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Help me process these feelings

(54 Posts)
cleo81 Sat 21-Jan-17 22:16:59

I know this is a third world problem but I am struggling to process my feelings.

I am very surprised at my own feelings to be honest. Basically ds had an informal assessment day at a private school for YR entrance today. Dh were very undecided about sending him private or state as we have a few good state schools near us. But family have offered to help with fees so we thought we d do it and see what happens. We weren't sure if we d accept an offer if ds 'passed' the enterance day anyway.

We weren't sure how to play it so didn't mention anything to ds until yesterday. When it was quiet and we were having a cuddle watching tv before bed I just said he was going to a school he might go to tomorrow for a play and it would be like his pre-school. I said there would be other children to play with a make friends with and teachers would do games with them. I left it at that.

Then this morning I repeated the above a couple of times and also said he needs to use kind hands, feet and voice. Be a good boy and make mummy and daddy proud by showing the teachers what he knows. I said he needs to do what the teachers say and answer any questions they ask if he knows the answer but it's ok if he doesn't. I said if he makes the right choices and makes us proud he can have a special treat. Try and talk and play with the others and have fun. We high fived and he seemed excited to go. I dropped him off gave him a big kiss and told him to enjoy himself and left. No problems.

Dh had talked about it and said we would play it down without putting pressure on him so we did. Looking back I feel like perhaps he wasn't really listening to me and was just being yeah, yeah mum sort of thing.

But when he came out all the other children ran out smiling and looked happy and chatting to their parents. Ds came out head down and not smiling. I was bright and asked how he got on- no answer. He spotted the magazines I had brought and started moaning about them and sounded very bratty which was embarrassing. He then ran off and wouldn't talk to me about it.

Anyway, once I started asking him about it it turns out he refused to do the activities and said I don't want to when asked to write rhyming words but verbally told her and refused to write numbers pass 11. He played by himself and with one other boy who happened to know from pre school.

I know he's only 4 but I feel so cross with him and I feel so disappointed and annoyed. I am surprised by these feelings and I guess maybe I wanted it more than I thought. I know he's going to get a rejection letter. I think I wouldn't feel like this if he'd got a rejection and just wasn't what they were looking for but I am finding it hard as I know he's capable to much more and he didn't show them that. He can be very stubborn and quite moody when he wants to be and guess was like that when it mattered the most but that was not the ds I dropped off in the morning.

I am blaming myself too. Perhaps I should have made sure he was listening to me and emphasised he had to do what the teacher asked but it didn't occur to me he would be like that. He can be like it at home but we ve never been told that he's like that at childcare.

To make it worse dsis is sending her ds for his assessment day next weekend and feel bit embarrassed if he got in and my ds didn't.

cleo81 Sat 21-Jan-17 22:17:43

First world problem, sorry

picklemepopcorn Sat 21-Jan-17 22:22:13

It sounds as though he picked up on the pressure anyway, and didn't want to perform. Did you ask him why he didn't want to? Or just generally what was the best bit, what was the worst bit, what was the silliest bit... Those kinds of questions get children talking so you can find out what happened.

I'd accept that it isn't the right environment for him given that he didn't enjoy himself there. Or possibly ask him if he'd like to try again, and ask the school if they'll let him as he didn't really participate today.

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 21-Jan-17 22:22:31

Wow, you've put a four year old under pressure and you're cross with him for "underperforming"?

Maybe you need sometime to consider why you would put him in a school that couldn't even get him to interact with them? Your DS isn't the problem, your attitude is.

Brokenbiscuit Sat 21-Jan-17 22:26:14

He's 4. He didn't know he was being assessed. You were right not to put too much pressure on him.

Think about it. Do you really want to send him to a school that assesses four year olds? To a school that doesn't understand that kids have good days and bad days? To a school that makes parents believe that their child is a failure before they have even started school? Is that really the environment that you want for him?

He's tiny. And I'm sure he is lovely. You know what he can and can't do. It doesn't matter what the school think after observing him for a very short period. They don't ever know him.

Send him to the local state school, which you said was good. He will thrive there. Private education really isn't all it's cracked up to be.

NennyNooNoo Sat 21-Jan-17 22:29:40

I have nothing useful to contribute but am shocked that there are schools that select at age 4.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Sat 21-Jan-17 22:31:49

I feel really sad for your child tbh. I realise all kids are different, but mine is close in age (bit older as he's already in reception) and I wouldn't have expected him to cope with something like that - at all, actually, but especially with so little support and guidance and warning. I think it's setting him up to fail and frankly if this is really how young children are 'assessed' for their desirability to a school then I would not want any child I cared about to go to such a school.

Sorry. I do hope you come to peace with whatever outcome you get soon, and that whatever school your DS ends up in suits him perfectly and that he flourishes there.

cleo81 Sat 21-Jan-17 22:33:38

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 21-Jan-17 22:36:36

If this is unusual behaviour for your DS, I would imagine that maybe he felt uncomfortable at this particular school.

