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"I hate myself" Y1

(22 Posts)
FobDodd Sun 23-Nov-14 18:46:19

Yesterday I came across a paper mask my 5 yr old DD had made. She had written on it " I hate myself". I asked her about it, saying it was a very sad thing to read. She said she hadn't wanted me to find it.

We talked about it and she said she felt like this at the beginning of the school day, and also when she couldn't "do big numbers". Everyone else in her class can do them. She also says she can't read well either.

Now she can read, very well, I've taught her. After having battles with the school on their mixed methods approach I took matters into my own hands, in what I thought was a very low key way. Maths I know nothing about, but talking it through with her it seems she is very fuzzy on the basics. She doesn't seem to understand what we used to call hundreds, tens and units. She can count from 0 to 100, like its a song, but can't start at random numbers and count on.

Anyway, we can deal with that. I'll get a subscription to maths factor and we will learn maths together from the beginning.

I've told her that it doesn't matter what anyone else can do. But if she doesn't understand something she must ask. We go to school to learn new things, and we all learn things at different speeds.

She doesn't like going into a school, never really has. This was never a problem during her two years at nursery. She is always loath to leave school at the end of the day. She seems to like and be liked by most children, I'd go as far as to say she was popular -I feel I can say this as I was very unpopular ;)

I suppose I'm posting because I don't know what the hell to do. I'm heart broken that I have a wonderful, funny, bouncy, independent 5 year old who is this unhappy. Do I tell the school-what if they get social services involved?! Or am i overreacting, it just seems pretty awful to me. The teacher is nice but NQT- I know the head finds me a difficult parent.

Achooblessyou Sun 23-Nov-14 18:50:27

I would see your GP who will most likely give you a referral. Your dd sounds like she is very competent but sets herself high standards that she can't live up to. It might not be a bad thing - she will aim high throughout life! But yes it's a hard thing to hear.

FobDodd Sun 23-Nov-14 18:56:30

Thanks achoo. Really, the GP? But then this becomes " a thing", a label, which is worrying. A referral to a child psychologist? Mental health services? That sounds really frightening. The adult mental health services in my area are dreadful, I've had to deal with them for a friend. Totally broken-no money. So she could get a negative label and no help?

Hugsfromdermot Sun 23-Nov-14 18:56:54

Have you had parents evening yet? I would absolutely bring it up with her teacher at parents evening or make a separate app if that's already happened. Also spk to the teacher about if she is struggling with numbers. A five year olds perception of what everyone else can and can't do may be some way from the reality.
Horrible thing to hear though :-(

FobDodd Sun 23-Nov-14 18:59:47

Parents evening is very soon, so I think you are right, I must bring it up.

I know that children's perceptions probably don't match reality smile but it's one thing her struggling with numbers/ others not struggling and another for her to deal with the issue in such an awful way.

Achooblessyou Sun 23-Nov-14 19:07:46

Sorry I may have jumped ahead a bit. I had different "issues" than yours with my ds. I asked teachers over the first 3 years of primary who confirmed things weren't "normal" then went to GP. I had a referral to a support service (sorry cant remember the exact titles of the professionals). I cant say they "cured" my sons particular issue but the process was useful. I don't want to go into details. No labels were given in my particular case. The support service can deal with all sorts of worries, its not just about giving children labels.

FobDodd Sun 23-Nov-14 19:12:57

Thanks achoo, and I might have got a bit stressed a bit too soon.

A support service sounds like a positive thing. Thinking about it I think the LEA might run something like this, which teachers can refer children to. I'm sure we had some info about it last year. So maybe the thing to do is start at class teacher level.

Dd is defiantly finding Y1 a huge shift, I know people say this, but to actually watch a child go through it...

Achooblessyou Sun 23-Nov-14 19:19:32

Your dd sounds like she's doing really well - but is just too hard on herself.

Yes it is worth speaking to your teacher - lots of schools have mentoring/pastoral type services that might help.

temporarilyjerry Sun 23-Nov-14 20:22:49

Does the school have a learning mentor? That is who would deal with something like this at the school at which I teach.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 23-Nov-14 20:42:28

one of my daughters is a real perfectionist - she was given ELSA sessions at school to learn that it is OK to make mistakes. ELSA is Emotional Literacy Support something and is very good to be tailored to individual children and their requirements. I would ask to meet with the teacher and the SENCO/inclusion person and ask if they do ELSA or have something similar where they could work on her confidence.

She won't have done hundreds tens and units yet I don't think. They didn't do them until much later in Yr1 in my daughter's class. I was surprised because I thought I had done them younger at school but looking back I suspect I didn't really.

I would say if she wrote it down then regardless of what she says she really did want you to find it. I would expect she was looking for a way to raise it with you but as a 5 year old just didn't know how.

It is so hard when they aren't happy, especially when you can't see a reason for them not to be, like you say she has friends and is actually doing ok/well so there isn't a reason for her to feel like this except from her own perception of things.

blossom101001 Sun 23-Nov-14 20:44:10

In Year 1 she really shouldn't be doing hundreds, tens and ones. Until this year that was an expectation of Year 3, now Year 2. By the end of the year she should be counting, reading. writing numbers to 100.

She should also be able to count forwards and backwards to 100 (by the end of the year)

At this point I wouldn't really expect her to be able to count on from any number either.

