eight year old daughter hating school, sooo unhappy - my next move please?

(55 Posts)
evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 15:40:48

Lovely bright eight year old in year 4 - loved school til year 2 - when both her best friends left. She has struggled to break into friendship groups and to get chosen for partnering which really bashes her low confidence. She is very shy and gets a bit freaked out by big groups. She briefly made friends with the class bully and came home crying for for months but I went up to the school who were a bit crap but I made enough fuss that they stopped that - but its left my daughter even more isolated. She is acting up at home - sulking and aggression - and has fallen behind drastically at maths. I dont think she is being bullied any more but just gets left out as she does not have strong friendships with the girls despite me inviting some of them here to play etc. She has started playing football at school and out of school which has helped. i cant work out if she is just very hormonal or if it is the school that is the major problem. There is a lot of bad behvaiour in the playground and other parents ahve complained that the school dont have a grip on it. I think she has become a fish out of water but I am also worried about her mental health as she is so clingy and/or aggressive at home by turns. She will talk about it with me - and says she is unhappy and just wants a best friend at school (she has two brilliant non school best friends) and I can't give her that. Help! shall I go back to the school (deputy head does eye rolls or runs away when i approach - think they are just sick of me raising it but what am I supposed to do?) , move schools, get her some CAMHS support??

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redskybynight Tue 31-Mar-15 15:53:39

I would definitely suggest going back to school.

However .. my DD is also in Y4 and the girls seem to be constantly falling out with each other. DD is no longer speaking to a girl who was a close friend since Reception and is now best friends with a girl who started at the school 3 months ago! From speaking to her teacher she suggested it is not uncommon for Y4 girls to reevaluate their friendships and forge new ones. So you may find it settles down in the next few months. Sounds like you are doing all the right things.

evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 15:56:41

thanks. i know - I do think they are all full of hormones etc but she says things like ' i hate my life' and when I probe she says its because of school and that she feels that noone cares about her there - which i think is the lack of a best friend, just makes her feel lonely. Yes, will go back to school but its been going on for so long its really really wearing us all down. is it normal for an 8 year old to say ' i hate my life'?

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gymboywalton Tue 31-Mar-15 15:58:02

i would think about moving her

evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 16:01:43

yes i have seriously considered that and gently raised it with her but she is dead against. I also have a 4 year old just started reception who likes the school so far.

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Timetoask Tue 31-Mar-15 16:02:34

If this has been going on since end of year 2 then clearly it isn't a phase. I would consider changing schools and start fresh.

nochocolateforlentteacake Tue 31-Mar-15 16:06:15

Is she getting to school, or hanging onto the doorframe while you pull her legs?

What does she say is the problem?

Speak to the school. It sound me you have tried the usual "making friends and joining clubs" route.

Have you looked at other schools? Where do her non school Pals go?


evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 16:08:07

yes its been 18 months. worried though that if changed schools - a) she woudl consider herself a failure b) she says she doesnt want to c) how easy will it be to break into an established year 4/5 friendship group at a new school? Does anyone have any experience of changin school for similar reasons or maybe I need to start a new thread on that. If she was just as unhappy at a nwe school I couldnt bear it

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3littlefrogs Tue 31-Mar-15 16:09:25

Take her out.
I took my suicidal 8 year old out of his primary school and sent him to a lovely, small, caring prep school until he was 11. Best thing I ever did.

He was seriously depressed due to bullying, boredom, useless HT, dreadful playground behaviour of other children etc.

I did a bit of research, spoke to a few schools, spoke to friends who had Dc there at the prep school. I moved him after the Easter holidays and he settled into the new school within a few days.

Useless HT at first school suggested therapy - we dutifully went along with it (and paid for it) until the therapist actually agreed that he was depressed because of the school and he would be better removed from the environment. (Not in so many words, but she suggested a change of environment, a fresh start etc).

evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 16:11:07

no chocolate - she goes to school without making a fuss . She says the problem is that she has noone to partner up with , hates the kid who used to bully her and finds some of the other girls babyish or they just plain leave her out. Pals are year 5 and 3 at two other schools so she would n't land in their classes.... i wonder seriously if she is just not confident and pushy enough to join the groups who play together. Thats said there are only 10 girls and 19 boys in her class. She just barely likes any of them !!!