Maybe it just isn't the right fit for him.

nuttyknitter Sat 21-Jan-17 22:37:23

Poor boy.

AgentProvocateur Sat 21-Jan-17 22:41:35

I feel sorry for your son. There's absolutely nothing that any four year old could do that would make me feel "cross, disappointed and annoyed". You need to get some perspective, frankly.

cleo81 Sat 21-Jan-17 22:42:59

I didn't want to put pressure on him dh and I don't believe in putting pressure on him at that age. That's why I kept it very low key and said it was a fun day to play with other children. I said it was to see if he liked it there. I was actually put off when the head said by the end of YR they move to no child led play. I never thought he'd refuse to do what they asked. He normally has a real thirst to learn and loves it but can generally be quite stubborn and uncooperative when he wants to be.

I don't think it was the school. When I say informal assessment they were observing them through play and then asked individuals to do little tasks with the teacher. They had playtime, singing and a story it wasn't like a formal you must write thing. I guess I am just disappointed he didn't show them his capabilities because he was in a mood rather than getting a no because he wasn't up to standard.

AntiQuitty Sat 21-Jan-17 22:43:38

What you said the night before was fine. The morning stuff sounds like a lot of pressure, especially asking him to make you proud. He probably figured the day was actually for you and not him and so reverted to his moody self rather than just went and had fun. Also there's been research about how offering a reward for performance makes children less motivated.

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 21-Jan-17 22:43:46

You've proved my point. It's all about your disappointment and the fact your sister's child might get in and yours might not. It's clearly not the right school for him.

Poor boy.

cleo81 Sat 21-Jan-17 22:44:42

All schools assess 4 year olds it's unfortunately our education system. I feel ds can't just say no when he doesn't feel like doing something

AmysTiara Sat 21-Jan-17 22:46:31

Poor boy. He's only four. I'm quite shocked at this tbh. Both the school and your attitude towards him.

empirerecordsrocked Sat 21-Jan-17 22:48:28

It's clearly not the right environment for him - writing rhyming words at age 4??

SleepFreeZone Sat 21-Jan-17 22:49:17

It sounds like that school wasn't the right fit for him to be honest.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Sat 21-Jan-17 22:51:17

Little children do refuse to do things, this is completely normal behaviour, it can be a bit embarrassing if others aren't but it is normal- lots of children don't like being dropped off and won't go into school aged 4/5 for example. If they can't cope with a slightly reluctant 4 year old, they really aren't the right place for him.

cleo81 Sat 21-Jan-17 22:53:25

I have no attitude towards him. I just wanted a little help in processing my feelings which I am surprised at.

If you think I have an attitude and are saying poor boy then you don't understand my post. I am looking for some help processing my feelings not to be attacked for trying to do what I thought was right for my child and give them him the best opportunities in life. We were unsure what to do but decided to atleast put him in the process as we had nothing too loose.

It was very hard to know what to say the him. That's why we left it so late this talk about it as I didn't want him thinking about it. On the way in he was excited and said he wasn't nervous and skipped in and was left with a kiss and an I love you. I don't know why he reverted to refusing what they asked. Perhaps I should have worded it differently, I tried my best. I am not perfect- sorry!

Mrsfrumble Sat 21-Jan-17 22:55:23

No need to feel embarrassed if your nephew gets offered a place; it's clearly not intelligence or potential that's being judged, just compliance. And even that will vary hugely between children depending on their mood, how tired they are etc.

My DS would have "failed" too. His preschool teacher at that age commented that he was impossible to assess using the standard tests, as he'd frequently refuse or underperform. She said the eloquent and creative excuses he gave for not co operating were a far better measure of his intelligence (and I loved her that!)

Let him be an unpredictable little boy for a little while longer. I hope he flourishes wherever he ends up.

GraceGrape Sat 21-Jan-17 22:56:02

I was also going to express shock at the rhyming words. My 4 year old pre-schooler can barely write her name. It seems clear that your DS isn't happy in this sort of environment. If you do choose selective schooling, maybe leave it until he's at least 7.

Brokenbiscuit Sat 21-Jan-17 22:56:27

All schools assess 4yos, yes, but not to decide whether or not they're worthy of admission.

Lunde Sat 21-Jan-17 22:59:19

Be a good boy and make mummy and daddy proud by showing the teachers what he knows. ... I said if he makes the right choices and makes us proud he can have a special treat.

It sounds as though he picked up on the pressure that being good and making mummy and daddy proud means performing in a certain way. That sounds like a lot of pressure for a 4 year old and perhaps it did not seem like fun at all.

FoxesSitOnBoxes Sat 21-Jan-17 22:59:54

Op I don't think you've done anything wrong here and I think I'd b

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