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Anxiety in 7yo(6 Posts)
I am mainly a lurker tbh looking for advice and I find the answer! So I rarely post, however, I’m in a bit of a stuck situation and could do with some advice! (I’ll try not to ramble and just include what I think is relevant so bear with it).
Bit of background, I live with my OH of 9 years, he has a 10 year old son from previous relationship who stays with us 3-4 nights a week, then we have two daughters together, 7 and 1.
We all have a great relationship with each other, and the girls see OHs son as their full brother and they get on brilliantly.
Dd1 began school in nursery year (so the year before YR) and at the time we lived right next to the school. We were in a tiny flat, and when OHs son came to stay he was increasingly wanting his own space (which is ofc understandable!). We also wanted another baby, so made the decision to move in to a house. We found one with good bus links to the school,close to local amenities and it had the extra rooms and space we needed. We moved in March 2017, and dd2 was born in June 2017.
We now get on the bus daily (with dd2 in pushchair). I have slight mobility issues so require a seat on the bus which at this time of day does admittedly stress me out. There is a school opposite our new house, but dd1 has a great friendship circle and was settled so we made the decision, with her, that she would stay at the school.
When she was mid Y1, she had an incident at school with another girl in her class. The girl had grabbed her by the hood (ripping it slightly) and then pushed her on to the playground floor. She scratched her chin, nose and cheek, and had a lump on her head which was small egg in size. I wasn’t informed of it, and she didn’t even have a head injury note at home time.
She was distraught. She cried most of the evening and didn’t want to go back. She told me all of what had happened, and I said I’d have a chat with the teacher in the morning.
The teacher said the child had been ‘spoken to’ but since English wasn’t first language for them they didn’t understand it was wrong.
Touch wood, there haven’t been any issues since there.
She has however been called a pixie by an older girl on the playground saying she has big ears, been told she isn’t allowed to play on certain areas of the playground (there are no rules against this), and she has told me sometimes she just sits on the bench by herself so she doesn’t have to worry about someone making fun of her.
Teachers have told me she is monitored by dinnerladies, and she does have a best friend but they do sometimes disagree about what to play.
Her reading, spelling and writing is excellent, however she struggles massively with maths (I did too and still do). She’s doing the Y2 SATs this year and I’ve never seen her so anxious. She reads every night at home, and practices spellings a couple of times a week. She would ace them, only getting 1 wrong rarely. The past month, she’s been getting them all wrong, and she says she doesn’t know what is wrong she just can’t do it.
She can do it as she’s done them before but she’s lost confidence in herself massively.
She doesn’t talk to anybody outside of family, eg doctors, dentists etc. Her last dentist visit she had to lie on me on the chair.
She is really bad at bed times too. She will happily get ready for bed, do teeth, do story, say her good nights etc. But then about an hour later she’s up saying she has got stomach ache, sobbing, saying she can’t go to school tomorrow, she doesn’t want me to leave her etc.
During school holidays we don’t get any of that.
I am now starting to get quite concerned for her. I’m not showing it, I’m always trying to boost her confidence, I know she can do these things she says she can’t, it’s just persuading her! She goes to Brownies and horse riding and loves them, and she is confident in both of those places.
I do think that dd2s arrival will definitely have something to do with it. I have always made time for her though, away from dd2, so she didn’t feel like she had been replaced or ignored, but it doesn’t change the fact I’m now mum to someone else too. I sit with her in bed for about half an hour just having a quiet chat about whatever, school, horses, colouring, whatever she feels like chatting about. She does love her sister and plays with her every day.
I’m just feeling so stuck. She says, now, there’s nothing going on at school that she feels especially worried about. But it’s day 2 of the new term, she’s been in bed 2.5 hours and I can still hear her sobbing through the wall. If she had her way I’d be sat in there holding her hand to go to sleep every night, and whilst that may be the easy solution it doesn’t feel like it would help her in the long run.
Well I said I wouldn’t ramble and I successfully have rambled like hell, but does anyone have advice? Her teacher is aware of her lack of confidence and says she will receive additional support as and when she needs it, but since that meeting (September) she’s actually got worse.
Oh the poor mite
Can you just try the local school? Doesn't sound like it could be much worse, and the stress of the journey etc would be gone.
I am the parent of an anxious 8 year old. We took him to a play therapist which really helped, not just to help him verbalise things but to help us better understand him and find better ways to support him.
Our DS was struggling with the friendships in his school and was really miserable. The school weren't very helpful and weren't able to offer him support.
We try and have a really stable home life with predictable routines and clear expectations. We don't put pressure on him to participate in activities he doesn't feel comfortable with. We take time to reassure him of his importance to us, especially since the birth of our 2 dds.
We were wary of moving him to a new school but our therapist encouraged us to look at options and we did and haven't looked back.
I have put a lot of time into developing relationships with parents which have enabled us to have playdates away from the playground politics and he then goes back into school more confident in his friendships.
Don't discount any solutions out of hand. Moving her to the local school may make it easier for you to support her in finding her 'tribe' with playdates.
Every child is different and will need different solutions but now that we have found how to help our son, he is a different child and it breaks my heart that he went through so much for so long.
I know how awful it is to feel that your child is unhappy and you feel powerless to help. Massive hugs to you xx
I would really think about changing her school too. It’s a horrible feeling getting scared that people will tease you. A fresh start might be just what she needs.
It’s great you’re having chats with her and I’d just make sure you’re spending lots of time with her and helping her feel loved and that you’re fighting her corner.
Just to add, we moved house but kept our dd at her old school like you did because of a good group of friends . We eventually made the decision to change her school to one closer and it’s just been so much better. She too was getting teased at her old school - just a little - but enough that it really affected her. It felt like she’d got stuck in a rut there. You could visit the other school and get a feel for it before you decide.
She is 7 and will accept any decision you make for her she has another 4/5 years at primary school. Just move her to the one across the road, taking the extra journey out of your day might even improve things. My dd used to get the bus to school and then we moved within walking distance and things got so much easier for her. You said that you made the decision to keep her at the other school with her but your her mum at her age big decisions should be made^ for^ her. Too much choice can be hard for little ones too, my dd get anxious when I ask her what she wants for dinner and she's 11.
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