Toddlers & Older Children <
15/09/2015 at 09:25
I am writing on behalf of a friend. She really is a friend and not a 'friend'! But she is currently really struggling with her wilful 5 year old who is transitioning from reception to Year 1. Her little girl refuses to get ready for school and gets so distressed that she even starts pulling at her hair. She has to help her/ force her into her clothes and out of the door. She has spoken to the school who have tried to reassure her that this is normal for lots of children who struggle with the more structured day in year 1 and they have suggested reward charts (which so far are not bringing about the desired results). However it is leaving both parents (they take it in turns to drop) seriously jangled and exhausted after the school run. It's seems that everyone is at a loss for ideas on what could actually help and I wondered if this would something a psychologist could help with?
15/09/2015 at 11:10
Hi, its unfortunatly normal for a child to have issues with school either anxiety over changes going on or new environment and routine etc. Some kids just don't deal well with it all especially after six + weeks at home with mom and dad!
It's hard but don't make it a big deal....but give her a choice ( just make it a no brainer but be prepared to call her bluff and follow thru !!)
Eg, if she won't get dressed its simple choice she can a : get dressed in her uniform or b: go to school in her pyjamas and the other kids will laugh!
( my daughter called my bluff and got driven to school in my little pony PJs! - she decided to change in the car on the car park !) After that she used to pull a face but decided uniform was an option !
If she makes a fuss at the classroom door tell mom to just hand her over, one goodbye and walk away! It's hard but you'd be amazed how fast a child quits fussing when the other kids are watching - not a parent ! The more attention she gains for the negative behaviour the more she will do it. On the other hand when she is collected and comes out calmy - lots of attention big hugs maybe a reward star etc !
It's all about reinforcing the positive and not the negative - kids do whatever gets the most attention from mom.
A school usually has access to an Ed psych but it would be their decision to get them involved - what you describe is behavioural and routine related so I doubt it alone would warrent psych intervention.
Good luck x
15/09/2015 at 17:04
Thanks busymamma that is really good advice, I will definitely pass this on. I think is what they need is someone to support them in staying calm and sane whilst this phase passes. I think they are thinking and feeling out of their depth.
15/09/2015 at 19:26
Well the current phase only lasts until the next phase begins at that age lol
But they are most definitely not the only parents to have kids with a willful personality - my now 13 yr old still likes to try and argue but I keep reminding him I am just as argumentative as he is - just I have 22 years more experience at it than he does so he should give up ....no chance of winning
I negotiate, deligate advise and/ or explain - but arguing is pointless lol
It's just a matter of routine and both parents being solid and consistent - kids will expose a weakness to their own advantage and play on it and play their parents off against each other "well dad let's me wear that" etc
I think some days being stubborn as a mule helps - as if you give in they know how far to push you so they have no problem pushing you even more as last time they behaved that way you gave in so the quickest way to get them to stop it is to get stubborn - a battle of wills with a five year old is quite entertaining when you don't let it wind you up !
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