help with five year old dd - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-10-2010, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
catinthehat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I need help with my five year old dd. She is a dear sweet child, very bright, creative, and off in her own world much of the time. She is really hating school. She has been hiding almost every morning before school, so i end up getting angry at her almost every morning, which is so awful to start the day that way. From what I can gather, she doesn't like gym, computers, and all the writing. She gets bored and frustrated with the worksheets. Her penmanship was okay at the beginning of the year when the writing stuff was new and exciting, but now it is awful, because she just doesn't like it or care. I spoke with her teacher, and she said, "She just wants to do her own thing all the time". With my dd her own thing is making art usually. She is the same way at home. Very very into doing only what she sees as important or meaningful. But you can't really get through life like that, I mean you have to do stuff you don't want to do sometimes. It is same with getting dressed, and outdoor gear on. She is ALWAYS the very last child out of her classroom at the end of the day because she takes so long to get dressed. She hates it! She will be the last child out, and she will still have her coat unzipped, her pants falling down, her hat falling off her head, etc. I mean I have to just laugh to myself when I see her, but she is kind of extreme in this way.
I have tried different things with her and getting upset with her doesn't seem to help. She does better with positive, but it feels like everything has to be her way all the time, or she gets really pissed at me and will do stuff like hide, make mean faces at me, throw things at me, just try to antagonize me in different ways. And she is good at antagonizing me, really good at it.
So she is angry at me a lot because I have expectations of her, and she adores her dad. I thought little girls were supposed to like their moms at this age? Her dad doesn't do the same amount of disciplining that I do, or really expect much from her, so I guess that could be part of it.
This is rambling, so I will end. I guess my major concern is the lack of cooperation she shows me, her constant anger towards me, and her lack of trying at school with the things she doesn't like. I just find myself angry at her way too much. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
catinthehat is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-10-2010, 02:32 PM
 
honeybunmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,750
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Is it possible to change her school? Maybe the method or philosophy of education she is currently engaged in just does not support her style of learning?

I am not in any way bashing a particular educational philosphy with what I am about to write, just sharing by way of example: This past weekend I attended an open house for the new waldorf primary school located very near dd's waldorf kindy. I spoke with a parent who had his older child in a montessori program, previously. Since switching to the waldorf school, his son no longer has the "behavioral issues" he had while attending the montessori school. His son is 6. One of the things he was doing was constantly saying he did not want to go to school and feigning illness to get out of attending school. Now, he is excited to go to school every day and goes willingly.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
honeybunmom is offline  
Old 02-10-2010, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
catinthehat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You are totally right honeybummom. She is in a public school, so they are "teaching for the test". She thrives doing outdoor things, she loves nature, creative pursuits, fairies, etc. She would be perfect in a waldorf school, but their are none around.
I have thought about homeschooling her, and I think maybe when she is older I could, but we just butt heads too much at this point. She would not do any school work for me that she did not want to do. I know I would be upset with her even more if I homeschooled her.
The other option is a catholic school. I need to visit the school and see what it is like, but I have a feeling they have even more strict expectations and rules for students.
catinthehat is offline  
Old 02-10-2010, 05:04 PM
 
honeybunmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,750
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
You know, there are no academics in waldorf until year 1 - kindy extends through age 6 - perhaps for the very reason your daughter is experiencing what she is. So, if she were being homeschooled in a waldorf fashion, she wouldn't be doing academics. My daughter and I butt heads, too, so, I totally understand. What we would do if we could homeschool is just more of what we do now - hand work, art work, movement, experiencing nature and play - all in a predictable order/rhythm. My daughter is 4 going on 14.

She writes when she wants to (although she has learned to spell her name) . . . and it's all I can do not to correct her when she "identifies" letters. If she asks what a letter is, I tell her. If she asserts what it is and she's wrong, I don't correct because she is headed somewhere with it and it's good to see where her imagination is taking her. She's usually telling me what the letters spell and it's part of some larger play she is engaged in.

