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Should I give her a fresh start?

(12 Posts)
Toomuchthinking Wed 05-Mar-14 10:54:49

My Dd is in a small school, the youngest girl in her class hasn't got a bf and doesn't fit in with the girls. She is in yr4 and this has been on going since reception life is so up and down with her, she just is very different.

Was called in yesterday as she announced to the class she was so tired as mummy and daddy often argue all night keeping her awake and the day before she was cutting up worms whilst another boy was drowning them, teacher said she "only cut up one to see if it regenerated" it was totally out of character for her and she has never done anything like this before and was very remorseful, and had asked teacher not to tell me!
But I am quite disturbed by it. This little boy also has social issues, and was expelled from last school, and this child's friend who was getting into trouble with him has moved to another school rather head is thinking all sorts of things. She isn't happy but says she doesn't want to move school and she is achieving high academically. How can I make my little girl happy? Husband thinks it's time to move her to a different school.

iseenodust Wed 05-Mar-14 11:43:39

One incident of chopping a worm alone wouldn't cause me concern. All DC can be revolting.

What is it that you feel makes her so different from the other girls? Disinterest in pink/fluffy or academic difference or tomboyish?
Do you have a new school option or two in mind?

BookABooSue Wed 05-Mar-14 11:45:37

It's hard to know if a fresh start would help because there are so many different issues in your op. 'She doesn't fit in with the girls' but does she fit in with the boys? As long as she had a friendship group then I wouldn't be worried about whether they were boys or girls. I also don't think they need to have a bf so if she doesn't say she wants one then I wouldn't worry about that either.

I'm guessing that you don't keep her awake arguing so have you got to the bottom of why she was tired and why she lied?

I must admit I wouldn't be too worried about her cutting up a worm. Honestly google children and worms/flies.

You can't make your little girl happy and if school is the cause of her unhappiness then do move her but from your op you don't seem sure that school is the root of her unhappiness. Is she happy when she is at home?

Toomuchthinking Wed 05-Mar-14 13:08:45 she is not a child that finds friendship easy, reception teacher said she was different couldn't say in what way, she was known as the naughty one by her peers, teacher said she wasn't naughty as such, but was always being asked not to shout out to sit still, not to touch things was a very over confident child. Yr 1 labelled as g&t in reading?? If there is such a thing and did very well academically and became part of a trio friendship, by year 2 this was causing her anguish as she began battling for sole friendship with one of the girls, yr2 was disastrous teacher said my dd was a very blunt little girl who made other girls cry, on first parents evening with her and she felt Dd was ego centric and was always catching me at end of day with little things she had done, and it felt like I was constantly explaining to my Dd how to behave. I always backed the school, when quite often on school events I didn't like the way the other children spoke down to my Dd and she felt the teacher often blamed her for other peoples actions.

By yr3 I seriously felt she may not tick right and the school set up behavioural management with her, they concluded she was a lovely bright child that needed guidance with forming friendships as that's what she was craving, and although she may be slightly leaning towards aspergers spectrum, she was clearly high functioning so to go down this route would be a hard long one, and may not be beneficial to her. She was in a mixed 3/4 class so seemed to settle a little towards the spring-summer term, and seemed happier in herself...but now in yr4 She is seeing the behaviour team again this week and things are not settling down, 2 terms in.
I don't feel my dh and I argue very often at all, certainly not at night keeping her awake. Now I am thinking she is unhappy at home too, she is not a child who opens up very easily about her feelings.

Sorry so long and rambling but I'm so confused and don't know what to do. Parenting seems so easy for some, but I feel like the one the others are all judging. The children were saying she eats worms yesterday and she became very upset the teacher also told me. I just want to hug her and wave a magic wand to give her a close friend, she plays with her little brother and his reception friends most days building dens during break times.

iseenodust Wed 05-Mar-14 14:15:06

It's a small school and she has ended up being known for certain traits by the sound of it, leading to not fitting the group. Yet she plays constructively with her brother. Is she in Brownies or sports/dance clubs with any of these girls? How succesful is that?

