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What do you say to the Year 1 child who cries and doesn't want to go school?

(50 Posts)
emkana Tue 23-Sep-08 21:05:51

No specific problem, but dd2 was told off for misbehaviour last week and since then she's been crying in the morning and doesn't want to go. Denies that it's to do with being told off. Says she doesn't want to be without Mummy and the work is too hard.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 23-Sep-08 21:08:22

personally (to ds1 in reception last year - he wasn't crying but didn't want to go) I said it was the law and he had to unless he wanted me to go to jail, and as he had to go he might as well try and enjoy it.

cheekysealion Tue 23-Sep-08 21:13:03

it is very very hard i know how you feel
dd2 says she hates school and crys every morning when i take her there.. she is an august baby and i think she would have been ready to start reception class this year rather than year 1 as the work is a real struggle for her...

we have started a pasta reward jar which seems to be helping

emkana Tue 23-Sep-08 21:13:58

dd2 is August born too

I don't feel entirely truthful saying it's the law because after all I could home educate...

ChasingSquirrels Tue 23-Sep-08 21:18:30

umm, but then I am say lots of things that aren't strictly truthful. I suspected when I posted that my way wouldn't be your way, but thought I would throw it in.
What is she like after you have left, how are her friends etc?

stealthsquiggle Tue 23-Sep-08 21:23:02

Bribery. Star for every day she goes in without crying, 5 stars (whole week) = treat/prize/whatever.

I know it might not pass any parenting 'tests' but it worked a treat for the mother of one of DS's friends last year - broke the cycle and she only had to do it for a few weeks.

cheekysealion Tue 23-Sep-08 21:26:07

there was something being thrown around in the media about extra help for summer babies- and i think dd definetely needs it!!!

I t strange to think she was 5 in august went back to school and in the first week 3 of her peers were 6...

and i have def noticed a difference from dd1 who is october baby...

would you consider home ed?

emkana Tue 23-Sep-08 21:28:20

not really I have a younger ds with SN so it would be difficult

chasingsquirrels I didn't mean to devalue your post, I appreciate all advice/ideas!

ChasingSquirrels Tue 23-Sep-08 21:34:43

i didn't think you were, i nearly didn't post it because i didn't think it would be your way.
do you think it is just because it is harder or are there other issues?

aintnomountainhighenough Tue 23-Sep-08 21:42:53

You may have done this already but in the first instance I would speak to her teacher and ask if she is ok in class and ask how she is coping with the work as you are concerned. If both these things are ok I would heap the praise on - your teacher says you're doing really well etc etc and then perhaps try and tie in what she is learning at school to a treat at the weekend. Another thing would be to have a few friends around after school for playdates - that would hopefully keep her interest in school up too.

If that doesn't work tell her you'll have to go to jail if she doesn't go!! grin

terramum Tue 23-Sep-08 21:53:34

I personally wouldn't lie about prison & the law etc, but say the truth that they didn't have to go if they wanted ask them to have a think about what they like/dislike about school and what they want to do, saying you would like to have a really good chat about it on x day. Meantime, have a word with the teachers, TAs etc who care for them at school and find out what they are like there and compare that to what they are like at home & go from there....it may be something rather minor that can be sorted relatively easily and after they've had a think & a chat with you they might have changed their minds...but I would never just say tough & reward them for putting up with it...children need to to know that if they are unhappy with something they have a choice...otherwise they will just put up with being miserable in their adult lives as well sad

LynetteScavo Tue 23-Sep-08 22:00:05

"Well you damn well have no choice, so in you go!"

wink

Actually, I don't think it is your DD you need to be talking to, but her teacher.

Rewards did work well with DS1 in reception; something like a hot wheels car or a trip to Mc D. if he could go in everday without fussing.

stealthsquiggle Tue 23-Sep-08 22:00:20

OK - disclaimer to my bribery suggestion - that would be after talking to the teacher and establishing (as the mother I referred to did) that there was no fundamental problem, child was happy once in class, and that it was just the 'transition' of leaving Mummy and going in which was causing problems.

That said, I would take slight issue with "children need to to know that if they are unhappy with something they have a choice" - they don't, not always.

onwardandupward Tue 23-Sep-08 22:14:33

I'm with terramum. (quelle surprise)

fircone Wed 24-Sep-08 09:48:30

Dd bawls every morning. She is August-born and is now in year 1. The teacher informs me the bawling stops the minute I leave.

I invoked the "it's the law" line when I was tired of reasoning, pleading, bribing etc etc.

All the way to school this morning dd chanted "I HATE THE LAW!"

cory Wed 24-Sep-08 09:48:50

Have dealt a lot with this in past years. What I tended to say was 'now put your arms in your sleeve, dear!'. That is, as little as possible- once I had dealt with everything I could deal with (e.g. investigated any problems at school). Some things you can sort out/exercise choice about, but there are other things that dc's (and adults) have no choice about.

In my dd's case, a lot of these things have been painful and upsetting. Getting up to go to school when you are frightened of physical pain is horrible, but believing that you have the choice to stay in bed is hardly helpful: you'd end up very ill.

