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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you need professional help, please see our mental health webguide

Please help me help my ds2 (5) :(

(16 Posts)
Badvoc Thu 20-Feb-14 12:31:49

I just don't know where to turn.
It's been a very rough few months for us as a family - my dad died suddenly last July and then my mum got ill then I had to have an emergency op last nov. We have tried really hard to minimise the impact of this on the dc (I have another son aged 10). I am a sahm and am always usually around.
Ds2 is 5 and started school last sept. He seemed to love it.
Sadly 2 weeks before the end of this term he started feel unwell at school - was very distressed, refused to eat his lunch and told the teacher his tummy hurt. Spent he lunchtime playtime in the classroom book corner - and she, in her wisdom, decided not to phone me and let me know.
Ds is now ( I think) petrified of going back into school in case he feels unwell again and is ignored.
I have complained to the ht but their attitude is the ct used her years of experience and in her judgment she felt ds2 was ok.
Well, he wasn't.
He has had that really nasty virus that's been doing he rounds...cold/cough/conjunctivitis etc.
He has suddenly stopped eating well, and is refusing foods he has eaten happily before.
He is very clingy and keeps crying but can't seem to tell me what's wrong other than he misses me sad
This week - half term - it's gotten ridiculous. He doesn't even want to leave he house sad
I have had to force him as I am into my 3rd week at home with him, dh is away with work til tomorrow and I am at the end of my tether and so worried about him.
Up until this he was so confident, very outgoing etc. Loved going out.
What can I do?
How can I help him?
The gp is not concerned (!) so no point going there.
Should I be getting him professional help?
sad

monikar Thu 20-Feb-14 17:54:55

Oh dear, I am sorry to read this. I'm sorry about your dad, and also your mum's illness, it must be very hard for you. I think children pick up on our upset even if we do our best to shield them.

I don't have a huge amount of advice and didn't want to leave your post unanswered, but I have a little bit of experience of something similar as my DD was extremely upset and anxious at being left at school when she went into the juniors. It stemmed from the class teacher being less than understanding of her anxiety and got worse and worse. I gave her a small trinket of mine to put in her pocket and told her that if she was worried that she could hold onto it and I would be thinking of her. It just gave her a bit of reassurance. Do you think something like this would help with you DS?

I think in the light of his recent illness (we have all had a similar virus this week and it has wiped us all out) I would write to the class teacher and copy it to the HT explaining your concerns and that DS is anxious and that you have reassured him that you will collect him if he feels unwell. This is perfectly reasonable - no child should be ignored like this and you should make it clear that you are not prepared for it to happen again. Put your landline and mobile numbers in the letter so they have no excuses. I think putting everything down in writing shows how serious you are and also leaves a paper-trail should you have to take matters further.

Good luck flowers .

munchkinmaster Thu 20-Feb-14 18:02:37

I had what I think you are describing (adeno virus) some years ago and I was unwell for a good two or three weeks. Don't despair he's maybe just not quite right yet.

To be honest I'm not so sure this aggro with the school help. Your ds is 5 and will sense it and it will put him off. I'm also not sure it's fully deserved for a misjudgement.

He will also sense you are upset about your loss (which I'm sorry for). Sometimes children want to stay at home to check their parents are okay. Just be positive, reassure him, listen when he's upset, empathise but let him know that things will be okay too.

Badvoc Thu 20-Feb-14 19:09:44

I'm sorry to hear that, it's an awful virus that's for sure.
He did the last 2 afternoons at school at his Cts suggestion (which I think was a good one) but he was very anxious prior.
He keeps asking to move school sad
I just dont know what to do.
I ignored my gut instinct with ds1 some years ago and deeply regret it. I was right and should have acted sooner (he is fine now)
It's not the misjudgment I object to...it's the refusal to apologise.

May09Bump Fri 21-Feb-14 00:43:54

He probably is still unwell. How frightening for him - just state you must be called if he is ill and you will come and pick him up.

You need to get him to focus on something positive for going to school - maybe a mini lego person at the end of the day. Make an event from it - make a city out of boxes, for the lego person to hide in and for him to decorate. Or something similar. But make sure his energy levels are back to normal, otherwise the tiredness will make things worse.

You have my sympathies, been through something similar.

ClaraFox Fri 21-Feb-14 08:43:34

sounds like he is still unwell?

what does he really love? so if for example you said ' we are going to pop out and I'm going to let you choose a toy / go see a film / have a McDonald's etc ' what would he say?

