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Argh - ds1 (4y8mo) anxious about starting reception

(5 Posts)
Honneybunny Sun 07-Sep-08 20:38:48

Ds1 seems to be very anxious about having started in reception (last week). His behaviour is plain awful: he has regressed. He suddenly does not seem to remember how to eat and drink properly, has started wetting himself again (at night but now even during the day) while he has been dry for over 1.5 year, is using awful language (he called me an idiot today sad), etc etc. I am at the end of my tether. I realise that he is probably just stressed out about his change of routine, missing his friends from nursery and his little brother during the day. I would just like to know how to deal with this, as he is obviously anxious, but does not want to talk to either me or dh. Any advice anyone?

slayerette Sun 07-Sep-08 20:50:30

I find ds (just started Yr 1) is very resistant to direct questioning about school. We have our best chats when we're walking to the post box, weirdly - I save any letters so that we can walk down together after school to post them and all sorts of bits and pieces come out in between looking at dogs and leaves and stuff. Can you create similar opportunities for sneaky conversations so he doesn't feel that you are Talking About School, iyswim?

I think too he needs lots of comforting and reassurance - let him help you make meals so he can have some choice/control over what he eats - have a session of making pizza and choosing toppings or baking little cakes and decorating. I don't make a fuss over wetting at night at all, which ds still does occasionally, and even day wetting might need to be overlooked for a while; just gentle encouragement to try to make it to the toilet. Ds's school does show and tell every week and he likes talking about what he's going to take in - if your ds's school do something similar, that might be a way to start a conversation. Let him help plan an outing for the weekend, perhaps. How old is little brother? Can big brother be encouraged to tell him about his day ? It's a huge change for them; try as much as you can to give him lots of little things to look forward to/enjoy.

lingle Sun 07-Sep-08 20:52:19

There is quite a good book called "A Parent's Guide to Primary School".
If nothing else, it will reassure you that this is normal.

I made acquaintances with about a dozen mums in reception last year and at least 4 experience something like this.

longlegted Sun 07-Sep-08 20:53:41

Hi HB, my ds starts tomorrow and has been really difficult today, so I really feel for you. I think it's worth asking him if there is anything that he is finding difficult at school, the smallest thing can seem huge to a lo. It would be worth speaking to his teacher just to find out how he is getting on. Is he part or full-time ATM?

Give him loads of love and cuddles. Let him know that it doesn't matter that he's having accidents. I'm sure he'll be fine soon, just try to bear with him........... easier said than done I know! smile

Honneybunny Mon 08-Sep-08 09:50:47

thank you so much for your replies.
we will be easy on him for the next couple of weeks. but we will go and have a chat with his teacher if things get worse or if they continue for too long.

atm it seems that his bad behaviour is only at home (when all four of us are together; he is much better one-on-one), as we haven't been called in by his teacher, which i am sure they would have done if he'd behave like this at school...

he is a very sensitive little boy: he does not like change in his routine very much, and is very aware of his own limitations. it does not help that some of the children in his year can already read and write (although i know this only from ds1 saying so, so i have no idea of how good they are at it exactly). i have told him that this is something that he will learn during the year and that he can actually already recognise certain words (apple, stop, juice, mango, banana, and his name, his brother's name etc). i have always tried to stress his qualities, rather than talk about the things that he thinks he is no good at. eg he is very good at maths: adding up, and now he even understands numbers less than zero.

he asked me yesterday when he was going to know everything, as he is not the smartest kid in his class sad and his friend knows everything already. i said that nobody knows everything (according to ds1, i don't, but dh does grin), but that school is all about learning things but having fun at the same time.

it was good to read that we are not alone, and very helpful to get tips such as yours, slayerette: he loves cooking.

he is actually home sick today (some stomach bug), and i am with him, so i'll try and see if he is up for some home cooking session. atm he is still too weak to do anything but being under his blanket and watching some telly, although he did tell me that he'd like to do some drawing and lego with me later.

so, i'd better be off and look after him... thanks again, i feel much better after your replies.

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