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evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 16:13:38

3littlefrogs - i admire how decisive you were. do you have other DCs? I take it you pay for the prep school? I would not be able to do that but would be willing to look at other schools - would also need 2 places though and live in very oversubscribed London borough. I do think though if I am honest that the school just does not suit her for similar reasons you describe

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nochocolateforlentteacake Tue 31-Mar-15 16:18:01

Can you name the area? Maybe someone can suggest a school.

Its nor a failure, its cutting your losses and changing the situation. If you bought some shoes that were painful to wear, you'd change them.

Sometimes the school just isn't the right one. I know 3 kids off the top of my head who were moved for various reasons and they have all defonately fine the right thing.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 31-Mar-15 16:18:34

H.ed? tiss brilliant and works well for many, although not for everyone.
Our dd hasn't had to put up with all the playground nonsense and she's not talking to her and of course no peer pressure grin
Not sure if its a possibility for you, but certainly worth a thought maybe?

3littlefrogs Tue 31-Mar-15 16:21:00

I do have other DC - he was the eldest.
It was hard but I was desperate.
My youngest was a baby - I found a childminder and went back to work, borrowed the money for the fees. I have been working ever since. My youngest didn't have me at home like the older two did, but the childminder was lovely and we all got used to it. It was very hard, but worth it.

However - my Ds did try to kill himself, so there was no choice really.
Listen to your DD. Children do get depressed - and they are powerless to change their circumstances. We have to fight their corner.

evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 16:21:27

south southwark in london. home ed I LOVE the idea of but with massive london mortgage we need to work. I agree that the school isnt the right one but it took to year 3 to find out. i think if her best friends hadn't moved it would have worked out just about okay, but I just cant see how this is going to get any better ..although I would like to believ its just a phase and will somehow get miraculously sorted in year 5

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evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 16:24:55

3littlefrogs you sound like an amazing woman and mother. Your poor DS - so glad you got it sorted for him. I do think DD is depressed which is why CAMHS is on my mind and I mentioned it in the OP. But I also think she is a bright capable girl who is just not thriving at the school. Her best friend is at a nearby school in year 5 and is quite simliar to her - clever, shy, a bit different ie not into fairies and playing babies, sensitive - and is thriving at the other school which just seems a lot..nicer, calmer etc It just feels like such a massive thing to move schools and would I move DD2 too when she loves her recpeiton friends and teacher?

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nochocolateforlentteacake Tue 31-Mar-15 16:26:26

No, not a phase. It won't just get better by itself. Of she isn't happy, do look to move. Don't let it get worse.

Visit other schools and see what you think. Tell her that it us your (is mum) decision. If will help her see that you are taking her seriously, on her side and in control.

You will find out things about the place after she moves. Kids are very sneaky little cats about things sometimes!

nochocolateforlentteacake Tue 31-Mar-15 16:27:50

I'd look toove the older child -maybe the younger one later (no rush if she is settled). It will make the school run a pain though.

evilpopstar Tue 31-Mar-15 16:33:13

nochoc good advice. i think i do need to let her know its my decision - but i just about manage the school run then work on a good day. am going to talk to her friends school and see what the chances of getting a place might be. at least that might make me feel better. has anyone got any advice on whether her stroppiness at home is normal at this age? Or at least in the normal range - school hassle notwithstanding?

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Indantherene Tue 31-Mar-15 16:35:21

Please move her. I thought my DD 1 was happy because she had loads of friends. She was always stroppy and awkward at home.
When she started secondary school she changed overnight into a different child. I wish I'd moved here. I DID move her brothers.

3littlefrogs Tue 31-Mar-15 16:36:23

OP - she will be moving at 11 anyway.
Getting used to and experiencing change is good.
Go and ask the HT at the nice school what the chances are of a place.

Bear in mind that the HTs all know each other though. I was shocked at the sort of machinations that went on in my locality. Don't say anything negative about HT or school if you can help it, just say that Dd is not suited to it or something.
I still can't bear to even look at the HT from the first school. I used to see her at the occasional event - I just couldn't bear to speak to her.

Indantherene Tue 31-Mar-15 16:37:18

Just seen your x post. DD 2 is 8 and nothing like you describe.

3littlefrogs Tue 31-Mar-15 16:37:46

You need to make the decision OP. Don't add to her stress by asking her to decide.

nochocolateforlentteacake Tue 31-Mar-15 16:38:07

Strop and sulking is probably due to being unhappy at school. Best to keep calm, ignore her if you can and keep routines.

Be honest with prospective schools - they won't run a mile, and they will he suspicious of a move.

nochocolateforlentteacake Tue 31-Mar-15 16:39:05

3 frogs - yes yes yes.

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