With getting dressed, we (by that I mean she at my request) picks her clothing out each evening before we do our nightime routine. And, we have gone through the "I don't want to wear that" stage, so, her closet is 98% stuff she has agreed to. I don't make any more purchases without her input because I don't want the struggle. We do still struggle with wearing what will keep her warm, but otherwise, we're pretty good (almost every day she asks to wear a dress in the Chicago winter). We have struggles around who will help her get dressed though (even though she can do much of it herself) including putting on her coat and boots. "I want Mommy to do it!!!!" While I'm nursing the 10 mos old and trying to get myself ready for work. Sorry, not my post!

Maybe if you can take the conflict out of the things you all have to do together at home, it will add some serenity and happy expectation to her day that she otherwise misses while in school.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
honeybunmom is offline  
Old 02-10-2010, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
catinthehat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"Maybe if you can take the conflict out of the things you all have to do together at home, it will add some serenity and happy expectation to her day that she otherwise misses while in school."

So you think I should just not have any expectations for her after school? I try not to, I try to be understanding, but she really pushes my buttons. Today, I was waiting outside of school to pick her up like always, and she comes out, sees me and throws down her backpack at my feet not acknowledging me AT ALL. Then she walks away as I say, "Hi! Can I have a hug? etc." This happens everyday, that she totally ignores me.
Then I follow behind her and say, lets go get in the car so we can go home and start supper. She runs away or ignores me, so I get frustrated and end up angrily saying, "Okay meet me in the car in one minute!" Keep in mind it is negative ten degrees outside. In the warmer weather I always let her stay and play on the playground longer.
So she eventually comes to the car, but usually it takes between 5-10 minutes after I tell her. I just don't understand her defiance to everything I do or say. She won't even acknowledge me after being at school all day.
Maybe I am being immature, she probably is just tired etc. from her day, but it hurts my feelings. Every other kid comes out of school and happily hugs their parent or takes their hand or at least says hi.

I am going to start making simpler things for dinner, so we can do reading or games before dinner. This quiet time is nice to spend with her. thanks for your reply honeybunmom
catinthehat is offline  
Old 02-10-2010, 08:26 PM
 
honeybunmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,750
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by catinthehat View Post
"Maybe if you can take the conflict out of the things you all have to do together at home, it will add some serenity and happy expectation to her day that she otherwise misses while in school."

So you think I should just not have any expectations for her after school? I try not to, I try to be understanding, but she really pushes my buttons. Today, I was waiting outside of school to pick her up like always, and she comes out, sees me and throws down her backpack at my feet not acknowledging me AT ALL. Then she walks away as I say, "Hi! Can I have a hug? etc." This happens everyday, that she totally ignores me.
Then I follow behind her and say, lets go get in the car so we can go home and start supper. She runs away or ignores me, so I get frustrated and end up angrily saying, "Okay meet me in the car in one minute!" Keep in mind it is negative ten degrees outside. In the warmer weather I always let her stay and play on the playground longer.
So she eventually comes to the car, but usually it takes between 5-10 minutes after I tell her. I just don't understand her defiance to everything I do or say. She won't even acknowledge me after being at school all day.
Maybe I am being immature, she probably is just tired etc. from her day, but it hurts my feelings. Every other kid comes out of school and happily hugs their parent or takes their hand or at least says hi.

I am going to start making simpler things for dinner, so we can do reading or games before dinner. This quiet time is nice to spend with her. thanks for your reply honeybunmom

Oh, goodness, no! Yikes! The problems of email/posts. I certainly did not mean to imply that you should not have expectations of her outside of school. Removing conflict in my mind does not mean mama becomes a doormat! Believe me, I can relate to having a mouthy, defiant child in the home. I've got one. And I take it personally; and I go off. And I'm not happy about how I handle it sometimes. What I get on the way home (my dh picks me up with the kids) when he attempts to share her day with me is, "NOOOOOOO!!!! Don't tell Mommy!!!!" So, yeah, glad to see you, too, honey. The thing that really pushes my buttons is when she asks something, I say, "yes" and I get, "Say something else". WTF? What better answer is there than "Yes"?

What I meant to convey is that if there are areas where you feel that allowing your daughter to express her preference for something exist, let her have those areas. Everything can't be a fight. For example, I've let go of the clothing issue with mine. Meaning, if she wants to wear clothes that don't match (plaids and florals), no problem. If she's dressed appropriately for the weather, that's all that really matters at the end of the day.