Right now I would make sure she can count to 20, read and write numbers to 20, know one more or one less of any number to 20 and know one digit addition (5+3=) and subtractions calculations (7-4=) to 20 then move on two digit numbers (11+ 5= or 16-2=)

BTW- In my experience NQTs are very hard working and usually have so many observations that is unfair for parents to criticize or make reference to their teaching ability.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 23-Nov-14 21:49:33

blossom I am surprised you say they wouldn't do HTU in yr1 - the whole of my daughter's class did tens and units in Yr1 and the top 2 groups did hundreds tens and units. It was definitely after February but I think it was probably in the summer term. That was last year. they have already been doing them this year in yr2.

marnia68 Sun 23-Nov-14 21:57:34

My Dc (5 of them!)have often said ' I hate myself' when they have done something wrong and they are ashamed of.I don't think that in itself is any big deal

IamFatherChristmasNOTsanta Sun 23-Nov-14 22:07:28

Its one comment on a mask, I don't think you should go to gp yet.

You need to help her build self esteem and learn how to deal with making mistakes.

talk to teacher about it.

5 years is so young, my dd wasnt reading at 5 and is now flying at 7, literally.

things click at different ages, and she needs to know that.

FobDodd Sun 23-Nov-14 22:26:02

Blossom, I'm really sorry, I'm a terrible writer, I didn't explain myself properly. I wasn't criticising the NQT teacher at all. I have had problems with the school, but that is an LEA wide issue, and something that begun before she had started teaching. When I made reference to her being an NQT it was more that it wasn't fair to put something so "big" and not "teaching" onto her. For various reasons all the parents feel very, very lucky to have her!

Thank you all in helping me to understand what she should be doing in maths. The things my DD says she can't do, are probably things she doesn't need to be doing anyway. I will concentrate on the basics with her, it's going to be really interesting for me too. I might understand maths better myself if I get a good grounding.

Yes, I think she did want someone to find it. She must feel something isn't right, but doesn't know quite what it is. She's tried the "I don't want to go to school" thing, but we thought that was just a normal reluctance. Maybe she s just confused about being 5, with a lot of other people learningnto be 5 in their way.

FobDodd Sun 23-Nov-14 22:41:13

Interestingly she's always been pretty good about making mistakes. I think maybe her self esteem has been rattled-I think she has always been very certain of herself. Maybe her classmates are beginning to find their feet, and there is a bit of a battle for top dog. A battle she didn't even know she was in.

"I hate myself" could have just been after she'd done something wrong, you are so right Marnia. That makes total sense, and I think I know what it was!

It's really difficult having an only child with no family around to tell you that's what kids do. As DP says, if we had more than one, we probably wouldn't obsess so much.

TeenAndTween Mon 24-Nov-14 14:44:32

OP. You still obsess with 2 children - just twice as much grin

(Eldest doing GCSEs .... Youngest at primary and struggling)

junkfoodaddict Mon 24-Nov-14 16:49:16

Tell the teacher in private what she has said. She may be completely unaware of how unhappy she is. Sometimes teachers can make things better or put things right if they are fully in the picture.
And as for maths, she is 5 and in Y1. She wouldn't be expected to 'get' hundreds, tens and units just yet. Concentrate at home on counting and lots of it! Parents often think their child is a genius because their child can count to 100 but even children who can read and write numbers up to 1000 in my Y2 class STILL need to practise their counting skills. Without it they will be unable to grasp the concepts of the four operations (add, subtract, multiply and divide). I have had kids who can add two digit numbers but struggle to count forwards and backwards from any number crossing the tens boundary.
She is still very little and reception and Year 1 can in some schools be very different (more independent work, less play for a start). Only from what you write, it sounds like she is still having some issues with transition and also with self esteem.
Again, talk to your teacher. I really don't think a GP referral is necessary because of one little note (quite good for a Y1 child to write those words- as worrying as it is). Don't read too much into it. It is actually more common than you think (unfortunately) and a lot to do with the demands placed on little ones with the demands of the curriculum and targets shared and expected of them.

Emstheword Mon 24-Nov-14 17:04:59

My Y1 DD has just done tens and units in maths at school, but not hundreds yet. We've just started maths factor and it's going well. I think it could help build your DC's confidence as it starts really easy and builds up extremely gradually....I imagine her confidence will grow as she masters it.

FobDodd Mon 24-Nov-14 17:55:18

Ha, teenandtween, maybe you obsess in a more organised way, it's Tuesday so it's DD1s

Thanks Junkfood, I will tell the teacher at parents evening. Yes, it was good writing; capital I, spelt correctly and with an exclamation mark- It should get a gold star! All the things you suggest sound very sensible and "doable". She is finding Y1 a real mission after two years at nursery and one in YR where she loved the free flow nature of learning.

I've signed up to Mathsfactor emstheword so we will see how that goes! hopefully it will be positive for both of us.

Thanks all, I'm calmer now, and she seems happy.

Ferguson Tue 25-Nov-14 18:28:35

I'm glad to see you are both making progress!

I was a TA / helper in primary schools for over twenty years. To help with understanding Numeracy I used this advice, so take from it anything that seems relevant or useful:


Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths work, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.


ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other

etc, etc

then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

I am sorry it seems complicated trying to explain these concepts, but using Lego or counters should make understanding easier.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :


FobDodd Tue 25-Nov-14 20:32:48

Brilliant, thanks Ferguson. That's all really useful. I don't think I understand that relationship between numbers, let alone know my times tables, so it's a learning curve for us both. It is useful to use objects, it defiantly helps us both understand, rather than just know by rote.

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