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How to handle d's taking 'Cuddle bracelet' to school

(65 Posts)
MissesBloom Sat 14-Oct-17 18:56:14

Ds has developed a huge dislike for school this year since starting year one.

He LOVED reception, liked his teachers, was confident going into school, had plenty of friends (although not one specific person) and his work was progressing beautifully.

However since day 2 of year one he has started to try and find ways of not going into school. He started saying he was too poorly to go in (if he had a mild cold), and would refuse to get dressed and generally use avoidance tactics to get out of going.

There have been a number of things I think going on here, firstly the school have told parents we aren't allowed in the playground and we must drop the kids at the gate to their classroom and leave. They are supposed to drop their own bags in then go back out and take a short walk to their playground (which is new to them this year and full of older children).

Ds felt uneasy about this so I have not left him despite what the head teacher wants. I stand back and try to let him play but he now has started clinging to me.

The other part of this is that he says he misses me at school and begs me not to leave him. This has been brought up with the teacher who agrees he is very glum at school although is still doing his work to a good standard and listens well. I'm worried that eventually his school work will be affected.

Anyway I have come up with an idea to try and calm his nerves and let him know I'm thinking of him. I got him a very small bracelet and told him that when he misses me he can touch or hold the bracelet and I will know he is thinking of me and I'll send him hugs.

I know it's a little far fetched but this is so out of character for him and I want to help him before it starts to affect his work. I'm worried however as his teacher and assistant aren't very approachable and can sometimes be difficult unnecessarily. I'm not sure how to let them know about this bracelet (as I'm sure I read somewhere they're not allowed jewellery) without them trying to confiscate it. Should I put it on his wrist and see? Or shall I be prepared to be told he can only keep it in his bag or something.

Not sure if I'm being unreasonable here. I'm thinking I'll just bring it up with them on Monday and hope they allow him to have it.

He seems happier now with his new bracelet and much more positive although he's not had a day at school with it yet.

ToffleMoomin Sat 14-Oct-17 18:58:15

The bracelet might be a problem, but I have seen parents draw a heart on their arm and their child’s arm, and then when one or the other needs a hug in the day they touch the heart. Nothing the teachers can do about that!

RandomMess Sat 14-Oct-17 18:58:53

Keep bracelet or something else in his pocket?

Wolfiefan Sat 14-Oct-17 18:59:53

What will you do if they say he can't have it? I think you've jumped the gun on this one.
You should have had a meeting with the teacher and agreed strategies together to help him settle. You need to work together with the school. Not ignore rules like staying out the playground without talking to them first.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 14-Oct-17 19:05:33

I think you have had a very good idea- it's a recognised technique called a transitional object. However, the one you have chosen may be a problem for school.

Usually a transitional object actually belongs to the person being separated from. Could he keep a scarf or toy of yours in his bag to keep safe for the day?

I agree with pp it would be worth meeting class teacher to discuss the issues and strategies so they are a shared thing.

MissesBloom Sat 14-Oct-17 19:07:01

Yep thought about putting it in his pocket.

He's just turned 5 (August child) so thought we might have a struggle somewhere along the way as he's significantly younger than some kids in his class

I'm not happy with the security at the gates (only one of 3 have anyone watching them) so was already weary about leaving him in the playground but with him so upset in the mornings I'm not willing to just drop and go. There are a handful of others who do the same (and we try not to interfere when the whistle goes and leave straight away once we know they're in).
I just find his new teacher and assistant stand off ish. It already seems like us and them. Even simple things like trying to pass on messages and bringing in items for their bags is met with an odd attitude as though were making extra work.

I want to get along with the staff and had no issues last year whatsoever. I don't want to be unreasonable though and disregard the rules about jewellery.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 14-Oct-17 19:09:13

My August born DS found Y1 by far the most difficult time. YR was a breeze in comparison. It will get better.

MissesBloom Sat 14-Oct-17 19:10:43

Low that sounds like a great idea I've never heard of that. Perhaps I should have a meeting with the teacher and discuss the bracelet and if it'll be an issue then talk to d's about a different object that is more suitable for school.
He's just normally such a happy go lucky little thing, it's heartbreaking to watch him go in crying and come out down I feel helpless.

OlennasWimple Sat 14-Oct-17 19:11:43

I sometimes used to give DS a small token to keep in his pocket or bag. Usually a little stone or a leaf that we had picked up on the way to school (a good tactic to help getting out of the door....), sometimes something from my bag like a trolley token.

If you have concerns about the security of the gates, you need to raise this with the head. But if you have been asked to drop and leave, and you and a number of others are ignoring this, you are becoming part of the problem both for DS and for other families - some of whom might be working on their own issues, which are then undermined by seeing some people doing their own thing.

Mornings are generally not a good time to pass messages on to teachers - find out if they have an email address you can use instead

grasspigeons Sat 14-Oct-17 19:15:02

There's a book about this for kids...rats can't remember the name - but it has an invisible string biding parent and child and it's really stretchy. I'll see if I can remember the name

Kaffiene Sat 14-Oct-17 19:15:14

I used to give DD a kiss to keep in her pocket. Obviously totally imaginary but she would put her hand in her pocket and squeeze the “kiss” if she needed it. I was worried she would loose an actual real object. Could you try this?

fleshmarketclose Sat 14-Oct-17 19:17:17

I used to send mine to school with a handkerchief that I had put a squirt of perfume on. I told them if they were worried they could sniff the magic handkerchief and they would know I was thinking about them. It let them have some comfort without it being noticed because it was assumed they were wiping their nose.

