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"I hate school"

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Okay, I need to hear from some moms who've been through this.

My daughter has started telling us (her dad the day he dropped her off and now me) that she hates school. She complains primarily about 2 things: Sometimes the whole class is punished for something only a few kids do, eg. 3 boys are roughhousing and everybody gets kept in for recess. And she isn't enjoying the work. Now I know everyone has to do things that are not as interesting as other things, but I don't believe a young child needs to learn this yet.

Anyway, she actually cries and is beginning to get clingy. I try to be very matter-of-fact about stuff, but I don't want to force her to be miserable either.

Any ideas or suggestions? Or war stories, for that matter?
post #2 of 4
Hi Allison,

Even though I'm not a mom I'm going to give you my 2 cents anyways

While I was in elementary school those who acted up were directly punished and not the whole class. The only time the whole class would get punished was when someone did something and the teacher didn't know who it was and if the guilty person didn't come forward then the whole class got punished. I would talk to the principal about the teacher punishing the whole class.

Did she tell you what it was about the work she didn't enjoy or is she just saying she doesn't enjoy it? It might be that it's not challenging enough for her. One year in elementary school, when I changed schools, the new school didn't put me in the advanced class like my old school. I really didn't enjoy the work because it was too easy for me. On another note it may be the change in structure that she doesn't like. I'm not sure.

Deb25 is a school teacher. She may have some advice for you coming from the teacher perspective.
post #3 of 4
I believe I read recently that you are going through a rough time with your husband. It is often around this time that children will begin to complain about school, become clingy, sometimes regress so far as to begin wetting the bed after years without a problem. Partly this is because they feel they are not getting enough attention (which is true, your attention is focused elsewhere), and partly it is because of the feeling of insecurity that is brought by a major life change at a young age. This could be properly addressed in family (even just you and your daughter) counseling.
That aside, if the teacher is punishing students unfairly, it should be brought up first to the teacher (by you) and second to the principal. It is important to teach a child that her own actions have repercussions for her alone sometimes, and that she is not part of a body which is punished as a whole regardless of which part is acting up. Otherwise she has no reason not to misbehave also (if you're gonna be punished anyway, you might as well have the fun, right?.
As for the schoolwork not being enjoyable, there are two choices. Either she is too smart for her grade level (often shown by underachievement, daydreaming, etc), or she is suddenly having trouble in some area. Is there a possibility she has a learning disability? This could be anything from ADD to dyslexia, and all of it makes school scary and unenjoyable.
Make a special time for you and your little girl. Ask her questions in a non-judgemental way, and listen to what she has to say. Try not to lead her answers, and be as neutral as you can.
Best of luck.
post #4 of 4
I have two kids, and one is in kindergarten. So here is what I think, given my own experiences:

I think that kids who say they hate school usually have good reason. And just because she doesn't enjoy the work, I don't think that is the root of it. It could be anything, from something minor like teasing, to something major like perhaps a problem with the teacher. or like someone else said, maybe the turmoil with you and your husband has made her uneasy.
My son went to two years of preschool and now is in kindergarten, and in these 3 years he has never once said that. Never.
I would do this first: I would approach the teacher, just to be sure she doesn't have some sort of input as to perhaps why she is not liking it. A lot of times, the teacher is the best insight, since she spends so much time w/ your daughter. I would also make her aware of the problem so perhaps she could keep a closer eye on her. If you can eliminate an actual problem at the school, then it probably is the situation w/ your husband and perhaps she is overly sensitive right now.
My brother and his wife are in the same situation, and their 8 year old was doing the same thing. It turned out he had a lot of "home" issues, and now sees the school psychologist weekly just to talk. Its made a big difference.
Maybe your daughter needs some "outside" help, just so she can vent. This has probably been a major adjustment to her, and perhaps she can't be open with you.

Don't forget, if you have any doubts with the teacher, then I would address the principal next. Don't let it slip, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to fix it.
I wish you luck with it. I hope she is able to adjust quickly.

Oh, just a side note, I remember you saying she was advanced for her age. Perhaps suggest that they move her up a level or two, or even maybe place her in 1st grade if you think the work is too easy. Although, I know normally they like to keep kids in the right age level which may happen. Good luck.
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