DD is not settling

(25 Posts)
Madaboutthem2 Sat 23-Nov-19 08:56:59

My child is 4.5 and started school in September. She's abit of a shy anxious character. She doesn't tend to cry unless she's really hurt or sad. If she's nervous she tends to just go quiet. I knew before she started she was going to take some time as she does struggle to relax and become herself. For the first term of school she was quiet and struggling to take in all the new routine. She doesn't struggle with routines changing but there's lots of things to remember like, where to put book bags in, what colour team she's in etc. They described her as a gorgeous lovely little girl who needed some help to come out of her shell and get involved more. They said they hoped In time she would start to master the routine.

I asked Tuesday how she was doing. The teacher sort of did a mmm ahhh yes she's ok, a little bit better, still needing lots of reminders. Ok I said. Hopefully we are getting there slowly. The main thing is she's happy, enjoying school, talking about her friends etc.

Yesterday I took her down to school and I was pulled to one side. Asked to get her ears and eyes tested. I asked why and they said she's still not taking in the routine, she's struggling to understand listening sometimes and they will ask her to do something and she will go and do something else.... They continued she's now gone lively and they are having to tell her to stop doing things. Basically her concentration isn't great and she's almost seeing it as she's at nursery still. The worst thing though is she hit someone yesterday. My child who is shy and very timid hit someone. To say I was shocked was an understatement. She hasn't got it in her usually and this is a first. I absolutely agree she is struggling to grasp that she needs to follow instructions and learn to find somewhere in the middle. She has gone from quiet to excited and giddy.

I do think we are in an awkward position now as they weren't happy with her being quiet and now she's confident it's also an issue. Agghhh.

I've suggested some ideas. They are reading something up this weekend to try find some ideas on how to help. I'm feeling abit shocked that they need to read up on stuff as they must get kids every year slower than others to shine. She's not particularly being a horror but she is being a little mischievous now. I know it needs nipping in the bud but ill be honest I'm anxious about sending her next week. How the heck do you tell a four year old to stop being loud but don't be quiet either. Obviously she has been punished for hitting. I have banned her from watching Tele this weekend and no chocolate or biscuits. I've told her that I don't want to ever hear she has hit someone again. Behaviour wise though. I'm so stuck on if she is a problem or if she's a normal four year old. These are the only issues she's has. Shes reached all milestones fine, she has good speech, I overall feel she is not as ready as the average child. I just feel abit nervous about the upcoming months and in terrified she will end up with no friends or social skills. They did say her number work has been good this week and I've noticed her writing is coming along too.

Any reassurance? X

OP’s posts: |
Figure0f8 Sat 23-Nov-19 09:15:07

I think your punishment is a little over the top. She’s four, she whacked another child at school. I’d have told her I was disappointed and that she mustn’t hit and she must tell a grown up if someone is being unkind. Then it’s over.

They are trying to eliminate any hearing problems before they try to crack down on her not following instructions. Which is a good idea. You could practise at home. ‘Go upstairs and put these socks in your drawer and then bring down my hairbrush’.

Talk about school positively with regards to being there to learn and mention ‘good listening’ and ‘good looking’. Ask her what she learnt about when she comes home and if you are ever in the classroom for anything get her to show you what she has been doing. Pictures in the wall etc.

I wouldn’t worry too much, if at all, about anything they’ve said to you. In fact, their communication seems really good. They are keeping you in the loop.

Elisheva Sat 23-Nov-19 09:21:21

Which routines are they talking about? Are they using a visual prompt to help her remember what to when e.g. she comes in in the morning.
I too am a bit surprised that they need to ‘read up’ on it. This sort of thing isn’t uncommon at all.

Madaboutthem2 Sat 23-Nov-19 09:34:25

Maybe it is abit harsh but I'm hoping it sinks in enough that she learns it's not ok to hurt other people. I don't want her to think it's ok and there are no consequences to violence.

Yeah they are keeping me in the loop. It's not a teacher bashing if you get me. I appreciate that they are talking to me about it. I'm just sort of confused as to what's going on with my DD and why she is not able to find the middle ground.

I am happy to get her ears checked etc. She seems to hear fine. She has selective hearing at home. If she can't be bothered to go fetch her shoes she tends to ignore me. She has heard but will stop halfway to the shoe rack to play or something. Other times she's enthusiastic and will get them.

