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reception issues please help

(11 Posts)
melonsandbananas Tue 07-Nov-17 09:54:41

argh I just wrote a huge post and it vanished....

Try again. Id really appreciate some perspectives.... My youngest son hates school with a passion. He started reception class this year and had some problems with another kid who had come up with him from preschool being horrible to him.

The teacher noticed this and dealt with it swiftly. Other parents called in, kid spoken to. Before we had just avoided them so I was a bit relieved to be honest. It seemed to be resolved to me, but since that day (the second day) my son has hated it there.

Every morning is truly awful. He cries from the minute he gets up, he tries to hurt himself banging his head (but not seriously banging), says he hates it, he doesn't want to go, we don't love him for sending him there. This morning he said he no longer wanted to be him, that he was naughty and horrible and wanted to go away to make everyone happy.

We get to school and he instantly changes when he sees his teachers or a friend. He seems to want to not cry in front of the teacher and 'be good', but he is genuinely delighted to see his friends and runs in after them!

I leave and want to throw up. Start thinking about other schools. Then at the end of the day he comes out really happy, the teacher says he had a great day and he's chatting away to all his friends. An hour later and he's distressed again.

What is going on here, can anyone help me? For reference hes not a mumsnet child but he exceeded in some areas of preschool especially communication and speech. No special needs I know of, seems about average academically, but really really kind and usually tries to look after everyone.

keepingbees Tue 07-Nov-17 10:23:00

What a difficult situation for you sad

It could be he’s fine at school but he knows this behaviour gets your attention at home so he’s doing it for your benefit (I have a much older son who’s autistic and does this.) You often hear of young children doing this.

It could be he’s struggling to adapt and being on ‘best behaviour’ at school, which emotionally ‘wears him out’ so he takes all the pressure and stress out at home where he feels safe to do so.

Does he chat to you about his day once home? Maybe try and make some special time for him when he comes home, through drawing or playing where you can try and get him to open up.
Have things definitely been sorted with the child who was causing problems? If he was quietly being horrible to your son it could cause a build up of anger.

I wouldn’t rush to look at different schools. Starting school is a big upheaval and it could just be his way of adapting.
Keep the school in the loop and see what they can suggest, they might be able to offer him some pastoral care if necessary.

melonsandbananas Tue 07-Nov-17 10:57:31

Thank you so so much for responding, I'm tearing up with relief that it is a 'thing', I'd not heard of this before with young ones; it's just so awful to hear them say these things. My heart goes out to you for being on the receiving end too.

He won't tell me anything about his day (like his older siblings!) really. Il try with us drawing pictures together and see.

I know it bothers him that the 'mean' kid took an instant dislike to him. Now the tormenting has stopped I don't how to fix that other than for him to stay away and make new friends which he has done already. I worry that having to deal with him every day is not helping.

On reflection he often mentions 'being naughty' and worrying about it (although he's never in trouble) so he's definitely got some angst there. Il make an appointment with his teacher and see what she says. Thanks again.

keepingbees Tue 07-Nov-17 11:43:27

I feel for you, it’s tough.

Young ones will often cry and make the parents feel guilty for leaving them at a school/nursery but are 9/10 fine once the parents have gone. It’s very hard walking away though even if you know deep down they’ll be fine.

It might just take time. Getting off to a bad start with the other child won’t have helped his confidence and has probably given him a negative impression of school life from the offset. It might just take time to make him see that it’s not all bad. All you can do is try and explain to him that some children are just naughty to other children and it doesn’t mean he did anything wrong, and that maybe it was because the other child was feeling stressed and scared about going to big school too (that may or may not be true but it might help him make sense of the child’s behaviour.)

It’s a long day for reception age children and it could be he’s tired on waking and getting home. What are his worries about being naughty? Is he scared of being told off/seen as naughty? Do they have a reward or punishment system? At my daughters school they’ve introduced a warning system and it’s caused quite a lot of anxiety with the ones who try really hard to be good.
It might be worth having a meeting with his teacher, with him present, so she can help discuss any worries he has.

melonsandbananas Tue 07-Nov-17 12:21:34

Thanks, im not sure what it is about being naughty at school apart from he says that lots of the children are very naughty.

An example at home is he will
draw a wonderful picture, we will praise him and then he will say hes going to be naughty and destroy it. He then tears it up and puts himself in an imaginary naughty spot (we've never used this method).

He's started taking all his photos down around the house and putting them in the bin. Then he'l be distraught with himself as he's been 'naughty'.

He put his trousers on the wrong way round for school. We went over board with the praise for the effort but said they tricked him and the label was on wrong so we could turn them around. He was devastated again, disproportionately so and was calling himself naughty for doing it wrong. sad

The 'mean' kid has been mean since we moved here so we've been avoiding for a long time. It was easier with different hours at preschool. We have said that the other kid has issues and it's not his fault repeatedly.

I know there has been some problems in the class with other children fighting and hitting but I've not been involved. The head sent an email out to all parents that the children who making 'bad choices' in class were being victimized and that parents should back off. Other than think it was a badly worded email I thought little of it as my child wasn't involved. Apart from that I know nothing.

Il tell the teacher about the naughty worries and see if we can chat about it together.

keepingbees Tue 07-Nov-17 14:26:54

He sounds very hard on himself bless him.
If you don’t mind me saying it sounds like there’s a lot of behavioural problems in his class considering it’s only reception. I wonder if he’s struggling to cope with seeing it all and not understanding why some people behave the way they do. If he’s a kind, sensitive child it might be too much for him if there’s a lot of messing about and boisterous children. Then he’s processing it all at home by acting out different behaviours and punishments.

