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Can't cope with my year 1 child. End of tether.

(45 Posts)
SmileAndNod Wed 22-Jun-16 10:03:55

Dd has just turned 6 and is coming up to the end of year 1. She is driving us to distraction. There are two issues, her school work, and her attitude.

She has a 'don't care' attitude to everything, including being sanctioned for bad behaviour. She is not remotely interested in trying at school, despite best efforts by her teacher and ourselves to encourage more work from her. She has been moved down 2 groups for losing focus, and actually that's about the time that the loss of interest in school work started. She's never going to be the best academically, but I want her to do well for her IYSWIM . She's working at expected levels in reading and maths but way behind in writing. Structurally it's all there but there's no imagination and not enough of it we've been told. How do we encourage her more? Sanctions don't work, neither do rewards. She just doesn't care. It's almost like she's switched off school and that's it.

She has always been a lovely girl but lately is pushing us to the limits. Her attitude is shocking. She's rude, disrespectful, won't apologize to people, is hurting siblings, point blank refusing to do anything I say. We've always done the 1-2-3 thing and that's always worked. Till now. She doesn't care about consequences and she's frustrating the hell out of me, as it's me that bears the brunt.

Any ideas please? Where has my girl gone? Is school / education a lost cause already at yr 1? There's no way she will cope with year 2sad


Dontrocktheboat Wed 22-Jun-16 10:11:30

She is quite young - maybe she feels under pressure and it might help to tAke the focus off school work for a bit and do more subtly educational things with her?

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Jun-16 10:13:57

What sanctions have you tried? I would focus more on behaviour than pushing attainment.
What's 123?
Praise whenever and wherever possible.

SmileAndNod Wed 22-Jun-16 10:19:24

She is, and considering she didn't speak until she was well over 3 I think she's doing alright. But there's so much pressure that they have to be able to do x,y and z by the end of year 1.
I blame myself as I don't have loads of time to spend with the kids individually to help them. Even though I try, I'm always interrupted by an argument breaking out in the other room. No wonder she's struggling with a mum like meblush

KingLooieCatz Wed 22-Jun-16 12:29:42

Couldn't leave it on your final self critical comment. If it a fairly recent deterioration it might be school fatigue. I've just found out they stop ADHD assessments from now as the kids (and teachers) are all just tired, cranky and over-excited about summer hols. In Scotland though so closer to hols here. It is NOT plain sailing with DS but there was a point when he was a bit older than yours where writing "clicked" and he started doing it for fun. We encourage holiday journal, movie script etc and it has helped his confidence to tackle the dull tedium of spelling homework now that his writing is neater and quicker. Also bribed him with sweeties and stars to practice the letters he was still arsing up. How I get to tell him he has beautiful writing (well a lot more legible than this time last year). Making a board game was good practice too.

Believeitornot Wed 22-Jun-16 12:34:03

I was going to suggest that maybe she is tired as she gets to the end of the school year. My ds is in year one and he just seems so very tired. It's quite full on and much more intense compared to reception.
His behaviour mad deteriorated massively as he struggles to control his emotions.
When he has an outburst I just sit quietly now and offer a cuddle. He usually then bursts into tears.
I've also been trying to remind him that he doesn't want to hurt his sibling and just to think about things. This helps his behaviour.

kalidasa Wed 22-Jun-16 13:06:57

Sounds infuriating. I agree with earlier posters that she sounds overwrought for whatever reason - perhaps physical tiredness, perhaps feeling overpressured, perhaps there are other things going on that are stressing her. Obviously you can't do anything about school but can you allow her to 'regress' a bit in other ways - e.g. earlier bedtime, slightly more toddler-esque parenting style/expectations/structure, maybe even in terms of things like the food you cook her or the expectations you have re: independence. But I appreciate it's really difficult to coddle one a bit when you have several, and when that one is being so aggravating!

SmileAndNod Wed 22-Jun-16 13:21:17

Aargh just lost a long post. She is sanctioned by loss of screen time, after school clubs and after I've counted to 3 and she's still not done what was asked she gets to sit on her own to think about her behaviour. Not that any of it is making a difference - she just doesn't care.

