Need help with dd at lunch time! *update* - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 8 Old 09-06-2008, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First a teensy bit of back ground, DD has always been sensitive to crowded places since she was 6 months old. She does not like people being too close to her and/or kids who are "touchers" (you know the kids who grab you by the hand or arm when they want you to go some where with them or run up to you and hug you and practically knock you down) She requires her personal space and I've had no problems in the past with kids crossing her "personal boundaries" In preschool there were only 10 other kids in her class and her teacher was wonderful about personal space (i.e. no one was allowed to touch each other unless it was offered first "Will you hold my hand?" kind of thing.)In K she was in a bigger class but the kids were pretty much low key so to speak. Only one little girl in her class was a hugger and it happened to be my dd best friend (she was okay with that) We've had pretty good experiences up until now.
So here's whats happening now is dd is in 1st and while her teacher is wonderful (she was ds's teacher and dd is very comfortable with her thats why I choose her) but the school has a common lunch meaning its grades 1-4 and its noisy and crowded and dd does not like it. I work for the school where they go and its my job to supervise lunchtime, you know keep the kids from running around and such, make sure no one gets hurt. For the first 3 days when she saw me she came over and sat by me and followed me around . She didn't keep me from doing my job and the people I work with didn't bat an eye (they all have kids of their own) but I want her to at least not cry when she's at lunch, I want her not to tell me in the morning that lunch time is the worst time of day and she doesn't want to go to school because of that, I want her to find at least one friend that she's compatable with so she can play with them! Her bf from k has become friends with another girl who is too agressive for dd and she doesn't like her. I need Ideas! I thought about bringing her a coloring book and letting her sit and color while I work, that will work for a short time but what happens if I have to be absent?? Ds has the same lunchtime as her but he's busy playing with his friends and I don't want him to have to tote his little sister around all the time. It doesn't seem fair for him. What should I do?? Any suggestions? I know you mommas always have some pretty good advice!
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#2 of 8 Old 09-06-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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I'm a lunch supervisor too except they eat in their classrooms & I have 3-4 classrooms to supervise.

Can she wear headphones at lunch to drown out the noise, it could be those earbud ones or plain earplugs to look less obvious.

Do the grades have assigned seating areas?

Is the problem eating time only or is it playtime too? If it is also playtime then I think the issue may be more that she misses you & wants to be with you. Does she have friends that she plays with at other recesses? Would it be okay to encourage another kid to sit & colour with her, then maybe they'd go off & play together.

Here after they're dismissed from eating they go outside, every 3rd week I'm on indoor supervision. When I'm on outdoor sometimes my kids come & want to walk with me.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-06-2008, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The lunchroom is decent sized with assigned seating areas 1st grade in one corner 2nd grade other corner and so forth...
I thought about bringing in her DS last year because I kind of anticipated this problem and the other kids were able to bring these in also, then someone stole an ipod or something or other and the principal banned any "toys" and all teachers are supposed to confiscate games phones etc. from any students seen with these. I don't want my dd to be over looked for having one just because she's my kid (I don't believe in favorites kwim?) So earphones are out... and she doesn't like anything in her ears or I would try plugs.

After the kids eat lunch they are sent out to the play yard where they alternate playing on the equipment 1st and 2nd one day 3-4 the next. The first day she ate her lunch and lined up to go outside and she got to the yard and burst into tears. She was overwhelmed! the next day she was eating her lunch nice and calm next thing I look over and she's crying! (she told me later that the other kids were playing a game where they were racing each other to eat and they started with her and she as she put it, got freaked out! ) On Friday she was just crying the minute she sat at the table

I thought about just letting her cry it out and be done with it rather than putting alot of focus on it but the other older kids (who all know me) start to "mommy" her and they all try to hug her and comfort her (they mean well) but that just puts her into shriek mode and its harder to calm her down.

I'm going to try to bring in a coloring book for her and see if she'll invite someone else to color with her and just take it day by day. but keep the ideas coming!
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#4 of 8 Old 09-10-2008, 12:37 AM
 
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Would there be anyone at the school who could start a "lunch bunch" sort of group? A small group of kids that eat together somewhere such as a room not being used or another part of the cafeteria? I am a school nurse and a group of girls used to come eat lunch with me. The girls(obviously different situation) needed a little bit of one-on-one time with a caring adult to talk with,through issues they were having. I don't know if somehow she could eat with just a few people and they could have some sort of "purpose" when they have lunch, like doing art or something like that? Hoping things go well for your DD!

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#5 of 8 Old 09-10-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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Does she have certain coping methods she uses at other times to deal with the noise?
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#6 of 8 Old 09-18-2008, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Carriemf, Columbus momma Thank you so much for your suggestions! Skylar is having a much better time in the caf. since my last post. She hasn't cried at all (except when a 3rd grader scared her with a rubber cockroach : ) If she gets scared or wants me one of my co workers who adores her and she's has known him since preschool gets her attention and tells her not to worry about anything and gets her doing something else or finds another little girl to play and helps her to make some new friends! So hopefully the first few days are behind us and better things are to come!
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#7 of 8 Old 09-19-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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Yeah Erin!

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#8 of 8 Old 09-19-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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glad to see this OP as my DSS is now in K and having similar issues. he was crying the other day saying the lunch room is so loud and overwhelming. he also said there is a girl who sits next to him who chews her food in a gross way and makes him lose his appetite. i think he is noise and space sensitive too and the public school cafeteria is just not set up for kids like this.
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