ClaraFox Fri 21-Feb-14 08:56:13

I'd also consider not pandering to it ( if you're sure he's.not still unwell) and try ignoring it and distracting him. might be worth a go in the short term

Littlefish Fri 21-Feb-14 09:01:56

I think you are over reacting to the incident at school. It can take several weeks to recover from some viruses, and it sounds to me like he is in a post viral slump. I also think that he is likely to be picking up on your mood.

I think you need to get him back to school. Be very upbeat with him, but don't tell him that the teacher will phone you if he feels unwell. She is going to have to exercise her professional judgement about whether to call you at times in the future and your ds could be left feeling let down.

Smartiepants79 Fri 21-Feb-14 09:04:46

I would say that this sounds quite a normal reaction to an extended period off school. He's just got used to being at home and getting lots of your attention.
I'm not saying ignore his feelings but I think he needs to know that school is not optional. And that he will just fine when he gets back into it.
The eating thing and clingy also all sounds quite normal when they've been ill.
I also think you're overreacting with regards to his teacher and this will not help him want to go back. There is no way she could have know he would be so poorly. She sees kids everyday claiming to be ill when they just don't want to do something.
Try and be as positive as you can be and be prepared for it to be difficult for a week or two.

Badvoc Fri 21-Feb-14 09:30:51

It's def anxiety.
In the past 3 days I have insisted we go out, that has meant strapping him into his car seat whilst he has been sobbing and begging me to stay at home With him.
I am not pandering to anything.
I have spent 3 weeks being positive.
I'm tired and worried.

Selks Fri 21-Feb-14 09:38:50

It does sound like an anxiety reaction to recent events.
If this does not begin to resolve over the next few weeks please see your GP and see if they can refer to CAMHS.
In the meantime you need to get him back into school - staying off school will just make it worse. Enlist school to help with this. Try a sticker chart with a reward for when he has had a day at school with lots of praise for being brave etc.
There are some helpful books available for parents dealing with an anxious child, on Amazon for example.

ShoeWhore Fri 21-Feb-14 09:42:59

badvoc I would do some gentle digging about what's been happening at school with his friends/other children. This sounds very much to me like someone or something has upset him (maybe not even intentionally). At this age it should be very easily sorted out I would have thought.

The other thing is he might just be reacting to everything that's been going on in your family - sounds like you've all had a really tough time. Children this age do become much more aware of death and maybe he's worrying a bit about if Grandad's died does that mean other grownups might die too (I'm not saying that to make you feel bad, went through this with ds1 at a similar-ish age)

Sore tummies in small children are nearly always caused by needing the loo or feeling a bit worried about something in my experience.

Ds1 had an extended period of time off in reception after an op and it was a nightmare getting him to go back. He thought it would just be nicer to stay at home with me. I do think sometimes in reception the penny suddenly drops that this is it now - I remember ds1 saying he didn't want to go to school as "I've done that now"!

Badvoc Fri 21-Feb-14 09:54:36

Yes, I think it's a lot of things tbh.
Partly a girl has been being horrible to him sad then he was ill (which I do not feel the ct dealt with appropriately) then dh going away with work....lots of stuff.
He just seems like a different child these past 3 weeks sad so sad to see.
I have discussed anxiety with him...that it's totally normal to feel anxious after being off school/work etc for a long time.
I feel like I have handled this badly, but at he same time I have no idea what I could have done differently...

monikar Fri 21-Feb-14 10:18:50

Badvoc Don't be too hard on yourself, you have had so much on your plate recently and your DS is bound to pick up on this however much you try and shelter him from it. This is the trouble with being a parent - all the difficulties are running in real time, we can't go back and re-do them.

It could be that your DS has got used to being at home with you - my DD had a lot of time off in reception and year 1 too and it was always a struggle to get her to go back. What I did find though, was once she was in for the day, that seemed to 'break it' so you may not have as much resistance as you are hoping for.

Do the school know about your dad? If I were you I would mention it if you haven't already.

YesINamechanged Fri 21-Feb-14 10:21:14

Sorry about your loss Badvoc

Could he be worried that you will get sick again while he is at school or is he anxious that you/ DH/ DGM could possibly die?

50% of the adults in his life have been sick or died and his DF is away at work.

Maybe you could speak to him about illness only being temporary and that you will be around for a long long time and then get the focus off illness/ school etc.

I may be way off but it's worth a try.

Badvoc Fri 21-Feb-14 10:28:56

The school know, yes.
I will have a chat to dh when he gets home and we will have a chat with ds.
Ds1 has coped tremendously well with it all but he is 5 years older.
I am dreading Monday sad
<plasters on a fake smile>

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