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Mommy, i dont like school...and i dont want to go to school

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    fennho's Avatar
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    Mommy, i dont like school...and i dont want to go to school

    my 3yo daughter just said the above to me several times after we switched off the lights and snuggled (we co sleep on family bed). It's her 2nd month in the school and it was slightly better but after the CNY holiday break, it went back to square one. In the past, altho she'll cry and wail when i leave, she's never said i dont like school. But now, i'm starting to worry that she may not hv made any friends and that she's lonely.

    A little bit of background, the kindy she's attending is one that have age range from 3-6yo. So she's the youngest. Furthermore, majority of them are caucasians. My girl speaks both english and mandarin, and sometimes mixes her languages in one sentence. She usually LOVES to play with older kids and are very sociable (would wave at them, say hello and ask for their names) but i've seen kids ignoring her and walking away when they couldnt understand her when she peppered her sentences with Mandarin words in it. (I know kids can be quite impatient) I'm worried this might be the case in her school. I've asked her teacher but they said she's a little tearful at times during free play but generally ok.

    Many times prior to this, she has told me she doesnt want to play with anyone (perhaps due to the result of no one wanting to play with her?) and she kept repeating "Mommy, i want to play by myself". She got attached to an older girl before the CNY break, but now when i asked "so what about XXX, did she play with u?" and she would shake her head sadly. I've spied on her before during her outdoor play, and saw her running around but i'm not sure if she's playing or merely just tagging along and others ignoring her?

    I know kids say they dislike school all the time but i'm really jus worried that there might be some real issues here. I talked to the teacher before but i thought i'd also check with more experienced mommies here...dont wish to come across as a panicky mom. :P

    hope to hear from all of your experiences out there!

    Thanks!

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    fennho's Avatar
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    Oh, the reason i'm kinda got concerned aft she said to me when the lights was off was becos she seemed genuinely gripped with fear. She'd kept quiet after i reminded her that it's bedtime but then as if the thoughts are nagging in her head, she kept bringing it up again... :(

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    fennho's Avatar
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    And i know this is prob normal behaviour, but WHAT do i say to her when she asks/tells me such things?

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    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    It's absolutely heartbreaking when your child tells you something like that because you just want to protect them from all the pain associated with feeling lonely etc.
    My son went through it when we first moved here and it genuinely made me want to move back home, just so he could have his friends back again!
    I would suggest that maybe you could arrange a play date with one or two of the children from your daughters class outside of school, so that she can get to know them a bit better and hopefully this will the make school easier for her.
    Good luck and I hope that it improves soon for her.

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    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by fennho View Post
    And i know this is prob normal behaviour, but WHAT do i say to her when she asks/tells me such things?
    Maybe you could talk to her about your experiences when you were in school, things you did to make friends and things that helped you at times you felt lonely. This helped with my son and he now loves hearing stories about when I was younger!

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    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    I'm sorry your daughter is feeling this way. It really tugs at the heart.

    My son did go through a situation like that and we discovered that there was a problem at school with one other student. It was through sifting through our conversations and talking to his teacher that we found out. Speak again to the teacher and highlight (again) what is going on so that they are aware and would/can/should encourage the other kids to play with her.

    It is daunting to be the only Asian (or different in any way) kid in the class and the youngest. I remember being in that situation before and of course, obviously, I overcame it, but I was in my teenage years. I bring this up as I thought about how hard it was for me, and I'm thinking about how hard it is for her. I had to work hard to break the walls down (but was mature enough to realise and do so). Maybe she isn't.

    The long CNY break has just passed so I'd give it til the end of the month or so (on top of organising playdates) to see if she'd feel better. If she doesn't, I'd probably switch schools unless it is really really important that she stays there. At that age, positive school experiences are really important to build confidence more than anything.

    I noticed that the kids in my son's class who did not speak well/timid/quiet have remained so even in K2. And that has affected their ability to get a school placement for P1 in comparison to the other kids. Their parents worried more, the children were more stressed etc.... And I was thinking of how, if their parents had not persisted (for too long) when say after a term, things have not changed, they wouldn't be in this situation.

    Give her time but at the same time, scout around for a better educational setting for her ability/needs.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

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    my brother has 2 boys. the eldest one took moving to a new school REALLY hard. he was in grade 2 and cried every day for 4 months when it came time to go to school. he REALLY, REALLY hated it... then one day, he made a friend... then a few days later, he made another one... there isn't much you can do except encourage your girl. she's still very young and she needs to know that you are in her corner but she also needs to know that school isn't a choice for her to make.

    neither of my kids want to go back to school after a long holiday (they are still on CNY holidays and don't go back until monday).... i just smile and say, "see you later" and off they go... they forget about me within minutes of my leaving them.

    however, i WOULD suggest that you look around your area and see if there are any other kindergartens that might suit you, just in case.

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    fennho's Avatar
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    thanks for your replies.

    Amy, the playdate suggestion is great. I'll try my best to arrange one, altho i must say the look of some of the mommies are not particularly friendy. :( Furthermore, we are staying in Kowloon West and since the school is at the Peak, most of the families stay somewhere near the school . But for the sake of my girl, i'll try! :)

    It certainly tugs at my heart as i watched her backframe walking around during the outdoor play. I dunno if she's really lonely or is it just me being paranoid or over-protective.

    Quasimother, she's not the ONLY asian in the class, there's another (much older) Jap girl in the class and a local girl (older too). The first month, my girl told me she asked "a black hair" girl whats her name but she said the girl ran off without telling her. The teacher herself told me she knows most of her classmates name by asking the teacher. She'd point out a kid and the teacher will tell her the name. I had a CNY class photo sent to me recently and she can named like 80% of the class cos i think she memorized them. But only 4-5 (out of the 25 kids) actually played with her.

    I'm guessing, on top of the ethnic thingy, she's also overwhelmed by the large no of kids in the class as compared to the smaller class (10-12) kids that i used to accompany her to. I feel so guilty throwing her into the "deep sea" as soon as she turned 3, perhaps i should have moved her to a smaller nursery class for her first independent school experience.

    Then again, i know most kids are fine as soon as the parents left. But the teacher told me she's tearful most of the time.

    This morning, she wakes up saying she wants to go Ballet class (which she goes independently as well) but not school. I'm guessing cos ballet class is only 45mins on sunday and school is 3hours! Anyway, i told her all little girls go to schools. On the way to school, in the car, she told me again she will play by herself. And i said ok, i will leave the decision to her and that when she's ready, she can play with her friends. I'm not sure if i'm doing the right thing though. Then when we reached the school and as soon as we stepped out of the lift, she had this panic attack and refused to even walk thru the gate, it's like she's gripped with fear and kept shaking her head saying she doesnt want to go in (this is a first!). I had to carry her in cos she refused to walk and then when i reached her class, changed her shoes and her teacher took over. Obviously, by now she's crying and then she said to me "Mommy i miss you and i want to go home". Do u think this is the main reason? I've read up on separation anxiety issues and i've tried countless ways to reassure her that i miss her too and that i'll be back to pick her up very soon. I've tried a lot of methods. Anyone of u can advise what to say and what else can i do?

    Her old teacher actually sort of "blames" my style of attachment parenting and cosleeping for her difficulty to separate now. I feel really bad but i actually do like the methods of AP so i'm feeling really low now. Did i really cause my child to have these separation anxieties now? :(

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