I've also tried to be more consistent with following through when I express my expectations. Dh and I have totally fallen off of that. We say we don't accept certain behavior, but then just keep saying it. So, this week, we're back on giving warnings and then taking her to her room if the behavior persists. We hadn't been following through on that.

With her ignoring you, I'd probably take issue with her dropping the backpack at my feet and expecting me to pick it up and not focus on being ignored. So, I would pick something out of that scenario to respond to. I would not expect you to pick it up, smile and wait in subzero weather cheerily as she continues to play.

Again, sorry for how things came across before; I truly do think that I can empathize and not just sympathize with you.

ETA: What I was trying also to respond to before was your concern about butting heads at home if you were to homeschool. If you indeed thought your daughter would do well in a waldorf program, homeschooling her would not involve the type of curriculum to which she is currently exposed. I did not mean to convey that you would then have no expectations of her - just that the expectations would not be with respect to the academic performance she is currently resisting.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
honeybunmom is offline  
Old 02-10-2010, 11:09 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
How much of this is a struggle with fine motor skills? Our ds has a fine motor delay and couldn't zip until he was in 2nd grade, still can't tie his shoes in 3rd grade, and his handwriting has been a real struggle.

So, for ds, he'd balk at doing these things because they were hard and he couldn't get them done in the time other kids could.

I'm just wondering if asking for an eval of her fine motor skills would be worth it. I'd rule out a developmental cause before I assumed it was behavioral.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
Old 02-10-2010, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
catinthehat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Lynns6 that is a good idea. I guess I hadn't thought too much about that because she loves doing art(lots of scissor stuff, tying little knots, drawing, etc.) But I guess she could have a fine motor delay that is handwriting specific.
Should a five year old be able to take off a long sleeve shirt or sweater over their head by themselves? She can't do this, zippers are a huge struggle, and can't tie shoes. I will see if I can have her tested for the fine motor delay.

No worries honeybunmom, email is hard! So yeah it is always hard to know where to draw the line and when to fight the fight. She lays a lot of them out for me lately. I think she takes me for granted a lot, and just feels comfortable that I am always going to be here no matter what she does. How do you solve that problem? Oh yeah, that isn't supposed to be a problem!
catinthehat is offline  
Old 02-11-2010, 08:57 AM
 
AllisonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by catinthehat View Post
I need help with my five year old dd. She is a dear sweet child, very bright, creative, and off in her own world much of the time. She is really hating school. She has been hiding almost every morning before school, so i end up getting angry at her almost every morning, which is so awful to start the day that way. From what I can gather, she doesn't like gym, computers, and all the writing. She gets bored and frustrated with the worksheets. Her penmanship was okay at the beginning of the year when the writing stuff was new and exciting, but now it is awful, because she just doesn't like it or care. I spoke with her teacher, and she said, "She just wants to do her own thing all the time". With my dd her own thing is making art usually. She is the same way at home. Very very into doing only what she sees as important or meaningful. But you can't really get through life like that, I mean you have to do stuff you don't want to do sometimes. It is same with getting dressed, and outdoor gear on. She is ALWAYS the very last child out of her classroom at the end of the day because she takes so long to get dressed. She hates it! She will be the last child out, and she will still have her coat unzipped, her pants falling down, her hat falling off her head, etc. I mean I have to just laugh to myself when I see her, but she is kind of extreme in this way.
I have tried different things with her and getting upset with her doesn't seem to help. She does better with positive, but it feels like everything has to be her way all the time, or she gets really pissed at me and will do stuff like hide, make mean faces at me, throw things at me, just try to antagonize me in different ways. And she is good at antagonizing me, really good at it.
So she is angry at me a lot because I have expectations of her, and she adores her dad. I thought little girls were supposed to like their moms at this age? Her dad doesn't do the same amount of disciplining that I do, or really expect much from her, so I guess that could be part of it.
This is rambling, so I will end. I guess my major concern is the lack of cooperation she shows me, her constant anger towards me, and her lack of trying at school with the things she doesn't like. I just find myself angry at her way too much. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
WOW - I WAS THIS CHILD - 150% - even the flaky unzipped coat and forgotten hat... wanted to draw all the time, and seemed to be sloppy about penmanship, math.... anything I didn't care about. I wanted to do things that I was passionate about....