Basically it's things like her group going over to the outdoor area. I think they need to remind her she's in that group and she needs to go. She now knows her group. She took ages to learn to put her coat on her leg, her bottle in the basket, her bookbag in the tote. She gets in a pickle with it all. I think she's still prone to zoning out if she's not interested or tired. She really isn't used to 30 hour weeks. She also walks a mile each way to get there a d home. So I think she's fairly tired and probably sometimes just cant be bothered. She just seems to of got confident the last couple of weeks and now needs to learn things like walk, don't run, done bounce about on a chair, don't giggle when the teachers told you to not do something.

OP’s posts: |
Rainatnight Sat 23-Nov-19 09:37:42

She’s not by any chance dyslexic, is she? My dad and brother are (or were in my dad’s case) and find/found organising stuff really hard. Same part of the brain, apparently.

Figure0f8 Sat 23-Nov-19 10:30:44

They are exhausted, it’s a very full day and a big change too.

You can make the practical things as easy as possible for her.

Teach her to hang her coat up by the fabric loop rather than the hood as it’s more likely to stay on her peg that way. If it’s too small and fiddly, sew a bit of ribbon on so there is a bigger one.

Get a small water bottle. Most bottles are too big for their hands!

Put a key ring or something on her book bag so she can spot it easily.

Avoid tights on PE days. These are a good alternative. Treggings from H&M. They look like trousers with a fake flu and pockets but they pull on and off. www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0755610001.html

FurryGiraffe Sat 23-Nov-19 11:12:03

In your position, I'd be wondering whether the recent behaviour is a product of exhausted/tired silliness/inability to listen/concentrate rather than newfound confidence.

Honestly, I think this is the worst stage of reception. They're just so knackered by this point. Drop offs with DS1 went from being fine to being a huge tearful mess. I'd try not to worry but go back to basics. As a PP suggests, make everything as easy as possible. Low key weekends without too much rushing around. Plenty of chill out time and early bedtimes if she needs it.


PerspicaciaTick Sat 23-Nov-19 11:26:52

A very wise health visitor I know used to recommend shifting bedtime as early as possible to 6pm, even 5pm, during the shift to school. Then gradually let it rise again as their stamina builds and they get a bit older.
It works, it is a bit of a pain as it makes family life a bit trickier for a while but it can really help with behaviour and concentration if a child is getting over tired.

Awkward1 Sat 23-Nov-19 20:37:02

I also think tiredness.
How many hours preschool was she doing?
Have they started doing pe.
I think too the work can ramp up after half term as they know all the sounds.
It's a long term with only 1 week off.
And then school start ramping everything up for xmas .... It's just too much for some of the youngest.
I found we couldnt do much at the weekend, especially a Sunday.
But i do think she seems very easily distracted

Madaboutthem2 Sat 23-Nov-19 21:00:17

Hi everyone, I don't think she's dyslexic at the moment. She is getting quite clever at writing etc. She did 12 hours pre school but we cut it down to just 6 in may as we went on holidays and made the most of our last summer with her. She was always unwell and we all needed a break from it. She left in August and started school 3 weeks later

Tiredness could be a factor. I try get her in bed for 7.30 then she can have 12 hours sleep. It's abit hit and miss as her dad gets home around 7.45 and she's too nosey to go up and sleep whilst I'm downstairs with her brother. He's one and sleeps 8.30-7.30.

It's a very long term this one. I think it's almost 8 weeks. Then the one after Christmas is only 5 and a half. It's also cold and dark and I think all that makes them more tired and worn out.

Thanks for the tips on making life easier. They have to wear a kilt style skirt so it's always tights or socks. Because she walks and it's cold I've not put her in knee highs yet but I will do when it warms up. She has to have the bottles they provide unfortunately. I've put a name sticker on her bag and bookbag.

I just really hope she starts to grasp it all soon. I don't really know why she doesn't at times. Maybe I've not done enough at home but I feel I've tried to bring her up to listen, learn and be kind. It's so hard to explain to her how important it is to listen. It was sad to hear the teachers say it's like she doesn't grasp what schools about and what she needs to do. If others have grasped it why can't she sad

OP’s posts: |
carolina21 Sat 23-Nov-19 21:09:05

Have you thought about autism ? Part of that is not following instructions and not understanding social situations?

