school..kind of a vent... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-08-2003, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Haven't posted for a while but here goes...
My dd started school last month after much consideration from myself and dh, we did consider home schooling, but I'm a student and I have an 8 month my dd is a spirited socialite to say the least!

It's a ps, I'm in the UK and live in an area where all schools are over subscribed so basically you get a place at the nearest school to you. I probably have more problems with it than my dd - I'm just looking for some advice or at least reassurance!

DD doesn't want to go to school in the mornings, but when she comes out she tells me how much she loves school (she is always happy, singing/skipping, etc) - then when we get home she kind of has a complete melt down over everything, in some ways it's like we've regressed back to the toddler tantrum stage.
Am I the only one that this happens to?...

This probably sounds terrible but some of the children are also just awful - if my dd doesn't have the right shoes/bag/lunch/etc then she gets picked on (she's only 4) - plus there is all this 'girls don't play with boys' stuff going on - argh!!!! And what is it with sweets after school?...I think my dd is only one of a handful that doesn't get them which again causes lots of whining...

Other rants, too much reading and writing, too many rules, too bigger classes, not enough when I try to go into school in the morning to help dd with her coat, etc the classroom assistant almost pushes me outside and shuts the door!...

It feels so good to get this out

Thanks for listening

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#2 of 8 Old 02-09-2003, 01:00 PM
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I think it is common for children not to want to go to school in the a.m., but to feel good about it at the end. I was curious, though, is this a full day program or half day, a few hours or what? By your description it does seem like it is a bit overstimulating, and there is a lot of peer stuff to be navigated (which sounds pretty uncommon for that age, actually). The afternoon falling apart is pretty common (at least at my house!) but is a sign I think that your child is either being over taxed, too much expected at school, or not getting enough sleep (my son also acts like this still in 2nd grade when he's not eaten well for awhile). Do you keep things pretty low key in the afternoons--staying home, cuddling, etc.? I know sometimes I try to do too much in the afternoons too, and my 4 and 7 yr olds just really need that time to hang out and play.


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#3 of 8 Old 02-09-2003, 01:58 PM
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Lauren had lots of good comments. Beginning school is often very difficult and if it is taking up very much of her time, it is likely the only thing she can handle.

The falling apart after school problem is very common. One thing that really helps at our house is that we have a very set routine that gets us from school time to dinner time. That means that I greet the children with a small snack at school (I like a piece of cheese or other high protein food) and we walk home. Then we have a bigger snack (also healthy). If you don't want to give sweets, you don't have to, but it is nice to present the snack as a "treat" so presenting a tiny perfect sandwich is much nicer than handing a kid a piece of bread and a chunk of cheese. After snack, we do a craft or read or play quietly. Sometimes we go skating, but that is difficult with younger ones. I try to have dinner planned ahead of time so that I don't have much work to do when the children are feeling needy. I am not a big fan of TV, but if I had to use it to get the meal prepared without everything falling apart, I would do that.

I am amazed at the materialistic attitudes of the children in your daughter's class. The four year olds around here are excited about licensed products, but they are not nasty about other children not having them. I would talk to the teacher to see if it is a very common attitude or if it is just one child making it seem like it is important to everyone.

One thing that I have found with kindergarten teachers is that they are very keen to promote independence. It means that they are sometimes a bit hard on parents who want to help their children with their winter coats, backpacks and so on. If you would like to stay, I think it is reasonable to talk to the teacher about wanting to stay but not do the things your daughter can do for herself. That way you can still kiss her goodbye and see that she is settled, but you give her the chance to learn some of the important lessons in self-care that can be learned in kindergarten.
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#4 of 8 Old 02-09-2003, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your replies..over here children start school full time at about 4 and a half (some are a bit younger, some a bit older)..she's at school from 8.55am till 3.10 pm so it is a long day.
Lunch time is when all the 'peer pressure' stuff seems to happen. She's in a playground with children that range from 4 up to 7, so it could be the older ones that are perhaps giving her these ideas about what bag she should have or what food she should eat, etc...

Another problem that I have is 'homework' - my dd is given a reading book each week that we are suppose to sit down and read together. My dd hates doing this and refuses to even look at the book, in fact she's going off books altogether which is making me worried as she used to love them...

Anyway, thank you for giving me a lot to think about. I will try out some of your ideas and see how we go.

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#5 of 8 Old 02-12-2003, 05:03 PM
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If you are going to try a more structured routine after school, I highly recommend involving your daughter in planning the routine. One thing my dad did with me, which I loved and which may have prevented some problems, was making a Morning List and an Evening List of things I would do. First we brainstormed and he wrote down all the ideas, then we crossed off the silly ones, then we decided what order to put them in, and then he copied the lists neatly onto large paper, with me telling him which color to use for each item. The idea was not to set a rigid schedule (no times on it) nor to list obligations that had to be fulfilled before I could play, but to list everything I was going to do, including play. I had a favorable attitude to this list that reminded me to play as well as to unpack my lunchbox! Also, I felt that I had designed the list and was responsible for following it, rather than feeling that the routine was imposed on me.

Sounds like one item in your routine should be a melt-down time! You could call it something more positive, but be sure to allow for it in your planning.

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#6 of 8 Old 02-13-2003, 04:23 AM
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could you possibly keep her home another year?

Maybe she just isn't ready to be gone all day yet.


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#7 of 8 Old 02-13-2003, 06:51 PM
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Maisie - T

Just wanted to say I LOVE your name! I just named my baby girl Maisie.

Everyone thought I was wacky, but I think it's lovely.
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#8 of 8 Old 02-16-2003, 10:25 PM
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I think at 4 kids should play a lot. We held my son one extra year in school beuase he was born in Sept, and he started school at 6. It was a very good desision for us and we are happy that we followed the advice of our pre school director. BTW, he reads on the 5 grade level and does multiplications and puts radios together (He is 7). So holding him back in pre shcool, did not hold him back academically, but helped reconsile his IQ and his Emotional IG
Falling apart thing is common. Feel honored. It means you child feels that home is a safe place to fall apart.
Find a middle ground on sweets. I hate cnadies with aritfitic color in them (Red Dye # 4 etc) but chocholate had many health benefits. Small, high qulity, maybe even organic, chocholate bar will make you dayghter feel like she is not so apart form eveyone and she will no longer feel that sweeets are forbidden fruit
Good luck1
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