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Struggling in class, no confidence and showing signs of depression at 6?

(7 Posts)
Sonriente Sat 06-Oct-12 10:00:24

At the start of this term my daughter came home with a 'special' book. I found out she is being taken out of class for specialist support, last year I had raised a number of times that she wasn't 'getting' the maths concepts, number bonds etc. Her end of term report last year said she was meeting targets.

In class she is sitting on what in my day be referred to as the bottom table. She has been coming home saying that all the boys on the table are silly and the teacher shouts at them all the time, there table never gets any house points etc.

She has always been sensitive to her enviroment, she hates shouting, is generally quiet in class, the teachers say her behaviour is perfect. So she is having extra support at school and we are supporting this at home. Now the worrying bit..... she has started saying things like,

'I am rubbish, I want to kill myself, I don't feel things like other people do, I don't know why I feel so sad.'

I guess she is feeling stressed in school. We have been trying to do extra work at home but still do lots of fun things. We try and work on her confidence wherever possible. Many times she says she doesn't want to go to school because the teacher shouts so much (not at her though).

Any ideas how we can work on her confidence, get her to ignore the silly kids, not be bothered by teachers shouting?

Is it normal for a 6 year old to find their feelings so complicated?
Ultimately I am worried as there is a history of mental illness in my family and I don't know where to turn for guidance.

mam29 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:37:08

dont know what to say dident want to read and run.

does sound extreme think you need a meeting with the teacher.

I understand they need to differentiate the work but maybe they could seat her at better table.

I understand why they stream then onto tables but I myself find this damaging socially at such a young age as had my dd also year 2bottom table crying as shes not on freinds table or behind in reading.

but shes not said the stuff you have said.

also might be worth contacting gp or school nurse.

what was she like in the summer? is this negativeness all this year or was in same last year?

i hate the pressure and stress they place on them in year 2 they still infants.

RaisinBoys Sat 06-Oct-12 12:59:15

Sorry to hear about your DD.

We had a little of this with my DS end of last term. He too said he wanted to die - it absolutely broke our heart to see him so sad at 8.

We got Camhs input - totally unscary process. 4 sessions with an art psychotherapist who talked with my son in a calm environment, lots of drawing, some questionnaires for him about his feelings, mood etc.

It was reassuring as she determined that he wasn't depressed or suffering any anxiety disorder, but she recognised that he does have difficulty expressing his feelings sometimes at school. Together we are equipping him with coping strategies. She also recommended Drama Therapy workshops which are fun and great for confidence building.

It is really hard to admit that as a parent you cannot always solve your child's 'problems' and need help from an independent third party, but we have found it invaluable.

Our DS is now back to being the bright, argumentative delight that he was before. He is just better at recognising when he is becoming overwhelmed or anxious and can let us know.

Re. shouty teacher: I would raise this as a teacher should not have to routinely shout to command respect.

Catmint Sat 06-Oct-12 23:02:55

Have nothing of use to add, just wanted to say I really hope that things get better for your little girl, and your family.

Near tears, thinking about you both.

PastSellByDate Wed 10-Oct-12 13:42:02

Hello Sonriente:

I read your very sad post and thought I'd make a few suggestions - which are just that - they may not be right for you or your DD, but are just my attempt to offer a bit of help.

From what you describe of her class it is little wonder that she's not able to learn effectively. Have you considered more structured learning at home. We were very disappointed with maths at our school and eventually discovered an on-line tutorial which has changed my DD1s performance in maths beyond recognition. We opted for Mathsfactor (themathsfactor.com/ which seems to suit girls) but others her have also sung the praises of Maths Whizz (www.whizz.com/) and mathletics (www.mathletics.co.uk/). All of these have free trials and are worth exploring.

The reason I suggest this is I had a 7 year old (DD1 in Y2) who had me at the point of despair - couldn't take even 1 from numbers up to 10 and I just didn't know what to do. I got very upset one evening and DD turned to me and said it's o.k. Mrs. X says I'm no good at maths. I was so hurt for her - she worshiped this teacher, so completely believed the comment and had entirely given up on trying in maths. I asked her what she did during maths lessons and she said Mrs. X lets me colour. So I decided we had to do something.

In the end we started from the very beginning and set aside about an hour (split over 5 lessons/ practices) a week, which is less than the tv she watches over the week. It has been slow, it hasn't always been easy, but she's improved beyond all recognition and is now one of the best maths students in her class (now Y5). Like your DD, she found a table with rowdy boys very hard going - especially in terms of needing to concentrate - and working hard at home to improve and get away from that table was a real incentive.

In terms of confidence, praise, praise, praise! Make sure that you really take the time to compliment her on good work, kind acts, and good ideas. Consider letting her join a club outside of school - dance or swimming. Something completely different that she's interested in doing and may well thrive at.

I wish you all the very best of luck and hope that things will gradually improve for your little girl.

Sonriente Fri 12-Oct-12 15:51:51

Thank you all, really helped. We are using mathsfactor and its already made a huge difference. She is beginning to get concepts and i am so very relieved.
Im going to try the art and drama therapies too as she loves those areas. Thank you so much!

adeucalione Fri 12-Oct-12 16:40:26

This is the other side of the coin when parents bang on about the importance of setting and streaming - well behaved children like yours often end up sitting next to children who aren't as interested in learning, just because they need a bit longer to grasp a concept.

I'm glad that you are feeling happier about things, but I would definitely still talk to the teacher - s/he can move your DD to another table or, even better, reorganise things so that the silly boys are separated and spread throughout the classroom. And stop shouting!

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