Awkward1 Sat 23-Nov-19 22:45:59

It could be something or just
She is one of the younger ones?
So only did 1yr of preschool?
Some kids are doing 30h from 3 or full time from 1 there is a huge variation.
Some kids are naturally outgoing and high energy
Others have older siblings
Some preschools will be doing a lot on put your things over here, hang up your coat, etc
Some kids do observe routines more (my dc2 notices much more and knows where everything is - dc1 daydreams her way around.)
Some kids will have better concentration (increased by age) and short-term or long term memory.
So easy to be distracted with 29 kids and teacher and TA.

If you are always interested in things/curious it would be hard to stick to one thing.

Does she turn round if you call her name?

Madaboutthem2 Sat 23-Nov-19 22:59:39

I don't think she is autistic at this stage and if she is there's no other signs and I don't think it would be right to look into they until she's older. She's not mature enough at four really to know. She certainly doesn't have any of the other symptoms that are highlighted as autism signs.

She does hear her name fine and turn around. You are right about the differences in children from birth really. They all have so many different starts. She did 16 months of nursery before school in total. She spent most of her first four years with me and her dad and brother. She's eldest but her brothers two nearly.

OP’s posts: |
TriSkiRun99 Sat 23-Nov-19 23:01:50

Some kids do just find it a a lot harder than others to adjust. My 2nd child struggled a lot she was very young her behaviour after school was awful until after Easter term from tiredness despite being used to 4d of full childcare, school was a massive overloading environment of new noises, & routines etc. Cut her some slack, use visual aids like a simple picture diary of the day. Some children “don’t listen” because their brains are too busy processing all the other stuff going on in the environment, my child I took for hearing test which she didn’t participate in and was most silent the whole time, they were abit concerned but said they’d try again another time but then we left the room and she chatted non-stop to me all the way down the corridor asking endless “Why” questions about all the stuff she’d noticed in the room 😂She hasn’t “not been listening” just too busy working out lots of other stuff that she’d found stimulating in the room.
Be patient and she will get there, but just may need more support than others who find adjusting to school life easier or there could be some other things going on with processing.

IceCreamFace Sun 24-Nov-19 13:07:26

I imagine the hitting was frustration and poor impulse control. She probably needs some help with self control rather than punishing her. Have you/the school tried a visual timetable? Could you give her more responsibility at home to see how she manages in the quieter, safer environment? Eg she can put her book bag and shoes away when she gets home and pack her own bag for school (obviously she might need reminders). You can then find a way to best support her. Or if it's purely an issue at school it may be that she's anxious so is less able to take in info. in that environment.

I don't think you need to impress upon her the distinction between being quiet and loud you and the staff need to find a way that she a) is confident enough to express herself at school and b) knows how to express herself appropriately and control herself.

She's only little so may just be taking longer to settle because she's anxious or they may be a hearing issue (a mild hearing issue is likely to be of an issue in the noisy classroom than at home) or a development issue. Either way it sounds like she's a lovely little girl and will do well with some support.

PlasticPatty Sun 24-Nov-19 13:25:30

I'm autistic. Quiet. Anxious. Auditory processing delay - so instructions you hear take time to work through. Zoning out. Not being fully aware of what other people are doing. I recall, in class in primary school, being left to read when the other children had moved on to another task because I was so involved in the story I was reading. Don't rule it out. The 'signs' you are looking for might be applicable in boys' autism - girls' autism is different.

carolina21 Sun 24-Nov-19 15:15:12

Also you mention autism she is too young for that, that's untrue it best recognised younger for therapy to start sooner then later and with waiting lists as they are it would be better to look into it now ? As most kids are actually diagnosed around age 3?

PlasticPatty Sun 24-Nov-19 19:53:05

Therapy? You mean 'support'. We aren't into therapy. A lot of it is abusive.

RomaineCalm Sun 24-Nov-19 23:52:01

I wonder whether she might be shattered. YR is hard work for a lot of children, even those that have been used to full-time nursery.