Wolfiefan Sat 14-Oct-17 19:17:25

You can't disregard rules though. If the rule is stay out of the playground then you need to do that. As long as they can't get out of the playground they don't need one to one supervision at that age.
Messages go through reception or a note in the bag at our school. If every parent wants a word then the teacher would never get to the classroom.

wrapsuperstar Sat 14-Oct-17 19:19:29

My DD in Yr1 (also having a tough time though she has seemed to be a little happier in the last couple of weeks) has a wristwatch that can send and receive cuddles. wink
Hope your DS finds his groove soon. My DD1’s class have found the transition very tricky. I think it is generally a tough year but how the teacher/school chooses to handle that does make a difference.

MissesBloom Sat 14-Oct-17 19:20:17

Olennas I do agree to some extent. We were allowed to wait with them whilst they were in reception. This was never an issue then as he obviously felt happy to go in.

My issue is the security firstly which has been raised with the head but she is adamant one person is enough for 3 gates. The lady is rarely watching the other gates and to be fair couldn't see one of them anyway so it really isn't enough.

I just can't walk away and leave him it would shatter his trust entirely. The other kids for the most part started off rocky and then got more used to year 1, my d's went the other way. He's getting worse and the more I try to encourage him to go off and play and reassure him, the more he feels like I'm abandoning him. sad I've never felt so torn before. Even in nursery I used to just drop him at the door, no hanging about, He was fine. It's just this new class/playground/teachers he's just not handling it

FurryGiraffe Sat 14-Oct-17 19:21:02

Could you clip it onto his book bag? DS1 is reception and they all have key rings or similar clipped on their book bags to identify them. I bought him a little giraffe on a key ring to ease the separation from his favourite stuffed animal!

MissesBloom Sat 14-Oct-17 19:27:19

Grass that would be so helpful I'll have to Google it if not thanks

Kaffeine that's a lovely idea. Again never thought of that. Thank God for mumsnet grin
Never short of tips!!

Wolfie that's the thing they can get out of the playground. There is one person watching but she is expected to watch every entrance to the playground and watch years 1 2 and 3. There are 60 kids in each year group.

I'm not normally a rule breaker at all. And i don't feel good about it now. I'm just desperate sad

Wrap the teacher warned us it would be a hard transition. She said there is no more 'play time ' other than lunch. They now have spellings weekly, and this week there were 2 pieces of homework plus they have to read a book every night too. It's so demanding

MissesBloom Sat 14-Oct-17 19:28:39

Furry i think he's got a little keyring somewhere that might be an idea if teacher isn't happy. If rather that than it be confiscated. I think it would push him over the edge poor thing

grasspigeons Sat 14-Oct-17 19:30:12

blush It's called The Invisible String grin by Patrick Kurt. I probably could have guessed that

MissesBloom Sat 14-Oct-17 19:36:39

Ah you're the best...checking it out as we speak!

There is literally a book for everything smile

SingingMySong Sat 14-Oct-17 19:45:08

You could also get a special button, charm or ribbon and sew inside a seam.

Talk to the teacher, I'm sure you can find something that is not at risk of confiscation.

RafikiIsTheBest Sat 14-Oct-17 19:45:52

I don't like the sound of that. Don't pretty much all secondary/high schools have a mid morning break as well as lunch?
I thought that year 1 still had a mid morning and a mid afternoon break as well as their lunch time? And some 'free' time to play in the class. 2 pieces of homework, spelling and a reading book per night? What happens if they don't do all this? Seems far too much pressure on the kids. Personally I'd be looking at moving schools, I'm not sure the school is the right fit for you and your DS.

jamdonut Sat 14-Oct-17 20:01:23

The "imaginary " kiss for the pocket is a lovely idea! Next best the handkerchief. The big problem with having things, though is inevitably, they get fiddled with when they are supposed to be paying attention, either distracting themselves or others. Or "given" to best friends. Sooner or later the teacher will have to ask for the object, when it proves too much of a distraction.

Starlight2345 Sat 14-Oct-17 20:02:10

My DS had separation issues..
Things I did which helped...

I would say I noticed it was raining at lunchtime and wondered if it was wet play for you. When I went to the supermarket realized you would be doing PE, ( it doesn't matter if you don't know timetable well) It just shows you haven't forgotten about them while they are gone. But never say you miss them.

I also sewed a heart shaped button on the side of his coat so he had my heart in school..

I think the lingering goodbyes are going to be making it worse. Leaving an upset child is difficult ..I also learnt...I added to it.. They pick up on your feelings..Get yourself into that bright breezy. Hand him over to a teacher if he clings to you. If you don't trust him not to run off then go out the gate you come in and wait there..Children don't run out random gates IF he did he would be running for you. Wiat till bell has gone then you will know he is fine but let him settle in like the others.

FreakinScaryCaaw Sat 14-Oct-17 20:02:49

Glad you're getting some good ideas.

The breaks sound harsh. Also never heard of 1 person for 3 gates! No wonder you're worried.

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