I'll give you my take. First, I would look into visual-spacial learners. Might fit her to a T. This learning is often the antithesis of public school, which is much more into rote memorization and verbal learning. This can be very frustrating to your DD. If she is very bright, and constantly under-challenged, and asked to learn a different way than is best for her, then she will find ways out of it - girls do this by turning in on themselves, zoning out, daydreaming... boys become angry or the troublemakers or disruptive..... Creative people often do not do well in by-the-book, rigid rules environments. And they "give up" and "zone out" if there is repetitive work for no meaningful reason. Does her work have meaning, or is she filling out workbook sheets again, just because she has to?

You wrote "But you can't really get through life like that, I mean you have to do stuff you don't want to do sometimes." I agree - to a degree. How much is "sometimes"? If she has a half hour a day of writing and gym that she hates, but she has a few hours of interactive play, music, art, math.... stuff that she enjoys some or a lot, then that will carry her. An example: If you had a job that you had to do boring grunt work occasionally, or kiss up to colleagues, or whatever, but you loved most other aspects of your job, then you would suck it up and get on with your job. If you had a monotonous job with no challenges day in and day out, you would not stand it very long.

I'm not blaming all of this on her school. But school is a huge part of her day, and she is not enjoying it. She has told you this in so many ways. Would you tolerate it if it was your job that was like this?

Different schools have different styles. First, try to understand your child's style. Then try to find a better fit for your DD. Could be a different public school, maybe just a different teacher, a private school, home schooling....
AllisonR is offline  
Old 02-11-2010, 02:17 PM
 
eplatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: norcal
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just thought I'd mention this too, your dd sounds a lot like my daughter did regarding school but then when she was home she was cranky, fighting with little sister, and very hard to work with. I knew she didn't want to go to school, but I didn't realize all the negative behavior was her trying to express her anger, seperation anxiety at being away from home, and jealousy about little sister being able to stay home with mama, and emotional energy trying to "behave" at school. It was wearing her down and she wasn't able to express all those things and feelings going on inside so it came out through negative behavior.

We started reading good story and picture books about feelings: angry, sad, lonely, missing you, jealousy, being away from mama, etc. and that really helps with her being able to express emotions in a more positive way and identify with others feeling that way too.

I am homeschooling dd after a rough kindergarten year and impossible first two weeks of first grade. And my dd sounds very similar to yours in that we do butt heads a lot. The first few months of homeschooling were frustrating to both of us, but now, just like with anything else, we have learned how to work with eachother for us both to meet our needs.
eplatt is offline  
Old 02-11-2010, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
catinthehat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you for the replies.
Yes! The visual spatial learner fits her very well for the most part. She has never been into puzzles or mazes, but she has always loved art; especially making three dimensional pieces out of odds and ends. She is also very creative. A few days ago she made a circus for her pet ladybug. She set up a tight rope out of string and had the ladybug walk the tight rope! I believe she also has a high naturalistic intelligence. She loves nothing more then being out in nature and learning about plants and animals. Needless to say, the public schools don't cater to either of these traits.

I went to her school this morning and sat in on her class for about an hour, and honestly, I was really bored. They do read lots of books and are learning about money, days of the week, numbers, letters, simple math problems, but it is all very dry. Even the books are not books thast we would typically pick with pretty pictures and magical stories, they are books about "real life". I guess my daughter and I have some similarities.

I know she would be very happy being homeschooled. I am just concerned that I would not be able to teach her anything that she was not really interested in! She just wouldn't cooperate. So it would have to be homeschooling her way. Yes, I could do unschooling, but I am not sure she would ever want to learn how to read and write and do math. And what ifI wasn't able to teach her and the homeschooling wasn't working out, then she would have to start public school again not knowing any of that stuff. It is worrisome to me. I also feel like I would be letting her off to easy. Simply because I wouldn't be able to "make" her do any school work, she would end up just hanging out all day at home and getting away with not doing much of anything. I am not sure that would be good for her.
I will be doing some more research on the visual spatial learner for sure. Thanks.
catinthehat is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off