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Emotional DD going into year 7

(13 Posts)
AliMonkey Thu 11-Aug-16 22:54:03

Please tell me we're not alone. DD starts secondary in Sept and for the past couple of weeks has cried at some point every day - usually set off by something (stubbing toe, lost a game, dreading visit to dentist) but then just sobs and sobs and she has admitted that it's because she is worried about everything changing. She was a bit overwhelmed on the induction day by the size of the school and how small she felt compared to the older girls. She knows six other girls starting Y7, three of which will travel with her, at least to start with, and also knows a couple of Y8s (although not well).

We've practised the journey three times but she refuses to try to do it on her own. I have spent last couple of years trying to make her take steps to being more independent but she still won't do things like walk down to the local shop (10 mins walk) on her own. So think it's partly related to just how independent she is going to have to be.

Any tips, other than trying to get her to articulate her worries and then getting her to think through "what would I do if ..."?

tireddotcom72 Thu 11-Aug-16 22:59:20

My dd had a lot of problems going into year 7 and ended up having panic attacks she got that upset. Her school had a really good transition mentor who I spoke to and also emailed her form tutor. They both kept an eye on her and met with her to put strategies into place to help her cope. She has just finished year 7 now and still has wobbly days but it has got easier x it's horrible seeing them so upset though x

SavoyCabbage Thu 11-Aug-16 23:01:45

Maybe you should not do any more. At least until just before she starts. Perhaps the preparation and talking about it is making her feel like it's a really big deal.

We moved when my dd was going to high school so she didn't know a single person. And she's totally dippy/disorganised but she was completely fine and has grown up quite a lot this year.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Thu 11-Aug-16 23:05:07

Yes. My tip is to get her journey to school organised with a friend. Nothing like another chirpy 11 year old heading off. Can you contact one of the other parents and ask if any of their daughters would mind doing a dry run with yours? Then you will know they are heading off together and it's more of an adventure?

The school will bust a gut to make sure the year 7s are all ok.

I wouldn't focus on getting her to articulate all her worries - it will make her focus on all the things she's nervous about. Perhaps instead comment to her on how confident you are in how she will be, in a casual way. "Blimey, you got changed quickly this morning! Those PE teachers are going to be so impressed with you!" "I wonder what book you'll be reading in English. You're such a confident reader, I bet you really enjoy that subject."

They imagine themselves alone and lost and getting into trouble for being late. They forget that they are in a form, will be walking around together and will be shown by older kids (who can't wait to be Mrs Helpful and arrive late with a great Samaritan excuse) and that teachers are very sympathetic about new students getting lost.

Ashers40 Thu 11-Aug-16 23:22:56

You are not alone. DD is mourning the loss of her primary school days. A school she loved and thrived at. She's also distraught at "losing" all her friends (she's the only one going to her secondary school) and thinks she won't make any new friends. I am thinking/hoping that this fairly long lead up to the big change and the anticipation of it is the worst bit, and that once she actually gets there she will be ok. This is quite a tough time for all of us I think. For the children who fear life will never be the same, or as simple again, and for us the parents who know that their child is about to change and grow up. If we are all a little scared it's not surprising. All you can do is reassure, keep things low key, be supportive but exude confidence in their ability to meet the challenges ahead. Good luck

AliMonkey Thu 11-Aug-16 23:43:46

Thanks all. The idea to get her to articulate her worries and find solutions was suggested on another thread but I too worry it might bring it all up to much. Problem with not doing anything until just before she starts is (a) we only get back from holiday two days before and (b) we actually still need to buy things like bag and trainers so can't leave it!

Think I will contact a couple of other parents to see if two of them can dry run the journey together. Wanted her to be confident at doing it if others ill or running late but maybe too big a step for now.

Am pretty confident that within a few weeks of starting she will be fine but we have to get past the first few days first and she's not yet feeling the confidence!

LockedOutOfMN Sat 13-Aug-16 13:29:19

Sorry if this comment comes across as patronising, maybe your daughter's emotional responses are also linked to hormones? Might she be about to get her first period or going through another part of puberty? It might not be linked entirely to starting Year 7.

Agree with sound advice from the other posters.

AliMonkey Sat 13-Aug-16 16:01:00

Don't worry, LockedOut, not patronising - the same thought had occurred to me as she's at "that age" although no other signs. May be a contributing factor though, ie if not hormonal she might be worried about it but not as emotional about it.

Interestingly, in last couple of days we've not had any tears, despite us having to go shopping for the last few things and unpacking/labelling all her new uniform etc. This morning she said to me "it's all getting a bit real now" but wasn't close to tears like she had been.

amidawish Sun 14-Aug-16 13:12:58

my dd refused to do a dry run of the journey too last summer (she has just finished yr7)

so i thought i would travel with her the first few days

but one of the other local mums (from a different primary but going to the same secondary) organised it so all the local kids met on the station platform on the first day. they all went together and came home together for a few days. dd now doesn't travel with anyone, she leaves home/school, headphones in and off she goes. they get very independent very very quickly.

as for getting lost, as a pp said, yes they do get lost but they are rarely alone - they are in a herd moving from class to class in a big group, all lost together! they do not get into trouble. the teachers know how daunting it all is.

do you have a new parents contact list? could you arrange for a group of local kids to meet up?

AliMonkey Sun 14-Aug-16 20:51:29

Already arranged that she will meet up with three others from her primary school who all live within 5 mins walk of us - meeting point arranged to walk together to station and travel together so she has it easy really compared to some who know no one else - she knows those three and three other girls.

I absolutely know she will be fine - she just needs to believe it!

amidawish Mon 15-Aug-16 09:53:49

ah well i would stop mentioning it, only discuss it if she brings it up. anything else you need to get for school can be started when term starts.

if you do have a contacts list? do they come from a lot of different primaries or is it mostly a few feeders? might be an opportunity for your dd to think about some other lone kids and think about including them rather than worry about herself (when if she has 3 to travel with and knows 3 others she is fortunate). ?

AliMonkey Mon 15-Aug-16 10:25:27

Thanks. She is indeed lucky - the children come from over 100 different primary schools, so there will be many who know absolutely no one. If she brings it up again, good idea, I'll talk about those who know no one and encourage her to keep an eye out for them and make friends.

Geraniumred Fri 19-Aug-16 19:59:58

It's hard with such long summer holidays to worry over starting. I hope she'll be fine once she gets going. My dd had a bad induction day with some girls being unpleasant to her. We've got her a couple of how to deal with bullies type books and are just hoping for the best. She's not looking forward to it at all.

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