This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Daughter (9) having major meltdowns and seems depressed : ((15 Posts)
DD aged 9 has always disliked school. She found her work difficult in infants and had very few friends from the beginning. We were relieved when she started at the juniors and had a new class.
Roll on three years later and she still says she hates school and on a bad day tells us that it is ruining her life and she hates her life etc etc. The next day she says she doesn't want to leave as all schools will be the same. Some days she comes home saying she has had the best day and would never like to leave her school! She struggles with her work and has no close friends; she is in a class with a group of very strong personalities whereas she is very gentle and loving. She is also quite socially immature and can be quite intense.
Her school is very very pushy but has a great reputation. My daughter loves the music side of things there and will always be up for joining concerts, practises after school etc etc. I have another daughter who will be starting at the same school in September - to be honest if she wasn't starting there, I would probably pull the plug.
The meltdowns are awful this summer holiday - she is in tears over nothing, telling us her life is awful, no-one likes her et etc. My husband tells me she needs to see a doctor as this isn't normal behaviour and she obviously has special needs. In my opinion, the girl that used to be so ridiculously happy (we used to call her Ray of Sunshine) is just sad and struggling. She asks for hugs all the time which in my opinion is just a cry for reassurance.
I am tempted not to send her back - my husband says that would be crazy, that it's an amazing school and she would hate all schools. My daughter agrees and says all schools will be awful. When I suggested we look at some others she immediately got excited and asked if that meant she could have a morning off in September!!! Not a great sign....and anyway, I don't even know if any have spaces around here.
I already have three school runs and it would mean getting to four....plus my other daughter would be starting on her own there. She wants to go as she has lots of friends so it's not an option to move her too.
I'm just confused. I've thought about taking her out of the school since she was five and am now left with a girl who cries all the time and I don't recognise....even though she says she doesn't want to leave. She certainly isn't flourishing there though - she is in bottom group for everything and has no friends. One of the main problem girls who refused to let her play has moved abroad over the summer and so I am wondering if the dynamics will change - perhaps even a new girl starting in September.
I just don't want to spend another two years seeing her deteriorate to the point where she is a depressed teenager : (
Needing to vent and share.
Are the school aware of her difficulties? Are they supportive?
Hi lovingLola, this year the teacher has been incredibly supportive and I couldn't have asked for better. However, there is an undercurrent of secrecy at the school and I know quite a few people who have said bullying is a major cover up and they haven't been helped at all.
Even though her teacher has been supportive I still hear that she walks around on her own at playtime as no-one will play with her. In group work she tells me she always gets left to last. Other children have told me she plays alone at break times. It's such a shame as she is such a lovely, kind and gentle girl who would give anything for a close friend.
Can you ask for referral to an Educational Psychologist? Through gp or school.
This is very similar to my ten year old girl. The past school year has been such a battle. We have had lots of support and help from the school which has been good. I have suggested to my daughter (although she isn't keen and won't do it) to join groups that have nothing to do with school and will have different people there - Brownies/Guides etc. That might work for your daughter. My daughter has very specific interests that not so many of the others at school are interested in or even understand them and one issue that came out at school was feeling alone because she couldn't get her classmates to "know what she is on about" (her words). So we (me and her dad) are taking a big interest in what she is into and get her to talk about it to us. I wouldn't change schools. If the teachers are aware of her issues and are giving help then you don't want to lose that support network you have by having to start all over again. She only has a couple of years at primary to go. Lots of people start doing the Secondary School open days when their child is year 5 so maybe do that in September so she really gets that school is going to be changing in a couple of years anyway. Good luck. Hope it goes well.
Hi bookmum - sorry to hear your daughter is struggling too. It's so hard being at school for so long when it's a lonely, difficult place to be. Great advice and I think you're right about starting all over again in year five. I know it's going to get harder for her though as SATs are a huge focus at the school and work is going to get a lot harder for the next two years. She goes to a singing club that she absolutely adores and has many friends there - she thrives there and can't wait to go there every week telling me she could never live without it in her life. A girl of extremes : ) although it shows me that she is capable of being happy in the right environment where she knows she is good at something.
Wow - a pushy school which is clearly great for academic kids and shit for those who aren't academic, destroying their confidence. You have a non academic kid whose confidence is being destroyed. Why didn't you take her out years ago?
She says all other schools will be the same? Errr how old is she? Who's the adult? How does she know what other schools are like?
Do you think there could be a developmental issue? ASD? ADHD? Even if she don't have either of those issues at the level where she would be diagnosed sometimes the advice can still be useful.
If she's musical could she join some kind of music group either in or outside school to boost her confidence and help make friends?
Your dh is right. She needs to see your GP and be referred for an assessment. A lot of her difficulties are flagging up ASD and cannot be ignored. We find in school that children with ASD play on their own a lot no matter how much efforts we put into getting them into a group. As soon as we turn our back they wander off on their own.
I obviously cannot diagnose your dd but its time now to put it in the hands of a psychologist as it has gone on long enough. Even if it is depression as you suspect she needs psychological help. If these things are ruled out then you can think its that school but l feel she would have the same difficulties in another school.
Ignore what titchy says. The main issues that I found with my daughter was all to with friendships/behaviour of others in the class etc. The actual school work was fine (her school is fairly academic too). Changing schools won't help that - year 5 girls are a funny age. Still little girls one minute, stroppy horrible puberty monsters the next! (the boys too). So a different school will be the same.
One thing the school did a few times was give the older children the 'responsibility' of helping with the Reception children at play time - organising games etc. It was a good confidence boost for some of the children. To Reception babies Year 5/6 kids are as grown up as the teachers.
Over the summer focus on her singing and music. If that's her 'thing' then go for it big time.
However do see your GP. Even if it appears she doesn't 'have' something like ASD the docs can sometimes point you in the direction of support groups etc.
My child is being assessed for ASD and exhibits very similar behaviour. I think you should speak to your GP and the SENCO at school.
She may not have, but from what you have said I would definitely get some professional advice.
Sounds like my 8yr old was before we moved her schools. She never liked school from year R on, lots of angry meltdowns, tears and anxiety related symptoms which got a lot worse in the months before we finally decided to move her. We also dithered about whether to move her and went through the whole "she just doesn't like school she'll be miserable wherever we send her." She's done a term and a half at her new school and she is so much more happy. No more having to battle her in every morning, the meltdowns have all but disappeared, she's the happy shiny child that I hadn't seen for several years, and for the first time ever says she likes school. Best decision we ever made.
I agree with what others say, talk to your Gp too. We have several times over the years, and despite being told "she meets the CAMHS criteria but would never be seen because you manage to get her into school everyday" we did manage to get her some counselling through a local young people's service.
I should add also that the school we chose to move her to has much better pastoral care than the one she was at, is much smaller, doesn't stream by ability and hardly have any tests compared to the old school where they were daily all of this has had a huge positive impact which suggests it was more about the school environment than my daughter having something "wrong" with her. Yes she is prone to anxiety but this was being massively triggered by the environment at the old school