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Is walking away really the best thing to do?

(10 Posts)
squirkle Wed 17-Jul-13 09:31:26

Because to me it feels totally wrong when DD is crying and calling for me. The teachers hold on to her and tell me to just walk away and let them deal with her and that she will calm down when I'm gone. But every single time, it just causes her to get more and more distressed and worked up, to the point where she starts hitting out and has to be removed from class. Only once she has spent some time in the internal exclusion room does she begin to calm down, but still she will be emotional for the rest of the day and the smallest thing will set her off again.

Is walking away from your upset child really the best thing a parent should do?

claw2 Wed 17-Jul-13 10:10:12

How old? why is she crying? Have you tried prepping her for what will happen? Is she getting the appropriate help in school?

BlackeyedSusan Wed 17-Jul-13 10:10:50

generally yes. normally a child calms down within about 5 minutes. however, just because it is often the best thing, does not mean it is the best thing for everychild.

PolterGoose Wed 17-Jul-13 10:54:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squirkle Wed 17-Jul-13 11:07:47

DD is 7, end of Yr2. She is crying because she 'wants me to stay' and 'she is scared' in her words. When I asked what she was scared of, her reply was 'X is going to get me into trouble/tell on me' Over the last few months the reason often includes X, another child in her class, but it is not always the case. Nearly always she wants me to stay for whatever reason.

re: prepping her, I'm really not sure what else I can do. This doesn't happen everyday and DD is normally happy about going into school up until the point of actually walking through the door. We have had the same goodbye routine since nursery (same number of kisses/hugs in the right order) but it sometimes works and she goes in fine, other times it doesn't. It always works in out of school situations.

I am guessing that she is not getting the appropriate help in school as this problem is still on going, but again I really don't know what else I can suggest. DD will be getting a new 1:1 in September (previous TA left at easter) or so I have been told anyway as there is nothing on her statement that specifically states she has to have one. The OT has recommended some equipment also but that was only last week so nothing (bar the pencil grips which I provided) is in place yet. they were all for her sensory issues/ motor skills though, so probably not going to make any difference to this problem anyway.

DD is never clam in 5 minutes, normally it takes until first break for her to be calm enough to return to class. As I said earlier though, often that is not the end of it for the day. My instincts tell me that maybe I should stay or something else should happen, so that DD is prevented from getting so worked up in the first place. That way she would actually be calmer quicker and able to return to class sooner. It is how I would deal with her being upset about something at home anyway, but maybe that is wrong too and the cause of her problems at school.

Sorry, I have written an essay. I don't have anyone in real life to discuss this all with and I needed to get it all out so I can try to think what to do next.

PolterGoose Wed 17-Jul-13 11:19:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squirkle Wed 17-Jul-13 12:11:05

Yes that might work and it certainly worth suggesting/ trying out. hopefully it could be her 1:1 so that it is the same trusted person every day. Today the teacher tried the 'come on lets go and do this' tactic, but as usual once she just blanked the teacher and kept repeating that she wanted me to stay because she was scared. Once she has it set in her head like that, there isn't usually any good in trying to talk her out of it.

DD is usually ok up to the class room door and sometimes even I can say goodbye at the playground (classroom doors open directly onto the playground) and will go in just fine. Other times it can start as early as when she wakes up and as I said before, once DD has decided it there is really no changing her mind and forcing her into doing something else always causes this problem.

Now I have had time to think about it more, I can think of 2 things that might have triggered it today. First as we walked over to the door, DD stopped and turned round because X's mum was stood in the doorway. She asked me to tell her when she was gone, before she would carry on walking. DD is quite frightened of this woman because X has told her in the past that her 'mum is going to take you away to the police, and they will lock you up forever' No amount of rationalising seems to be able to convince DD that this simply could never happen in real life.

The second thing was that the usual class teacher was not in the class room this morning. The teacher that was there was actually a HLTA (who is usually in DD's class as well along with another TA) so maybe the fact that it was different or that there was only one adult instead of the usual 3 made some kind of difference to her.

Or it could be something else completely. I guess the only solution is to keep banging my head against a brick wall on trying different things and hopefully, through trial and error we will find something that works.

claw2 Wed 17-Jul-13 12:46:09

Good/bad days could depend on what is going on in school that day? Maybe activities she likes/dislikes or find difficulty?

Maybe a diary kept by both you and school to try and identify triggers ie what happened before, the behaviour, what happened immediately after, where, who was there, the environment was it noisy, crowded, unstructured etc, etc.

A timetable of the school day at home and also at school if she doesn't have one? so you are going to school, you will do x,y and z. After Z I will collect you. So there is a beginning and an end to something she is obviously finding stressful. This could also be useful to help identify triggers ie good/bad days and what is going on.

'X is going to get me into trouble/tell on me' ds is very much like this, he is petrified of making mistakes. He also struggles with social skills and understanding, so in his eyes he has done nothing wrong or misinterprets social situations. Maybe some targeted work on social skills? Maybe some work in school/home about how its ok to make mistakes? Also, for ds other children do take advantage of his lack of communication skills and being able to express or explain events clearly and sometimes blame him, knowing he cannot explain.

zzzzz Wed 17-Jul-13 12:56:00

For me this would not be how I wanted (or would accept) this being handled. (Nb I have done it and won't be doing it again rather than having a stance from the beginning, though like you it never felt "right")

What is the child learning from this performance? IMO she is learning that if she articulates she doesn't want to go, she is forced. She hasn't progressed to obedience, she cries longer and I would assume feels disempowered, unheard, controlled, and sad. I would want to turn that round for her and empower her and give her socially acceptable lasting and useful tools to deal with her concerns.

You and staff need to plan what she should be saying/doing that would be sensible and helpful to ALL of you.

"I am worried that X is going to get me in trouble" a response could be, "I can understand that would be worrying, lets talk to the teacher about it." Pre plan with teacher that she will respond to you explaining with "dd that would be worrying. I won't let that happen. If X tries to get you in trouble I will listen to her and try to sort it out, but you wil be fine."

"I am scared. you could respond with "are you dd, poor you, I will help you feel better. I will walk you to your peg today and that will make it easier. People often feel scared and need a little help, don't worry the feeling will pass." Organise with school that you can do this on days she feels nervous.

As background try to have a conversation about how people often feel worried and scared and have to get on with things. In fact, we have a special name for people who are good at this, it is called being brave. Use lots of examples of bravery she has witness or shown.

Child whisperer is vastly superior to child breaker in my opinion, and I think probably produces a well grounded child.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 17-Jul-13 13:15:55

It didnt work for me,I hated it and eventually it led to my child becoming depressed.

I walked away from the school that wouldnt accept that my child needed a different method of settling and entering school.

In the school we moved her to she walks in by herself after everyone else when the cloakroom is empty and is much calmer and happier.

I am sorry I havent read the other posts so dont know what advice you have already been given but I would recommend a meeting with the HT and SENCO ASAP.

Good luck smile

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