Week three and it's all gone to pot - is this normal?(21 Posts)
DD has just started Y7 and it was going very well - last week she was great, getting all homework done and practising her flute besides. She got lots of praise as she's always been a bit disorganised and it was great to see her putting in some effort and getting results as a consequence.
So far this week she has lost half her games kit (Monday), mislaid her planner (Tuesday), written down her Spanish homework as French and consequently not done it in time for the next Spanish lesson (also Tuesday), forgotten her packed lunch (Thursday) and lost her pass (today). She has also been borderline late leaving the house four days out of five, and the only time her flute has been out of its case all week was at orchestra yesterday.
Is this usual? Am I expecting too much? Do I need to calm down and stop being such a harridan? (We've fallen out most mornings this week.)
Yes it's normal. I think the stresses of juggling it all when the first start are underestimated and keeping on at the level of organisation they need when the newness wears off and the tiredness cuts in is hard.
Calm down and try to turn round what may be perceived as a "nag" to a hug and a "how can I help you " at the moment. Yes she "should" be doing it herself but it's early days and big changes,
Oh and the practice thing.... tell me about it LOL. Ds french horn mostly lives at school.... But with the BTDTGT hat of having an 18yr old who has left school with great music grades etc on not a whole load of practice I'm a bit less of a nag on this,.
Very often Y7 are eased into the first two weeks. They tend to get less homework to start with and more considertion is taken for the fact that it's a big transition for them. After that, things do tend to get more challenging. Not only do they have to cope with a new environment, new friends, many more teachers (each with their own ways and idiosyncrasies), new routines and subjects but they are expected to be responsible for their own things. for many, it can be quite overwhelming.
Imagine you have just been transferred from a small office to a large building that houses 1,000 staff. You have to find your way around quickly, get to know a whole load of new faces, routines, rules. People demand a variety of different tasks from you, with different deadlines and expectations. You have to work with people you don't know, learn things you haven't come across before and make sure you have the right stuff at the right time in the right place.
Oh, and you're 11
Yes it's normal. I agree with knottylocks it's hard for an 11 year old. At this age I helped my DD's with some of the organising. EG photocopied their timetable and pinned one copy to the notice board in the kitchen. I also got them to pack their bags the night before. DD3 is Dyspraxic so she wasn't very good at organisation.
Thanks, guys. I've been helping a lot - perhaps more than I should given she's supposed to be learning how to be responsible, but I think we could do more in terms of making sure everything is in its right place the night before. Also perhaps I should be stricter on the 'downtime' after school - the TV has gone on a lot this week and has not gone off as soon as it should have.
Will try to be more 'huggy' and less 'naggy'. The midweek mornings are a mare as I have to get to work too.
I know it's a huge culture shock, though at least on the size front she has gone from one of the largest primary schools in London to one of the smallest secondary schools in the borough.
Glad to know I'm not alone.
Knotty, has the postman been yet?
Getting stuff ready the night before is the way to go. If you get Dd to check her planner the day before then prepare her stuff for the next day, including uniform, it should help. Having a copy of the timetable at home is useful for any odd days when she forgets her planner.
In some schools, homework is set on certain days. It might be helpful to find out if this is the case then at least you and she will know what homework she should have.
Totally understand the chaos on the mornings you work - it's like that here too at the moment. I do as much prep as possible the night before but come the morning, it really depends what frame of mind my 4 year old is in
Yeh things have slipped a bit here too. Dd2 has today forgotten her pe kit and can't find her french book.
I realised she'd forgotten her kit just after she'd gone, so i dropped that into reception for her, but i won't be making a habit of that.
Dd1, who is in yr 9 has lost her timetable, but apart from that she is pretty on the ball atm.
My DD is VERY unhappy, after a good start the first few days. She is bending over backwards not to put a foot wrong and so far is one of the only ones to avoid getting negative mark of any kind, and several commendations, for not forgetting ANYTHING or having any defect in the fussy uniform.
To achieve this INCREDIBLY worthy aim, she has refused to join any of the many clubs or activities of any kind, except homework club, in case she is late or puts her tie on wrong for the next class and gets a "C" (bad mark adding up easily to detention).
Her so-called friends, the reason we have chosen this school, have abandoned her and she thinks the new kids she has met are unfriendly and already in cliques. She is refusing to bring in her instrument to anything despite having had a very successful audition when still happy on Day 2 and a delighted welcome from the music dept, and now having paid £5 for the disco tonight, says she doesn't want to go.
She says many of the teachers are horrible and the work is too easy and boring, and she hasn't learned anything at all she didn't already know, except that her feet are too long and white. (It's hard not to laugh...) The RE teacher bullied her, according to her, into agreeing that Atheism was wrong, which she finally pretended to agree with as she was afraid of making the whole form late for the next class-another bloody C offense.
I think the school has swapped her for another child.
I'm tempted to say I will take her out for a pizza for her first C.
Week 3 and we're down a jumper, rugby shorts, 2 pen cases, a calculator and as of yesterday a phone. Oh and he remembered just after midnight on Wednesday that he had 3 pages of algebra to do. Yes -week 3 def worst so far!
