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DD too sensitive (not sure if that's the right word?)? - have had a nightmare this week!

(9 Posts)
Fruitbeard Wed 09-Sep-09 12:18:22

DD's first day in reception this morning.

She went to the school's nursery last year and loved it, she spent the last term of the summer in a special group of all the girls going up to reception in a classroom next to the reception class and took some lessons with them, so she knew the teacher and who her classmates were going to be.

Anyway, she's been saying for the last 3-4 weeks she doesn't want to go back, wetting the bed (has been dry for ages), crying and saying she's scared when anyone mentions it (have tried to avoid the subject as she is a worrier who dwells on things given half a chance, but when buying school shoes etc it's impossible to avoid!).

Her best friend is going to a different school (lives in a different part of the borough) and they played together on Monday - when we said goodbye, she wept her heart out, saying things like 'why does it hurt so much when I have to leave XXX, mummy?' and 'why can't I go to her school, I hate my school, I really don't want to go back there'... waah!

So, this morning, she was fine getting into uniform, we got halfway up the road and she froze, said she didn't want to go and she hated her school, she didn't have any friends, her bag was too heavy, her uniform didn't feel right... I said if it was too awful we could come home again (mistake??) and she came along, we chatted about other stuff, then when we reached the road the school is on (5 min walk) she froze again and started crying.

By the time I got her to the school gate she was in hysterics, sobbing incoherently, all her friends gathered round asking what was wrong, despite them trying to get her to go in with them she wouldn't step past the flowerbed into the playground, she was alternately hiding behind it or clinging on to me like a limpet. Tried to carry her in, she screamed and kicked even though I told her I wouldn't put her down if she didn't want to be...

I couldn't get her to say what it was that was the matter so I just made vague soothing noises (didn't have a clue what to do!) until the classes lined up and her teacher came past with the other girls (who were all saying 'come on DD, come into school with us!').

She then followed them (clutching my hand for grim death) and we put her coat and bag away, she wouldn't let go of me despite teacher and t/a (both of whom are lovely) trying, eventually she was prised off and I left.

I am not a clingy mum, btw, I would much rather have deposited her in the playground with her friends and retired to a safe distance with the other mums, but it was impossible.

Now, I'm sure that as soon as I was out of sight she was fine, but what on earth can I do about this? Is there anything, or do I just have to live with it until she gets used to school all over again (they have a 10 week summer break, so it's plenty of time to forget about everything, I suppose!)?

I just wish she didn't seem to feel everything so deeply. She gets so upset over things and broods on them for ages, when everyone else's child seems to take them in their stride...

I feel like I've failed her in some way, that it's something I've done to make her like this... I was horribly shy as a child (which she doesn't seem to be) but I wasn't half so emotional about things and I just don't know what to do for the best. Or if indeed there's anything I can do.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now blush so I'll shut up...

EldonAve Wed 09-Sep-09 12:26:48

article here might have some helpful suggestions

Fruitbeard Wed 09-Sep-09 12:29:21

Thanks EldonAve, that's an interesting read.

Only 2.5 hours til pick up time....

DesperateHousewifeToo Wed 09-Sep-09 12:39:40

Ds started doing this last year. He was in year 2.

I was pretty sure that there was no secific problem (Although did not think much of his teacher last year but that is another thread!). He always came out happy and smiling and his class teacher said he seemed hapy in class.

We dealt with it a variety of ways:

Dh took him when he could. He never did iy with him at school but sometimes I had to carry him to the car or make im put his shoes on.

If he had a week of going in without a fuss, he got to buy a Beano comic/have a friend for tea/go to the park. We had a sticker chart. Each day he went in ok, he got a sticker, after 5 stickers he got his reward.

I didn't hang around at school. A couple of times I had to leave him with the headteacher (who opens the front door to let us all in) and run.

He went in with specific friends/parents.

Lots of distraction and joking on the way to school and talking about who we were going to organise to come to play next.....

Conversations about hime having to go to shool, it's the law blush

He has started a new school this year (boys leave at 7 at his last school) and so far, so good. I am desperate for him to enjoy school. It is heart rending to go through this every morning.

I'm sure it will get better once she gets to know the routine. You just have to find out what works for you and her.

MunkyNuts Wed 09-Sep-09 13:01:43

Oh dear you poor thing, hope you have a better morning tomorrow. My DS starts on Friday and I´m dreading it. It sounds like your DD does have nice friends at the school as they expressed concern for her and tried to get her to go in with them, and great teachers helps so I imagine she´s been fine there, probably just didn´t like the idea of it all after having her mummy with her for 10 weeks and having a lovely summer hols. I imagine its a question of time and she´ll settle back in after a while. I don´t have any practical advice I´m afraid, I think you did all you could this morning. Can you let us know how you progress? As for her being sensitive or emotional, you mustn´t blame yourself, it´s how she is, perhaps she´ll be an amazing actress when she´s older bcos she´s so in touch with her emotions, or a very caring soul or a therapist or goodness knows what, but I think it can be a positive trait, altho right now it feels like a negative one. She will learn coping mechanisms and gain confidence and eventually fret less over things. Says she who´s wetting her pants at the prospect of dragging DS to school on Friday, I need a coping mechanism and to fret less! Good luck with it all, and remember one step at a time...

jamsandwich Wed 09-Sep-09 20:21:36

Have you read the Highly Sensitive Child - see this page

Luckily for us, my DD decided she was going to be very pro school and doesn't realise there are alternatives out there! But the book has helped me understand all sorts of behaviour that used to drive me mad/ make me wonder what I'd done wrong. And the book says it's not our fault - yippee!

Good Luck tomorrow.

Fruitbeard Wed 09-Sep-09 23:21:34

Interesting reading, Jamsandwich, thanks

Munkynuts, DesperateHW, thanks for that. Hope your DCs get on well with school.

After all that angst, she bounced out of school at 3pm with a big grin on her face and announced she had had lots of fun and would go again tomorrow.

When I said to her on the way home that I was glad she'd enjoyed herself because I'd been a bit worried that she was so sad this morning.

She gave me this look of hmm and said 'but mummy, that was just because it was the first day! Now that I've been there I'm fine!'

We shall see how she gets on tomorrow morning...

MunkyNuts Thu 10-Sep-09 14:03:40

That´s brilliant news that she enjoyed her day! Phew! LOL at "but mummy, that was just because it was the first day!" Keep us posted as to how she gets on tomorrow.

BlueberryPancake Thu 10-Sep-09 16:05:00

DS (3 y 9 months) has had one morning at nursery and is starting properly Wednesday, and he has been having nightmares for a week, waking up 2-3 times a night. He is anxious, says he has pain in his tummy when he thinks about big school, and doesn't even want to go to the loo (upstairs) on his own because he says he's scared. He demands my attention ALL DAY (I have another child). I can't wait for the school to start to be honest, as I think he will settle quickly but we just don't realise sometimes just how sensitive they can be.

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