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How to stop every morning being a battle?

(25 Posts)
SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 07:34:05

dd1 has previously been quite good at getting up and going to school. But since she had a week off every morning is a fight. Hopefully just because she is still getting back into the habit of getting up and going to school?

She will not sleep on a night. No matter how tired she is she will not go to sleep. She will turn on her tv which had now been taken away. She will read books, which have now been taken away and so on.

She is knackered every morning. Refuses to get out of bed. Refuses to eat. Refuses to get dresses. Makes up imaginary illnesses.

Any tips on how to stop this?

compo Wed 08-Oct-08 07:39:02

how old is she?
have you spoken to her teacher to see if their is an underlying issue as to why she doesn't want to go to school?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 07:46:45

She is 5. Yes spoke to her teacher re a incident with 'the naughty boy'. He pulls the girls hairs' but has only done it to dd1 once as he didn't get the desired reaction (she shouted at him and allegedly stamped on his foot as opposed to crying). Other than that one incident the teacher says she is happy, popular and takes an active part in group work and discussions.

She has plenty of friends and there is always some one she knows to run around with before school starts on a morning. Going into the school isn't an issue. It's getting her ready and getting her there. Once there she is fine and the fighting stops.

Dinners seem to be an issue with her. She is on school dinners but keeps asking if she can have packed lunch. Should I let her change do you think?

BecauseImAWitch Wed 08-Oct-08 07:50:14

Friend said to her son, very calmly, after a period of time like this, that if he wasn't ready then he would be taken to school in his pyjamas.

He wouldn't get ready, she piled him into the car and took him to school.

He didn't do it again grin

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 07:54:27

We walk to school so I wouldn't really be able to carry that threat out. Too cold to be walking to school in pj's. I'll keep it in mind for summer though grin

BecauseImAWitch Wed 08-Oct-08 07:56:16

She could put her dressing gown on? smile

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 09:25:57

How would that work though? I couldn't really leave her at school in her pj's could I?

I supppose I could put her uniform in her bag and she could dress herself once she got there?

Still wouldn't solve the breakfast thing though. She has gone in with an empty tum today. I got sick of the fighting over her eating so left her to it.

compo Wed 08-Oct-08 09:35:51

could she eat something on the way to school? cereal bar and a banana? or a peice of toast

compo Wed 08-Oct-08 09:36:04

piece blush

Anna8888 Wed 08-Oct-08 09:37:15

Breakfast in bed - when my DD (3.10) is tired I do this and it works brilliantly - once she has got even a few sips of chocolate milk down her she has energy and gets up and going.

NotBigNotClever Wed 08-Oct-08 09:43:51

We cured that problem here by using a star chart and timer. A star for getting up and putting on your uniform by such and such time, a star for finishing/ eating enough of your breakfast by such and such time. Bonus stars for well-brushed hair etc. Cut back on the shouting and nagging (which there was LOADS of from me, at least) and go all happy-positive (WOW - you did that so brilliantly etc etc). When they get 10 stars they get a treat. Admittedly, this system ran for a long time in our household, but it really did do the trick.

sallyjohns Wed 08-Oct-08 09:44:57

Hi could you suggest that if she got ready on time she could watch tv for 10 minutes in the morning when she is dressed. Or have you tried a star chart with an incentive at the end of the week to work towards

NotBigNotClever Wed 08-Oct-08 09:46:31

ps: Make the first treat they earn something really good (I took dd to the cinema) and this helps with the motivation. Within a couple of weeks we were down to the "10 star lucky dip treat bag" which was filled with items costing under a pound.

justgotbfp Wed 08-Oct-08 09:48:09

You could try the old "oh you are too tired to go to school, you will need to stay in bed and rest" then stick to it. She needs to stay in all day, if she gets up then she has to go in as she obviously is energetic to go if she gets up.

pagwatch Wed 08-Oct-08 09:53:19

I would just say
'ok- if you are too tired for school then you will be too tired for swimming/or gyn/ or your fav tv prog tonight.So stay there by all mean because you will not be getting out of bed all day today'

And I would do it. I would make her stay in bed all day, with the crappiest lunch and tea I could think of.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 09:54:37

I tried that the other day justgotbfp. It failed spectacularly when she declared "okay then" and snuggled down under her duvet again angry

She has treats for going into school without a fuss (dr who dvd mag) which she is not getting the week after all the fuss that she made.

We already do the tv thing. She knows that once she has eaten and got dressed she can watch Milkshake or whatever it is.

The cereal bars might work well. She loves Nutri-grain bars. Maybe just milk on a morning dressed and the Nutri-grain on the way to school? Breakfast seems to be the main fight.