Ds was frightened of speaking English when he started school (though perfectly competent). Again, not much choice- we do live in England. I'd have done him no favours by pretending there was a choice.

He was also frightened of his first male teacher who had a loud booming voice; if I had given in to that, he would have carried on believing that this teacher, and possibly male teachers in general, were scary. Instead, I forced him to go in and cope; by the end of the term he was absolutely in love with the man. He cried when he announced his retirement.

Dd was often frightened and cried at the start of reception- but had totally forgotten about it by the end of the day. If I had listened too closely, she would have missed hours of fun and all the friends she made.

And that, I think, is the cue. Your dd cries in the morning- does she carry on being unhappy all day? Ask the teacher! If she does not, then don't worry. It may not mean much. If she is genuinely unhappy throughout the day, refusing to join with the others and never seem to enjoy any activities, over a period of several weeks- then you will have to think again.

onwardandupward Wed 24-Sep-08 10:48:24

But it's not the law, people. And if you say it is, you are lying to your child. What you really mean is "there are alternatives, and they might well make you happier, but I am deciding not to offer them to you because it is more important to me not to alter our living arrangements by living smaller, cheaper, more humbly than to listen to your tears".

And as for children not crying all day - well, most people don't cry all day even if they are in a situation they hate. That doesn't mean they've decided they like the situation, it can be because they are accepting that they have no power over being there or not, so they are making the best of it. And don't ask the teacher if the child is unhappy all day - of course they aren't crying all day, of course they are joining in with some parts of what's going on, of course the teacher is almost certain to reassure you that this is a normal phase of settling in. The teacher isn't the one with the sore throat and runny nose from crying. Ask the child whether they are happy all day. They are supposed to be the one we are concerned about.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, and of course it doesn't always apply and sometimes it really is just that a child isn't liking those 5 minutes of transition, but if our children are hating school then lying to them about the law and discounting their tears seems pretty crap to me.

singersgirl Wed 24-Sep-08 10:59:37

Well, yes, it does sound harsh, because in my experience small children cry about a lot of things that they feel deeply at the time and then quickly forget about. They also say they hate things, and they probably do for a while, but again, many of the moods of a small child are transient.

My DSs have variously cried about tidying their rooms, turning off the TV, not being allowed an ice-cream, being told off, being told it's bedtime. The alternatives in all those cases would have made my child happier, briefly, if not in the long run. In all those cases I thought that what I was doing was better for them in the long run.

Actually I occasionally told my older son that it was the law that he received an appropriate education, which meant that he either went to school with his friends or he stayed home and was taught by me. He always chose school.

SmugColditz Wed 24-Sep-08 11:00:59

Oh go to hell, O&U

Not everyone HAS the option. I am incapable of providing education for my children. I left school at 16, have huge gaps in my own education, I am a single parent who struggles with depression, and need the break school provides for my own mental health. If I kept my children with me all day every day, their lives would be smaller and their needs might not be met, because of the negative effect such a situation would have on me.

Some children are better off in school - some children do not have endlessly patient and well educated mothers, some children are exhausting hyperactive little sods sometimes, who are waved off to school by a single parent on the point of bloody collapse.

5 minutes of tears at school time versus a lifetime of ignorance and a learned negative behavior cycle? I know what is best for MY children. They are better off at school.

mrsruffallo Wed 24-Sep-08 11:09:59

I think it is better to try and get the problem sorted out than suggect they stay at home with you if they want.
It is not about ignoring their tears but making an adult judgement about it- do they have friends? how are they when you pick them up? have you seen them intreract with their classmates?
Also, yr 1 does have less playtime than reception, it takes some getting used to

singersgirl Wed 24-Sep-08 11:11:18

Cross-posted, Colditz! There are so many reasons that people don't choose to home-educate and they are not all about choosing material comfort over our children's emotional well-being. Me thinks O&U is rather evangelical about home-schooling and had a bad school experience herself.

Grammaticus Wed 24-Sep-08 11:14:49

Colditz I hear what you're saying, but I don't see the need to attack OandU that way smile

peanutbutterkid Wed 24-Sep-08 11:17:56

But it is the law, unless you home-ed, and frankly I'd be locked up for murder if I didn't get some time away from DS1 most days (as well as time away from all of their sibling rivalry) so it's off to school they must all troop.

peanutbutterkid Wed 24-Sep-08 11:21:05

OandU implied that sensing an unhappy child to school was highly self-centred and insufficient parenting. Can't blame Colditz for getting annoyed, myself....

TwoMore Wed 24-Sep-08 11:22:02

" "And if you say it is, you are lying to your child. What you really mean is "there are alternatives, and they might well make you happier, but I am deciding not to offer them to you because it is more important to me not to alter our living arrangements by living smaller, cheaper, more humbly than to listen to your tears"."

Your a bit judgemental arnt you!

My daughter is not good at going into school in the mornings, but it would do her no good to spend all day with me, she needs the company of her peers. It would make no difference financially and is not a selfish choice. I am at home all day and could home educate her, but it wouldnt be good for her.

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