Not to sound flip but if your husband sees the scale of the matter being such that a move may help then I would start looking around. IME (and happy to be flamed) not many fathers of primary age children take too much of an interest in the friendships/falling outs of 8 yr olds.

maccmumof2DDs Wed 05-Mar-14 14:17:24

My daughter is in year 5 and were in the process of looking to moving her as we feel similar, shes a lovely girl but doesn't fit with the girls in her class who are really quite mean to her. There was an unfortunate incident at a sleepover instigated by my daughter and totally out of character but its caused further problems and provided the perfect excuse for them to be mean without reprisals (she only did what she did in an effort to be popular). She doesn't want to move though and the head has told me that they feel she would not cope with a move and it would be damaging....but they are not supporting her. Both my children i believe are somewhere on the autism/aspergers scale but only to the extent it makes them quirky but could be a factor. My youngest who is 5 had a reading age of 71/2 at age 4 reception and I hadn't taught her(thinking mild aspergers) My eldest was tested but cleared for Autism but i think its there a little......I really understand your concerns sad

BookABooSue Wed 05-Mar-14 14:47:24

Toomuch I've just read back my op. Sorry! I didn't mean to imply that home was making her unhappy but just that some children/people are more prone to happiness than unhappiness ie it's like their resting state is unhappy rather than happy, and I was trying to work out if that was your dd.

Her Yr2 teacher sounds like a nightmare. It makes me so angry when teachers don't seem to realise how damaging it is to label a child in a negative way angry You sound like a good mum and it must be horrible to feel your dd is being judged harshly.

Could you visit some other schools and see if you think they would suit your dd better?

As for your dd not opening up easily, my friend's ds is like that. She found that he loves drawing and getting him to draw school, friends, teachers, etc, encouraged him to chat about how he felt about them, why he'd drawn them a certain way. I don't know if that would help with your dd.

BookABooSue Wed 05-Mar-14 14:49:07

^more prone to unhappiness happiness than happiness unhappiness ie it's like their resting state is unhappy rather than happy^
Sorry, typos!

bluewisteria Wed 05-Mar-14 15:18:41

Yes I would definitely look at other schools...
I would probably openly talk to the new head/teachers about the situation to see what they would recommend as a strategy in their respective schools before deciding where to move her. I understand you might feel hesitant about potentially labelling her before a fresh start but I think it would be important to assess how they would relate to this and what they would recommend/their education plan would be??
Hugs. This must be really hard. She is obviously bright and has social skills, it just isn't working in this set up.

PastSellByDate Thu 06-Mar-14 10:50:09

Hi TooMuchThinking

Absolutely feel for you - as DD2 was also pretty miserable in Y4 and was at a school where there was a lot of control issues around friends for years - two rather horrible girls would restrict other children from playing with DD2 at various intervals. This was done mainly because this would visible upset DD2 and they enjoyed seeing her upset. The other children were frightened of these girls and for an easier life did as bidden - but then away from school would apologize (at swimming/ ballet lessons or play dates/ parties).

DD2 was bright but kind of treading water at her old school - we weren't exactly thrilled. Out of the blue we got an offer from a nearer school (we'd approached them over the summer after Y3 but were told they had no places). We went for a visit and they asked DD2 when she'd like to start and she instantly chimed Monday please!

The change in her is unbelievable. She's greeted by a huge group of friends each morning and they chatter away about the books their reading, what they did at the weekend, what they're doing soon, etc...

So my advice is that change is risky, but if your DD is unhappy, if you're unhappy, then odds are moving school isn't going to be any worse is it? And there is a good chance a fresh start somewhere may be better.

What you may need to think about - as you have a very bright child - is how to move her to a school where they can better cater for her ability - and where perhaps she's not that unusual (i.e. there are a lot of clever clogs there as well) - this may mean you can bring her to an environment where she's not different but quite typical.

DD2 is by no means G&T - but she's a bright girl and loves learning (the kind of kid that enjoys homework and can't wait to get started in on a new assignment) - she's now at a school where that's normal and kids eagerly discuss what they came up with for homework assignments and praise each other. So again, change if carefully plotted, can bring your DD to an environment where what she values/ enjoys is more typical and where she can relax, enjoy school & thrive.


BudsBeginingSpringinSight Thu 06-Mar-14 21:00:40

Your poor dd she does sound like a fish out of water, its a risk but could it be any worse?

I think its a risk I would take.

I am sure she is happy at home but are you able to shake things up a little, do things you don't normally do? Break any habits or patterns just for a weekend....I dont know like all go to a ski slope and tobogan or give her a horse riding lesson if she has never had one, go on a boat trip or away for the weekend...just something fresh.and new

BudsBeginingSpringinSight Thu 06-Mar-14 21:01:50

The worms wouldnt bother me either, they all go through experimental phases I am ashamed to say I loved animals and inscects used to let snails crawl up my arm and burned ants with a magnifying glass.

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