the school so that your daughter does not feel that she is the problem - his behaviour is. Why is the school seeming not to do all it can to support you and your child's feelings? Where is your support? Their support (or lack of) has been crappy from what you are saying. Threaten to go to - well, whoever you complain to about schools and teachers.

Can't they change the classes next year so they are not together? It seems odd that where schools try to keep friends together if they mix up the classes, they dont seem willing to move a child who has such an issue with another child.

I would want the school to move the child or ask his parents to keep him off the last 2 weeks (they won't be doing much these weeks anyway).

A new school may well be the answer - but what are you teaching her? She had to leave because of this child - it could be quite a negative lesson for a child.

I am so angry on your behalf. How you have not gone down to the school gates to accost the parents, I don't know.

dyadsprinkle Wed 06-Jul-11 12:13:04

I wonder if the other child has some developmental issues himself - his behaviour seems quite odd and reminds me of a boy I know who is on the autistic spectrum. Unfortunately it probably won't be picked up unless his mother pursues it, and that won't help your dd regardless.

I think you should reconsider looking at another school, but if you intend to continue at the current one, I think you need to start formalising contact and complaints. Log each incident, keep a diary of your dd's behaviour and responses, and put things in writing. That's all the more important when there has been such a high number of staff changes as you end up starting from scratch each time.

I think it's also worth putting your concerns in writing at this stage, ahead of the next academic year, with a log of everything that has already occurred. If you still aren't satisfied you could think about taking it to the Governors.

When you go to the GP, ask for a referral to CAMHS. The whole experience sounds traumatic for her and she will need additional support. It also means that intervention at school is more likely if she's getting referred to other services.

SootySweepandSue Wed 06-Jul-11 12:26:59

What a horrible situation for your DD.

I can not offer much advice as I am not that familiar with schools yet as my DD is very young. However I would do whatever you can to get this boy away from your DD. I say this as when I was 12 and in high school there was a boy who was literally stalking me. He would meet me after every class and walk me to my next class, put his arm around me, wait for me in the lunch queue, try to walk me to the bus etc etc. It went on for months and months and I did nothing about it. Lots of people thought it was funny but I was actually quite scared of him and spent most of my times in lessons worrying how I could avoid him. I was 12 when this was going on so it must be much much worse than how I felt for a 6 year old. It is tantamount to harassment. Could you keep or produce a record of what is or has happened? I would be tempted to involve the police or SS if the school will not act. I think it may really impact on your DD if this idiot is not controlled. Incidentally the idiot that was stalking me eventually got fed up with me after about 7/8 months and moved on to a friend of mine. It is possible this boy may do the same and then it will remain a problem for the school.

SootySweepandSue Wed 06-Jul-11 12:38:25

IMHO she is shy and withdrawn to avoid the attention of the boy.

I would start to use the term bullying when you speak to the school. I am sure this is a form of such.

wahwahwah Wed 06-Jul-11 12:45:28

Absolutely it is bullying. The school wont do anything unless you kick up an almighty stink. But be calm, stick to the facts.

Dont get your daughter too involved, or she will equate all the hullabaloo with something that she has done and she probably just wants to forget it.

Just assure her that she is going to be ok, you know what has happened and believe her, the school and headmistress believed her too - and that the boys behaviour is unacceptable and will be addresses.

She has done noting wrong but been 100% correct to tell you about it, and isnt she a brave girl to stand up and tell you that someone else was behaving in a way that upset her?

I am not sure of how to tell a small child that in life, some people are just almighty jerks, and that it isn't their fault.

LindsayWagner Wed 06-Jul-11 12:56:22

I agree with SSS.

Start using that term, say that preventing your child from forming relationships with others is a form of bullying. Ask for your meeting to be minuted. Ask to be given a copy of their bullying policy - they have to have one, and have to give it to you. Ask them to lay out a timetable for action in writing in accordance with their bullying policy.

If you do this, they will know you mean business. They might dispute that it is bullying, because the child isn't being unkind to your dd - but he is targeting her persistently and his actions have prevented her from freely forming other relationships (that's the important bit) so stick to your guns.

There will be an escalation procedure to follow laid out in their policy - governors, LA, etc. Use it - if they don't stick religiously to the timetable, immediately go to the next level. Good luck.

crazygracieuk Wed 06-Jul-11 13:00:12

A similar thing happened to my son. I'd call what happened stalking which would be a police matter if this was adults.

I went to the school and insisted that the teacher separate the 2 as much as possible. The other boy started to see a councillor at school and the school tried to help him make new friends. He was told to leave my ds alone. For about 18 months they didn't talk or make eye contact but things have improved now. The boys can play and hang out without each other normally. The other boy stayed in the same class but dinner ladies and other staff were made aware of the situation and that the 2 boys should not be together.