My starting point would be making are that she gets a good sleep every night, including weekends. It's hard when DH isn't home until lat

RomaineCalm Sun 24-Nov-19 23:54:43

... later but upstairs, bathed, stories and bed by 7pm every night would be a good start.

We cut out all activities and busy weekends when DC were in Reception as they were physically and emotionally exhausted. By Easter things were much better but that first two terms were hard work.

minipie Mon 25-Nov-19 00:30:00

I would say she is probably on the “younger“ end of the class, not literally but in the sense that she doesn’t have older siblings, she has not spent many hours at nursery and stopped going in May. By comparison most Dc in my DD’s class were at nursery at least 15 hours a week prior to starting school, through to July. Also if her pre school was very relaxed and didn’t have much routine that also means she’s not had practice at that, whereas others will have attended more structured nurseries.

So this probably means she will be finding the transition to school more of a change (and hence more tiring) than many of her classmates.

Agree with earlier bedtime if you possibly can. If necessary bring the baby’s bedtime forwards too. Chat with her about the importance of listening to the teachers and concentrating on what she’s been asked to do next.

Hitting I agree probably a sign of tiredness. It is common in reception tbh. Remind her frequently that if she gets cross with someone, she uses her words and if that doesn’t work she tells a teacher.

Madaboutthem2 Mon 25-Nov-19 11:32:31

Hi again. I've just read all your replies and appreciate all your different pointers. I have an auntie who worked in social care for ,49 years and still does alot of work now she's retired. She has assured me that unless there are obvious signs (big ones) they usually don't like to assess a child until 7. It's very hard to tell at this age if it's just normal late toddler behaviour etc. I've paid to do a test online and the results did say she doesn't have any signs really of autism. She scored 11%. I know you should go to your gp etc for these things but I just did some research and felt none of it related to her really. She doesn't obsess over routine, certain activities or spinning objects. Her speech has always been clear. She makes eye contact. She reached all her milestones. She's not bothered by loud noises. She points and looks at things. She responds to her name. She can show empathy and kindness. I do think she gets worn out pretty quickly in social situations with kids her own age. But that said sometimes she's the one being good and the other kid is not sharing, being bossy etc. Through the summer before she started school I noticed she didn't like my friends one year old. She felt threatened by her. I think she is possesive over me. She does great on days out when aload of kids are in the play areas. She loves holding hands with random kids and doing the activities. She is very close to her friend she's had from a year old. They are in class together and apparently she gets silly with him! I feel at this stage we need to wait. If in a year's time she can't socialise better then maybe get intouch with the Gp and see what they think?

As someone above put she's done less nursery etc. It was a relaxed forestry nursery. Lots of free play. Also she is clearly going to be a more shy easily led child. She tends to copy more than lead and then she goes excited. Again isn't that fairly normal at this age?

I will try and be more consistent with bedtime. This is where my partner's job becomes a pain. The 90 mile drive. But it's a good job and it's where the moneys at.

I try and get her tidy up etc. I might start trying to get her to load the washer and stuff to give her some more responsibility. She loves helping.

I think she's struggling to cope with 35 kids for 30 hours a week. I don't think we will be allowed to shorten her week though.

I know it sounds dramatic but I was thinking what do I do if she's still like it in afew months? Do I home school her or leave her there? Whilst teachers do the best they can they don't really have time for a child to be constantly needing reminders etc do they? I don't know if they even have the time to support her.

OP’s posts: |
Elisheva Mon 25-Nov-19 18:49:57

While it might turn out to be ‘something’ in the long run, honestly there are so many children who struggle to follow instructions for many, many different reasons, and I would be shocked if she was the only year R child who still needs prompting.
I would maybe try using visual reminders e.g. a checklist of things she has to do when she arrives at school each morning; a visual timetable etc. The school could work on her attention and listening skills - some kids need to be taught what comes naturally for others.
Have the school told you what they are doing to support her?

IceCreamFace Mon 25-Nov-19 18:58:15

The online test will only really illustrate more typically main autism so isn't particularly illustrative. That said like the poster above at 4 lots of typically developing kids present like this (which is why they don't assess below 7 unless there are more obvious markers). For now it's more important to support her at school than worry about asd/adhd.

Bluetac19 Mon 02-Dec-19 21:43:55

I'm a teacher. She sounds 100% normal for a young child.

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