Anna8888 Wed 08-Oct-08 09:54:43

Why so much reward / punishment???

pagwatch Wed 08-Oct-08 09:58:36

Actually I don't do reward punishment really. Don't have to. DD is pretty much able to do all that she needs to and is happy and well behaved.
But I have tended to do consequences which is what i suggested. If you don't get out of bed in the morning then your day is a day of boredom in bed.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 09:59:18

Because it works better than screeching Anna. Screeching at her gives me headache and a sore throat wink

she is very strong willed. Rewards/punishment/reasoning seem to work well wrt other behaviors. Shouting at her jsut makes her look at me like I'm going loopy and then she carries on whatever she was doing anyway. I'd rather not smack her, so all I'm left with is rewards and punishments. Unless leaving her to her own devices is a better idea?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 10:00:58

That bedroom thing might work well. I'll try that. Im just fussy about her having time off school when it's not necessary. I know she would be bored rigid in bed all day. She is very active and imaginative.

anyoneelse Wed 08-Oct-08 10:05:25

I am finding it hard to get out of bed now the weather is colder and it is darker!!!
Is the room warm of a morning?
Can you switch easily to/from school dinners - if you dont mind her having packed lunch then maybe say she can change after half term if she gets her act together in the mornings.

NotBigNotClever Wed 08-Oct-08 10:05:58

Well we endured 4 years of this sort of behaviour from dd and the star chart thing sorted her out in a few months. I would beware of giving "rewards" without a progress-tracking method of some kind (star chart etc), so that they can use that as a reminder of how they are doing.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 08-Oct-08 10:12:02

Yeah room is warm. The heating here doesn't workso we bought heaters. She has the smallest room and the most powerfull heater hmm.

I'd rather her be on dinners tbh. I think I may have solved the dinners problem on the way to school this morning. She asked when in the shop if we had any money on the card because the teacher keeps asking "where is your dinner money? Where is your dinner money?" all the time and dd1 gets upset by this. I'm a but annoyed myself actually. if they have a problem they should speak to me about it not harrass a 5 year old.

we should have been entitled to free school dinners but I never applied as I knew I was starting work shortly (tomorrow) so we sometimes pay late in the week as finding an extra £8 a week is not easy. I explained the situation to dd1 and that when I start working it will change and she is happy with that. I'm also going to speak to her teacher about this. I always pay it's just sometimes late.

cory Wed 08-Oct-08 10:12:13

This is the child who has just recovered from chicken pox? If so, I think you may have to grit your teeth for a bit and expect difficulties. Dd was under the weather for 2 months after chicken pox, and the mornings were particularly bad. Doctor I spoke to said, you'd surprised how much chicken pox does affect them. (I too had assumed imaginary illnesses blush)

I would not do either screeching or rewards/punishments. I would stick her arms in her sleeves and take her by the hand and drag walk her to school without showing any temper. Just a calm 'yes, darling, I know how you feel, but we still need to go now'.

(I spent 5 years doing this as dd has permanent health and anxiety problems. sad. Of course I did occasionally lose it.)

But first, seeing that she is still little and may still be feeling unwell, I'd help her as much as possible. Breakfast in bed, lay her clothes out, maybe even help her to get dressed. And talk to her about something else, distract her.

It may well be that she is scared because she is still feeling 100%. This may make her frightened of going to bed/sleep, because that's the time when you're alone. (Dd is often very frightened of that.) And scared of going to school in case she starts feeling worse.

Not suggesting you should keep her off, just understand how she feels and be as supportive as you can. But firm at the same time.

GooseyLoosey Wed 08-Oct-08 10:20:17

Ds (also 5) went through a short phase of insisting that he was not tired. I made it clear that I intended to sit on the stairs to ensure that he did not do anything other than sleep - I sat there for about 30 minutes each time and by then he was asleep.

Refusing to get dressed is harder and school mornings are the most stessful time in our house. We have all recently started getting up a little earlier to stop me chivvying everyone as much all of the time.

We also now have a very ridgid morning timetable of which the dcs are aware: they always come into our room at 7.00 for a hug and have alarm clocks so they know when 7.00 is. Up at 7.20. Downstairs and dressed by 7.40 (ds dresses himself and I shout to him every few minutes to check how he is progressing), Breakfast finished by 8.20 (and it is off the table at this time whether they are finished or not) to leave 15 minutes messing about time to get out of the houe by 8.35. There is no deviation permitted. Sounds draconian, but it was only by having absolute rules that we were able to get the dcs out to school on time without spending the morning shouting.

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