She gets lots of verbal praise and lots of hugs and we tend to praise for effort rather than just achievement. this and good deeds are rewarded through treats such as movie night, choosing a magazine etc. Maybe I'm not doing enough.

It's very trying at the moment . I understand that she may be exhausted, this year especially as the expectations for year 1s have been raised. It's the complete apathy and defiance that I'm struggling with. I am beginning to worry that it's because I'm a crap mum.

KingLooieCatz Wed 22-Jun-16 13:25:43

Nah, we all have our moments of feeling crap, but she is her own wee person at this stage, and all the other stages for that matter. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Just keep going with regular routine, praising what there is to praise, good balance of exercise and rest and roll on the holidays.

Msqueen33 Wed 22-Jun-16 13:25:46

I've got a year 1 dd although she has asd and ADHD. It's a hard time of year. So much from year two has been pushed into year one and I imagine there's a lot of pressure. How long has it been going on? I'd try not to worry too much and see how things go over the summer. Just relax as she might just be really super tired. You're doing a great job. Could I ask did you dd speak in full sentences after three or odd words? My youngest has a speech delay and doesn't speak well at all. Has her speech fully improved?

Squashybanana Wed 22-Jun-16 13:31:04

Any chance that an earlier focus on her moving down, on her academic failings when she was trying, could have made her think that she isn't good enough? It's a very common thinking pattern for kids to whom aspects of learning that are focused on by teachers / parents doesn't come easily. It goes like this:

Child working away doing OK, feels OK
Child starts to struggle a bit, teacher or parent wrongly attributes this to 'laziness' or 'bad day' as the child has always managed before
Child is pressurised to do better
Child was already doing their best
Child has incongruent thoughts: I was trying but the teacher thinks I wasn't, I must be stupid. But I'm not stupid....this work must be stupid. I don't care about this work.

The 'either this work is stupid or I am' thought process is a self protective pattern repeated in schools up and down the country.

It does seem from your earlier paragraphs that you are assuming that her lack of creativity is something that could be changed with 'sanctions or rewards'. Maybe she isn't very creative? The best remedy for that is sharing books but some people are better at factual writing. I suspect she has an early case of disenchantment with eductaion which is a crying shame and maybe she is another victim of this bloody awful curriculum that has teachers resigning in droves.

ineedamoreadultieradult Wed 22-Jun-16 13:43:22

Goodness I have a year one DS neither he nor I know what groups he is in. I don't know if he has moved up or down or stayed in the same ones all year! I ask how his day has been and as long as he has had fun that is all that matters. If the teachers were concerned they would tell me. Why are you sanctioning/rewarding her for things that happen in school? That's the teachers job at school. I feel sorry for her it seems like an awful lot of pressure and expectation for a 6 year old. Expected in reading and maths is great and as for writing it will come with time I'm sure and if it doesn't school will help her. She has 5 more years at primary school left to learn what she needs to. She doesn't have to do it all in one go! To say you feel her education is a lost cause is really over dramatic. Maybe if you calm down on the education front she won't feel under so much pressure and her behaviour in other areas will improve. If I was getting a hard time at work and then came home and hit a hard time as well for the same thing that had been dealt with at work I think I would lash out as well!

Msqueen33 Wed 22-Jun-16 13:52:21

The education system frankly is upsetting. The poor teachers and our poor kids. I want mine to do as well as they can be I want them to be happy, well rounded individuals. It's hard enough for nt kids but my dd with asd in mainstream is a challenge.

PeterandJudithSurname Wed 22-Jun-16 13:56:56

Maybe there's no imagination in her writing because she was concentrating on the structural part which you said she can do. Sounds like she's doing well if she can do the structural part. The imagination part might come later, or she may end up with strengths in maths/science. It does sound like a lot of pressure is being put on her academically at a very young age. I found the kids that were doing great writing in reception and year one are not necessarily in the top sets in year 7. Sometimes they get overtaken by kids who took a bit longer to get the hang of it.

SmileAndNod Wed 22-Jun-16 14:08:14

Squashybanana I'm sorry I wasn't clear in my posts - it's her behaviour that I want to improve through sanctions and rewards. It was the teacher saying she's not imaginative enough. I don't think there's anything that wrong with not being creative (I'm not at all). I think you may be on to something with that downward spiral though. And she's definitely not stupid. I was surprised when she was moved down as she had been moved up one group just a month or so before.

