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Help! DD started reception last week, initially loving it. Now crying and saying she doesn't want to go back....

(8 Posts)
Bunjamin Thu 11-Sep-08 02:44:02

She was so excited and has been on at me all summer about when she can start school. She was fine last week and really excited, however she told me today that she was upset at lunch-times for the last 3 days. (Nobody has told me about this) From chatting to her,I think she is finding the whole dining hall thing really overwhelming.. She has packed lunches which she enjoys and helps me make them / decide what to have so I know she is not unhappy about that! She was really upset when she got home today and cried for an hour.. Managed to console her but she has woken twice tonight crying about not wanting to go back tmw.... what can I do without being an over-interferring mother???

My plan is (if I can actually get her to school..) is to speak to her teacher tmw about how best to resolve the lunch-time thing as this seems to be mainly on dd's mind (she finds the dining hall very noisy and busy - who can blame her!!) Does anyone have any ideas about how to encourage dd back to school? Has anyone else been in this situation?? Any advise wd be fab then we can all get back on track and get some sleep!!!

Thank you x

gothicmama Thu 11-Sep-08 05:14:46

try and find out why - are all her friends having school meals, is there an issue about seating, not eating quick enough. The list can be endless with dd time and age made it easier and understanding that she had to go to school sometimes it can be overwhelming and reassurance is needed, little adult contact around at lunch times can make a child feel lost

Chocolateteapot Thu 11-Sep-08 06:58:59

I would pop in and have a word with the teacher, explain that she has been rather upset about lunches and ask is they could keep an eye on her.

It is though apparently quite common for them to start off OK and then to have a bot of a relapse about the whole thing, it as if the reality of the fact they have to go every day starts to sink in. DS loves it bit yesterday came out very tired and asked if he has to go every day. Another thing a lot of reception children do is tell you that they haven't had anyone to play with, when the reality is completely different.

I would be sympathetic and reassuring when dealing with her. Tell her you are sorry she is sad, that you are sure it will get much easier and you will be giving her a special treat today in hsr lunchbox, then may be pop in a little note or a photo or a favourite food. However upset you feel about it (and I know it is heartbreaking to see them like this ) don't let her see and remain relentlessly positive. It will improve , I promise.

throckenholt Thu 11-Sep-08 07:52:51

have a word with the teacher. Ask her to get a special friend to sit with here at lunchtime.

Other things that often worry them to start with are the playground/playtime and toilets - maybe talk to here about those and make sure she is happy with those ideas and how to handle them.

As far as going to school - talk to her and say you will come in and talk to the teacher about what is upsetting her about lunchtime, that you will get it all sorted out. And remind her about all the things she likes about school.

AbbeyA Thu 11-Sep-08 08:08:37

It is a very long day for them at that age, very often they will ask mid morning if they have had their lunch!
Lunchtimes are usually in the hall with lots of other children and so it is noisy. They generally line up and just fill up the tables and so she may end up sitting next to children she doesn't know. I would have a word with the teacher and tell her that she is finding it upsetting, ask if she can have a child that she likes to sit next to. The playtime itself may be a problem. A lot of schools keep the reception children separate with their own area. I should find out what they do at lunchtime,if she is out with older children she may be overwhelmed and need someone (a dinner lady) to keep an eye on her.

tkband3 Thu 11-Sep-08 08:22:17

I had exactly the same thing last year with DD1 when she started having lunch (which wasn't till just before half-term, she just did mornings to start with). Anyway, she came home and said she didn't like the dinner hall - it was scarey cos it was so noisy and all the big children were in there. As you've suggested, I had a quiet word with the TA the following morning and she kept an eye on her for a few days to make sure nothing untoward was going on.

Does the school have some sort of buddy system? At ours, reception children have a buddy from year 4 who sits with them at lunchtime to help them get used to everything (and I think help open packets etc as well smile).

Hope she is better today.

Bunjamin Thu 11-Sep-08 19:38:29

Thank you so much for your support and advice. I spoke to dd's teacher this morning, who was very understanding..... They do have a buddy system in place which is great, however dd likes to know there is a recognised grown-up who she knows that she can talk to if need be.

There was no prblem with her packed lunch and she said again this morning that she likes likes school, her friends, teacher etc but it was the shear noise level and lack of recognised adult.... Her teacher pooped into lunch today and dd did manage a little cry again but she chatted to her new friend,an adult quickly managed the situation and even got a sticker for being a good helper at lunchtime!!:0

So I am now thinking, great we have made progress and all is well... til bedtime.... more tears and "I dont weant to go" However, I do really feel this is a teething issue and now it has been acknowledged by the school we will get there slowly. (hmm)

I am shattered! Thanks again for all advice Any further info wd be great as dd is first to go to school and despite pre-school etc, it really feels like a steep learning curve for all of us!

throckenholt Fri 12-Sep-08 13:31:18

tears at bedtime may just be a manifestation of tiredness - mine were totally exhausted by starting school and were much more fragile at home for a while.

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