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Could you all help me to put my thoughts in order please?

(12 Posts)
Callisto Fri 04-Sep-09 08:59:25

A while ago I started a thread about DP insisting that DD go to school, at least for a trial period. Well, that moment is nearly here and DD's first day will be on Monday. I am dreading it, partly because I think that she will hate it and spend 3 hours being miserable, and partly because I will hate it and and spend the 3 hours worrying about her and clock watching.

Anyway, I have agreed with DP to a trial period, but if by the end of the week (she is scheduled to go in on Mon, Weds & Fri mornings for 3hrs) she hates it and doesn't want to go back I need to get my thoughts in order and have a convincing argument for DP as to why she shouldn't go back. He will say that she will need more time to get used to school etc, and I really want to be able to counteract that.

Any thoughts will be most welcome.

AMumInScotland Fri 04-Sep-09 09:33:28

You probably don't want to hear this, but I think if you are giving school a try, then you need to give it longer than 3 mornings to give her a chance to get used to it and decide if she likes it or not.

You also need to not behave as if you expect it to be terrible, or let her know how stressed you are about it, otherwise she will pick up on your feelings and not be able to give it a real go.

If there are reasons why you think she will struggle very badly, and she is so unhappy and stressed by it that you would have to physically drag her there and leave her sobbing in utter misery, then I'd consider pulling her out after the week. Otherwise, I think you have to leave it much longer, and actually try to help her settle in and do your utmost to make it work. Otherwise it's not a fair attempt at school.

You're not doing her any favours by assuming she'll hate it - it will just make her feel inadequate if she is not able to do something which the other children manage without any problem. Different if you could have agreed with DP to never even try school - then it would be a positive choice. Pulling her out after a week because you can't cope is unfair.

Callisto Fri 04-Sep-09 11:44:51

I'm not going to be pulling her out after a week because I can't cope, it really will be down to how she is coping. I completely see the point you make about me trying to make it work for her, but I am struggling with this because I am so against the idea of school for her. I am trying to be positive and I'm not moping around stressing about it in front of her.

But defining what is a fair attempt at school is the problem. I don't want to force her to go to school if she is unwilling, and making her 'get used to it' seems in itself a negative thing to do. We can get used to anything but it doesn't mean it is a good thing.

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 04-Sep-09 22:30:06

Just my exp Callisto but.........

My ds is 7, dd is 5. We delivered the de reg letter on wednesday so we have officially been heing for 3 days

The agonising I have gone through in three days about whether it was the right thing to do has been huge

Yet I know I have made the right decision - why? Because my los did experience school

So when anybody has a pop at us HEing (and they will, my neighbour will be worse than my mother about it tbh) I have some excellent tangible reasons why we are HEing

Im not saying what you should do honest! Im just trying to say that from my experience Im feeling a bit eeeeeeek right now because de registering them was such a huge thing to do - but I feel better because they and I KNOW what school was like for them
If they hadnt been to school for 1-3 years I would find it much harder to feel better about my current decision

Does that make sense?

TBH I think in your shoes I would send her with positive vibes until Christmas and see how you feel then


ommmward Fri 04-Sep-09 23:02:44

I put a message in a thread recently about a child with AS re-trying school, supporting the mum in pulling the plug fast if the child wasn't enjoying it.

If HE is a positive option for your family rather than a last resort, then you can afford to listen to your child if she doesn't like it there. It's not as if you've paid for a term's swimming lessons and can't get your money back. If she doesn't like it then fine, shrug, don't send her in again.

The convincing argument for your Dp? What precisely does your daughter learn about the world if you force her to spend time somewhere she doesn't want to be? Is that likely to be a positive experience of school and make her more likely to want to stick it out/try it again in a few years? What will she learn about how you and your Dp regard her, her wishes, her wellbeing?

And of course only you can judge whether your child's "I don't want to go" is a token protest about the transition and she'll be happy as larry once she's there, or whether actually she needs smaller steps in the path towards independence than the school experience can offer at this point. Don't let anyone tell you what the right response is to your child - only your knowledge of her will give you the right gut instinct. And especially don't let anyone on a forum who doesn't know you from Adam wax lyrical about your child's interests!!!(Oh, that would be me, then)

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 04-Sep-09 23:14:39

ommmward - you are (one of my) MN heroine atm
You know just what to say

Callisto Mon 07-Sep-09 09:11:44

Thanks so much Laura and Ommmward. She left with DP about 30 mins ago for her first day and seems fine. I shall let you all know how this week goes. Of course DD has no idea about how prescriptive school is and she has been given an awful lot of pro-school propaganda from various family members so I'm hoping that the experience today isn't too traumatic for her. Thank goodness I've got a ton of work to try and get through to keep my mind off it a bit.

Ommmward - that is just what I have been struggling to say but not managing it so thanks so much for writing it down for me.

lazylion Sat 12-Sep-09 18:59:43

How did it go Callisto?
I chose the other option and have not registered my 4 year old for the school he should be starting now. I have no idea whether I have done the right thing, would be interested to see what happens with you.
I know just how you feel by the way, I read your 'am I being unreasonable' thread and lots of the answers there remind me how different I feel to other parents at times.

Callisto Mon 14-Sep-09 19:36:20

Hi Lazylion, sorry for delay in answering - I've only just seen your question.

DD has now done 4 mornings and seems to be enjoying it. I don't know whether to feel pleased or disappointed. I'm so happy that she feels confident enough to go to school and get on with everyone etc without any drama or tears at all (bearing in mind she has never been away from me until now). On the other hand, I'm so disappointed that I have no say in how she spends this time away from me and I've seen nothing yet to make me think school is in any way a substitute for what I can give her here (early days I know). I also hate the authoritarian nature of school and how the teacher has to be addressed formally rather than first names as with any other adult she knows, how prescriptive school is and I do worry that she is being damaged in some way already.

You're very lucky to have the choice to say 'sod school' from the word go. Hope you're enjoying your freedom - the timetable is already starting to get to me.

Runnerbean Tue 15-Sep-09 09:47:13


Have been following this thread.
Your DP is insisting your dd go to school but you quite clearly don't want that for her.
There are as many reasons for HE as there are HE'rs but my gut feeling 3 years ago was to take my then 7 yr old dd out of the system, no specific reason, just that it didn't feel right.

I've never regretted that decision, but do regret I didn't do it sooner.
My dd's are happy, healthy, thriving in every way.
Support is extremely important from family and for us more importantly the HE community.
BUT don't you have the final say on your dd's life?
Your heart is telling you something, I think it important you listen.

lazylion Tue 15-Sep-09 12:28:27

Callisto - I think in your situation I would try to take my lead from her, if she is enjoying it and seems happy and unaffected in her behaviour then it might be ok for now. She is probably so confident because she spent all her time with you.
Having said that I think Runnerbean is right too, it is so difficult.
My dh got cold feet a couple of weeks ago and started to look at schools for my oldest ds, I gave him some education otherwise stuff to read and he hasn't mentioned it since. Did you try that with your dp?

Callisto Tue 15-Sep-09 14:43:27

Runnerbean - it is very, very difficult for me to stand back from this and not insist that DD is HEed. However, DP is equally convinced that school is the right thing for her. Although I am tough, not scared of confrontation and convinced that I'm right, I do want to stay married for now and I feel that this could get very messy if I put my foot down. At the moment DD is actually enjoying her time at school. If she hated it I would not make her go and nothing (even divorce) would change my mind.

Lazylion - I keep sending DP links to various HE things, it is my way of nagging him about it wink.

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