Msqueen no, not full flowing sentences at all. Few people apart from us could understand her. Had last speech therapy session 2 weeks before started reception. Even during reception get teacher raised concerns that speech was unsure and it was reflected in her writing, as she wrote how she spoke. On being reassessed about a year ago SALT said she was within normal parameters for her age. She's definitely better but you can still see the difference with her peers.

Oh dear. Nearly school run time. Not good to dread collecting your little darlings every day is it...

PeterandJudithSurname Wed 22-Jun-16 14:13:41

I wonder if the teacher this year is not suiting her. Moving her down two groups for losing focus almost sounds like a punishment. Maybe a break from school followed by a new teacher will improve things all round.

Msqueen33 Wed 22-Jun-16 14:15:30

I get that the school pick up dread. My eldest is seven and has a right attitude sometimes and a lady who has a child in my middle daughter's class (she is 6) says she has a terrible attitude but all the teachers say what a good girl she is but she's a complete madam at home. I keep in mind the handy phase 'this to shall pass'. But it is very hard.

SmileAndNod Wed 22-Jun-16 14:17:24

FFS my kindle is missing words. Her reception teacher noticed immature speech so I took back to SALT at the end of reception.

I don't get involved with sanctioning / rewarding what goes on in class, that is her teacher's job. But my job I think is to support her teacher with what we do at home.

I hope I've not written off her education just yet. I just would like to know how best to support her and get some enthusiasm back. And how to divide my time so DS gets some help with his work too as he's been sort of left to get on with things blush

BishopBrennansArse Wed 22-Jun-16 14:20:22

Two things that really stand out to me.
One is her not speaking until she was 3.
The second is the lack of creativity.

I think it may be worth getting her assessed by your local child development centre to see if there is any kind of underlying social communication issue.

I fully expect to get my head bitten off for saying that by the way, it always happens.

But... If there isn't an issue an assessment isn't going to do any harm. If there is appropriate support can be put in place.

SmileAndNod Wed 22-Jun-16 16:38:46

Oh my goodness, no one has ever mentioned getting her assessed for anything underlying. Sorry to be thick, but what kind of things do you mean, and why wouldn't it have been picked up before?

BishopBrennansArse Wed 22-Jun-16 16:45:05

I hope you don't mind me saying. Don't mean to alarm you.
I'm talking autistic spectrum disorder, auditory or visual processing disorders... Could be anything, really. Or indeed nothing!

It may not gave been picked up before just because she's a girl. They present differently, can imitate social niceties to a degree until they don't cope - then a marked change in behaviour is seen. It took 2 years to get DD diagnosed as she 'faked' eye contact and other social cues by imitation.

I'm not saying it's that at all by the way, just that it may be worth exploring.

Msqueen33 Wed 22-Jun-16 16:56:52

I think a lot of people on the boards immediately jump to 'could they be autistic'. I'm not surprised. It's a lot more common these days. My eldest was a slow talker and didn't talk until she was three. She's neurotypical. Her younger two sisters aren't. They're both autistic. But girls do present differently. High functioning girls do tend to be picked up later. That said it could be as simple as being tired. Aside from the speech and the attitude is there anything out of the ordinary you're finding? What do her teachers say?

BishopBrennansArse Wed 22-Jun-16 17:00:08

I'm only asking as its my normal. Have 3 autistic kids. As I say it could be nothing.

BishopBrennansArse Wed 22-Jun-16 17:00:31

I'm only asking as its my normal. Have 3 autistic kids. As I say it could be nothing.

SmileAndNod Wed 22-Jun-16 17:13:03

Well she sometimes finds it hard to make friends and can be painfully shy to the point where she can almost act up and show off. I'm not explaining very well. She's very clingy to adult figures eg nursery key worker, teachers, TAs and prefers their company to children.
I really don't know enough about ASD to know if it sounds like her. Are there any websites / checklists that you can use to give you an indication? I don't want to make a fuss if it is just a phase!

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