Sounds like you’re doing all you can. All you can do is keep talking to him and supporting him.
I hope he settles. I have a child in year 1 and a few from her class still have a few tears going in, it does take time.
I would make sure the school are on board with supporting him and sorting any bad behaviour out though, you can only do so much from home.

Mishappening Tue 07-Nov-17 14:42:35

I guess he is suddenly faced with real naughtiness - his class doesn't sound great. He may just be testing out how far he can go.

Personally I think children start school too young for some; my DGS is doing fine in his reception class, but when he is at home or here with me he wants to have milk from a bottle (which we are all very happy for him to have, and he is given this without comment) and he talks in a baby voice (which is very, very irritating indeed!), but again we do not comment.

I guess it is his way of trying to feel secure whilst faced with all these new experiences and challenges. He can hold it together while he is there, but needs to regress when he gets home. It may be that your son is experiencing something similar. But I do think that it sounds as though the set-up in his class is far from ideal.

I do know how tough it is when children show that there is something they are not happy about but you cannot get to the bottom of it. If it is any consolation, it is a very long time since my own children were reception age and they went through all sorts ups and downs which seemed terrible at the time - but they came out the other side just fine!

MiaowTheCat Wed 08-Nov-17 11:29:11

It's hard - DD1 had a shit reception year, and alarm bells were starting to niggle by this point in the year, but like your child, she seemed to perk up seeing her "friends" at school and so we left it. Took a long while till we realised that those she counted as friends were actually being pretty nasty to her and her enthusiastic greeting of them was pretty much her desperately fighting to be included in anything. In the end we did move her because we had a number of concerns about various things at the school that didn't ease over the course of the year.

She wasn't expressing unhappiness or hating school - but she was completely melting down at the end of the day, was getting very violent towards me and just was showing in every other way that she was not a happy little girl. Moving her was the best choice in that case as she's completely changed back to how she was in her new school.

Sounds like a very challenging cohort though - I'd be a bit concerned that it stays like that throughout the school and not sure I'd want my child caught up with that if there were other options out there if that makes sense? It's something I'd be keeping in the back of my mind and keeping aware of.

DD1 went a bit bonkers with the "good" and "naughty" early on in reception as well though - I think her brain kind of struggled to process all the rules and expectations (school had a LOT of very very micro-managey type rules... like how to walk down the corridor hands clasped behind back level rules) and she really needed to do a lot of trying to process them for herself. She's quite highly strung naturally and really struggled with it. She's calmed down a LOT since we moved her to a less rigid (but better in terms of behaviour!) school and she's been able to relax instead of panicking that she's not doing all the things in the school rules constantly. She is still on a shameless campaign of sucking up to the Head to try to get the Headteacher's Award for star of the week though!

JennyOnAPlate Wed 08-Nov-17 11:32:29

I have no direct experience but go and speak to whoever is responsible for pastoral care at the school op. They will have heard it all before and will be able to help you and offer reassurance. flowers

Imaystillbedrunk Wed 08-Nov-17 11:45:08

When my sons was in reception we had daily issues with him claiming a sore tummy so he wouldn't have to go in. We established that he felt anxious and not sure why. Spoke to the teachers and they said he was happy going in class, popular helpful etc. So it didn't make sense.

The class it self had a lot of low level disruption due to lots of teacher changes and I think they leaned on the head a lot to disapline. We eventually worked out that he was terrified of being sent to the heads office to the point he was dwell on the minor things he has done during the day in case he would get sent to the head the next day.

I spoke to the Ta and the head and they were both lovely. The head had him in her office for an hour playing games and a few weeks later to read with her. Since that point he has loved school.

I'm not saying its the same issue but it took a long time to work out where the anxiety was coming from but it did get fixed and he is loving year 1.

Mamabear12 Wed 08-Nov-17 13:11:41

I would ask teacher if you could come in and watch your child at some point in the day with out your child knowing. So from the door or window. I did this once, but more of because I was curious what my DD was up to at school and was so happy I was allowed. I saw how my DD was very happy at school and doing well. Even now, I sometimes try to spy on my kids if I get the chance, peaking through the gate when my son does after school football with his class and I see him running around, laughing, goofing off etc. It makes me feel good to see my kids happy and thriving. But for example, when I asked my son who he played with at school he would say "no one" and sometimes not want to go to school. So it was interesting for me to see he was most definitely bonding with other boys in his class, goofing off and being silly...laughing and having a great time. But when I ask him it sounds like he does not have friends etc. But when I went to the school to help out for a class event, all the kids would run up and say "oh there is XX mum!" Basically, I could see he most definitely has friends. My son was 3 at the time of giving me the information, so you can see how sometimes young kids will say one thing and its different. Young kids tend to prefer to stay home given the choice. My dd was the same way. When I spoke to teachers they would say she LOVES school, she LOVES phonics etc. Where as my dd would say school was boring, phonics was boring, she played with no one. Teachers would say she had loads of friends.....which I realised was true when I would take my dd to school and other kids would run over calling her name etc. I would also perhaps try setting up play dates with some of his friends so he builds a closer bond to them. When kids have friends at school, they enjoy going to school more often.

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