So far this week we have had to return from nearly at bus stop for her BLAZER one day (how did I not notice?) and all her homework the next! The first day I ran back for her but the next day I made her run back!! She may learn that way.. I then had to hold the bus up so she could jump on - not easy on a busy London red bus!
I have found the mornings stressful trying to get DD out of the door as she fusses for the last 10 minutes getting her hair perfect!!!! Is so annoying and we end up rowing each day as we try to get the bus on time. However realised that this couldnt go on and she needed help each day so we now go through a list of things to remember before we walk out the door.. oh and the hair is done as soon as she gets up... phew!! No arguments since! It is so hard though and they are so little - even if they do feel more grown up.
Habanera - I am so sorry to hear how tough things are for your DD - it is such a stress to aim for perfection and the pizza idea is brilliant.
I am still toying with the pizza idea-should I really counteract the school's policy? -but she would probably rat me out to the teacher, even the Head knowing her-and then I would be the Evil Subversive Parent. the other idea is to write them a letter saying she feels she is being bullied-by the school.
Really I've got so fed up today that I just said "fine" when she said she wouldn't go to the disco, and "ok, it's your decision" when she came up with the list of reasons, which I didn't ask for. Sometimes I think she is doing the opposite of what she would normally do, to get extra notice by me, since she is getting zero notice from anyone at school-like this is a new way to get more attention, to be miserable and negative-I was very concerned-but she can be manipulative with the family for sure. But I have always asked her about what she did each day, lots of questions if she seemed interested to tell me, or about another topic if she preferred to finish with school for the day. It's not like she got ignored before.
Habanera I'm afraid that is just how things are at secondary school.
Within two weeks my own DDs (now in year 9)had been turned off most of the subjects they loved at primary school.
Having said that, they soon found other things they enjoyed twice as much.
Oh, yes, and the "bonding weekend" taught them that the others were cliquey and bossy they didn't make any new friends at all. Just thought I'd cheer you up
crossword you did cheer me up! my DS has had some ups and downs this week and is concerned about friendships, it doesn't help his situation but I am certainly less anxious reading that its quite normal.
So exactly how long will it be until he has a new best friend?
<<wrings hands while waiting for good news>>
If it's any consolation my triplets spent the whole of year 7 completely disorganised. They coped well in lessons but there was lots of stress around looking for lost books, missing uniform being late for school and general chaos all round. My dd's would even phone or text me at work to ask me if i would return home fetch their homework and sneak it into school. We muddled through, however this year if lost books and late homework equal detention then so be it.
Oh we're going to pot here too.
DD3 (Year 7) has so far left her dinner card (stupid swiping cashless thing) at home twice, lost her coat somewhere, and forgotten her P.E. kit once. Luckily, DD1 and 2 (Year 11 and Year 9) have picked up the pieces and bought her lunch/lent her their P.E. kits.
We've also had mega screaming tears because her hair is STUPID and won't sit right in the morning, and the skirt rolling up has begun already. Sigh.
And we're on maybe our 8th pair of ripped tights. She wore the woolly style ones at primary, or knee socks. Now at secondary it's the thinner nylon type ones, but she rips a pair every other sodding day.
Oh, and she says she now HATES English, and it's boring, after loving it throughout primary. Ironically, for my
mathematically challenged DD3, maths is 'cool.' Long may that continue.
Roll on half term. Oh and if I have to wrestle with another book and roll of sticky back plastic whilst DD3 huffs and sighs that there are bubbles, someone is going to get hurt.
Getting things organised the night before takes a lot of the stress out of the morning, as does having a set sequence to do things in the morning, as most of us are on autopilot.
Get a copy of her timetable, have a special shelf/drawer/place for schoolbooks and equipment so that you don't waste hours looking for stuff. A pinboard is useful for organisation.
Plus remember she's suffering from overload across the board and is very tired.
Pick your fights, it is a very long haul ahead.
Keep saying things like TEETH, HAIR, SHOES, BUS TICKET in the morning.
Also just before she goes through the door say HAVE YOU GOT YOUR BREAK?
Keep a copy of the timetable up on the wall IN BIG LETTERS SO YOU CAN READ IT EASILY FROM THREE FEET AWAY
Pack bag the night before.
Keep on top of it, don't stop nagging and checking.
Tell her not to ring up for you to take in stuff she's forgotten.
If you are at home, take the phone off the hook and turn off your mobile so she can't get you running round after her.
We've been organising everything the night before. I've helped for the first three week now its down to DS ,so we'll see. We have timetable and homework timetable pinned on wall in bedroom and a chalkboard where he can note what homework he got given and when its due. Also a checklist for morning; phone, lunchcard, bus pass, pencil case, etc., its all working so far and only thing he has managed to loose is his watch! Maybe wk4 will be our meltdown week.... watch this space.......
I think now the novelty's wearing off and the realisation that this is what it's going to be like for the next 7 years has kicked in, there's bound to be a hiccup or two!
Dd is very tired so I try and manage her organisation iyswim, rather than do it for her. I'll remind her to check her planner, ask her to pack her bag, check her timetable to see if she has PE so I can make sure her kit's ready etc.
We've become a lot stricter on ensuring the rules are being followed - tv after homework, homework done on the day it's given, uniform off and hung up as soon as she gets in etc.
Organisation is the key, as well having a place to put everything. There are bound to be off days, but it helps.
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