The other boy's mum is a TA at the school and I think that she was told a different story to me. It niggles but I decided not to confront the school as I got what my ds wanted and the problem sorted itself out. The school took the situation seriously- even the head called me up to talk about it.

sarahloureynolds Wed 06-Jul-11 13:03:34

thanks all x
at last heads meeting I asked if there was any support such as CAMHS as they have a camhs attached to her school but was told she didnt need that am going to ask again today. They keep mentioning that it is just shyness but in my opinion it is well passed that. oh and also forgot to mention that her present class teacher assured me she speaks openly in school with confidence with all staff members yet when I asked if she could ask them if they thought there was anything to worry about they came back with the fact that she will NOT speak to them if they ask her a question she whispers the answer to them. she is extremely bright is in the top sets and was moved for a few weeks into year 2 for numeracy and literacy which she loved but that was suddenly stopped because they didnt have enough support staff to cover it!!!!

sarahloureynolds Wed 06-Jul-11 13:12:06

to crazygracieuk
I think a lot of what happens is based on who you know and what you said about the other parents been told a different story is similar to what happened to my daughters friend she was been bullied by 4 girls who had a campaign running and were bullying about 4 or 5 other kids 1 of the girls mothers was a teaching assistant and another of the girls fathers used to donate lots of things to the school these 2 girls recieved no punishment at all and still recieved an award for their behaviour while the other 2 had playtimes removed and had to spend time doing work in the heads office.

aliceliddell Wed 06-Jul-11 13:29:49

Agree with wah and others. Dd had probs (not like yours) at similar age, similar inaction from school, resultingin school refusal and home ed - bloody nightmare! LEA closed ranks with school. Only resolved by getting place at fab primary with brilliant Head. Tell school you will not accept this, it's not dd's fault. In fairness, boy probably has problems too, but that's not the point. Try youngminds charity for support. I'll try to find a link

javo Wed 06-Jul-11 13:30:22

My DD many years ago suffered something similar in reception and part of year one. A girl would not leave her alone - they were "kind of" friends but she freaked my daughter and DD ended up in A&E 3 times due to this girl being "a bit rough" - I asked for this child to move class for year 1 but they tried to move my DD into the "lower" class even though she was in all the top sets because the school felt intimadated by this girl's father.The school were useless the Head ventured that we must have a serious problem in our family if my DD was experiencing this behaviour! - she also lied to us about certain incidents.

Looking back we should have contacted the govenors about the Head's behaviour and the lack of support for our DD and fought on the grounds of the school not fulfilling their remit under their anti-bullying policy- but we were young and a bit naiive. In the end both girls were placed in the same class for year 1 so we took our DD out and home educated her until we could afford to move (turned into 6 years). The Head admitted she had lied and said she would also have removed her child in the situation!!but it still felt like we had been penalised.

Some schools do seem to try to push problems back onto you - I've come across this a lot through home edders who removed their children due to bullying and a lack of support form the schools despite what their anti - bullying policy said. Schools hate bother. I would tell the head that if they can't support you that you will be contacting the govenors and insist the other child moves groups - ask why he can't. can you take your DD for a visit/half day try out at the other school to see if she would maybe come round to it.

I have great sympathy for you and hope things improve - I know it's heartbreaking to see your child be treated in such a way and change - school is meant to be a safe place.

aliceliddell Wed 06-Jul-11 13:32:12

www.youngminds.org.uk

throckenholt Wed 06-Jul-11 13:36:12

I would be tempted to HE for a while to give her a break and recover her confidence and then move her to another school (assuming HE is not a long term option).

It is very sad that it was allowed to get that far. Sounds like the little boy may need help with social interaction.

throckenholt Wed 06-Jul-11 13:39:09

If nothing else - it sounds like that particular school are determined not to take any real action to help so she needs to move.

She is probably frightened by anything new - but lots of kids move schools - maybe she doesn't realise that.

Your call - but whatever you decide you have to help her to understand it is not her fault and you are doing your best to make things better for her. And that it won't happen again (fingers crossed on that one).

HelloKlitty Wed 06-Jul-11 16:04:31

I also think that it's bullying...my DD had this in year 1.... girl would try to drag her along physically...kicked other children who tried to talk to DD...it sorted itself out when the child moved schools!

sarahloureynolds Wed 06-Jul-11 19:51:15

have been in to see head who admitted she had not realised how bad things were until now (obviously thought I was a hysterical mother) having my mam there definately helped she is going to make sure he is not allowed near her and he will be the one who is moved and his parents will be called in too she asked who my daughter was having as a teacher next year and when I said she didn't know yet as that year has not been decided yet she asked if she had a preference and when I told her who my daughter wanted she told me that she would ensure that it is the teacher she wants who is definately in that year
she is going to see the staff who have made mistakes in dealing with this and (in her words) give them a seious talking to and remind them of the schools policies we will be getting an apology from them too. also going to do a few other things x
we are going to see how things go the next few weeks and also the first couple of weeks back and if thing still no better then she will be looking into more serious intervention regarding this boy who has been mentioned by other people too
fingers crossed this makes some difference
thank you for your advise

wigglesrock Wed 06-Jul-11 19:56:00

Great result, just clicked on thread. I have a six year old and its heartbreaking when they're in any kind of emotional pain. Well doone to you and to your Mum for fighting your daughters' corner. You should be proud of yourself.

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