My little girl is having a hard time adjusting to her new school


#1

As stated on previous threads, we moved back home about 3 weeks ago. My (almost) 7 year old daughter, who is in first grade is having a very hard time with her new Catholic School. (She was in an awesome public school before we moved). She cries EVERY single morning not to go - which is something she has NEVER done before- not even when she started Kindergarten. When I ask her what is wrong, she says that she misses me so much during the day, and that the people aren’t as nice as they were at her old school. ( I feel the same way, but have NEVER let on my feelings to her).

SIGH

I dont’ know what to do. I also found out yesterday that alot of little girls were being mean to her at recess (they won’t let her jump rope with them, so she sits out BY HERSELF for the entire recess:eek: :mad: :crying: My heart was broken when I found that out and I cried so hard. My little girl is miserable and I don’t know how to help her.:frowning:

I am going eat lunch with her tomorrow, so that should help her a little. I am also trying very hard to get her registered in a very highly recommended Catholic school that is closer to our home. I went turn in my registration papers this morning, and had such a wonderful feeling when I left the school.

Please pray for us, especially for my little girl that she may finish up the school year peacefully, and also that she (and her sister) get accepted into this new school for the 07-08 year.

Also, any advice is welcomed on helping us deal with this situation.

Thanks in advance.


#2

Poor thing! I don’t have any advice but oh how hard. I’ll be praying for you!

When you go for lunch, look around and see if there is one little girl who seems nice to your dd. Zero in on her and make suggestions to your dd that maybe she would like to go on a fun outing with you two, or come over to your house with her mom, or whatever…something to get the ball rolling…


#3

Thank you Abby!

I have been balling my eyes out during the day (while she’s at school) over this. My face is all red and swollen and it’s not pretty.

I’ll try that suggestion…thanks for sharing, and thank you for the prayers. I should find out next week if they got accepted in the new school.


#4

I will pray for you and your daughter! What a sad situation!

Maybe she’d have better luck playing with the boys? And maybe you can give her some coping strategies for when she feels left out. What those would be, I’m not sure. Maybe you can tell her the story of a Saint who had a similar childhood experience and then your daughter can say a little prayer to that Saint when she feels lonely. Or you can remind her that her Guardian Angel is always by her side, even when she feels lonely.


#5

Please talk to the teacher about your concerns. In first grade, there are so many things a teacher can do to help integrate a new child, though she cannot help if she is unaware.

She can make your daughter her special helper for the day. She can ask another child to be a playmate for the day. She can ask a child to assist your daughter during recess or at lunch.

Some kids at that age soak up the opportunity to help the teacher in special requests. This in turn may help your daughter make friends and feel special.


#6

You might want to speak to the teacher and principal about the situation. Esp at a Catholic school the children should be being taught to welcome new people and NOT exclude them. Sometimes they need to be reminded. Another dynamic, unforunatly, is that 1st grader girls have such transient and fickle friendships. We’ve had a hard time this year (1st grade as well) with some girls already by so ‘caty’ and bossy that I’ve had to talk to the principal a few times. She reminds the girls what behavior is acceptable and the problems go away for a while.

Another idea is to have your daughter bring in a special treat for the class (whatever is allowed at your school) as a “glad to be your friend” treat. A little bribery never hurt?? :smiley:

I hope this works out for her!

God bless,
Jennifer


#7

Call the office and ask about volunteering at the school. They will most likely have someone call you, and that will be one of the “involved moms”. Explain that you are new and do the get-to-know you thing.

Another thing, if this is a Parish school, go there for Mass next Sunday. Do the donut thing after Mass, maybe you can strike up conversation with other moms of kids around the same age who are in the school.


#8

Stayathomemom,

You’ve gotten some wonderful advice from other posters, and I don’t have much to add on that point.

As a child I was in your daughter’s situation three times. I moved from Michigan to Tennessee in 5th grade, to Kentucky in 7th grade and to New Hampshire in 11th grade. Each time I hated it, cried about it and had trouble adjusting. There were some girls who made fun and tormented me.

I just wanted to say that the fact that your daughter is going through this is not abnormal. Of course you should do what you can to help her through this adjustment period, but it really just takes time. Once she’s settled and has made friends, she’ll be fine.

Sometimes it took me an entire school year to really get the hang of things – to make good friends, to understand what was expected of me and to be in sync with the coursework. Just be patient, and keep listening to her! I think it’s so great that she can come to you with these problems and know that you will help her deal with them!

God bless.


#9

Thank you all for sharing your ideas. Also, THANK YOU for offering up prayers for her.

jrabs, We did have a talk with the teacher yesterday, and she said that she would talk to my daughter and to the “mean” girls in the class. It’s just so heartbreaking to continually send her to school everyday, KNOWING what is going on. The mama bear in me was soooo close to going check her out of school early yesterday…but my logical side was telling me that wasn’t the way to handle it.

Catholic Sam, I didn’t think of bringing up the guardian angel, but I think that is a great idea. I’ll have to remind her of that!

Jennifer J, you are right about the catty thing…and I think these girls are waaaay to young to be treating each other like that. My daughter doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, and it’s very hard for her to understand why other kids her age would do that to her.

Kagear, I do plan to volunteer as much as possible at the school. It’s just a little hard for me to do it as often as I would like having 2 little ones at home with me during the day.

And ahhh, ElizabethAnne - it was so refreshing to hear from someone who experienced this before! I am glad to know that the fact that she isn’t adjusting well is normal…the part that said it could take a whole school year made me go :eek: ! It’s only been 3 weeks…I can’t imagine a whole school year of her crying every morning.

Thanks again, and please remember us in your prayers.


#10

Stayathomemom, I went to 6 different elementary schools between the ages of 6 and 12 and it was hard. Every time we moved it would take me at least a few months to settle in, and I remember moving from Northern Ireland to the Republic when I was 6 and it taking forever for me to feel comfortable there. I cried every morning and began to suffer from stomachaches just thinking about school. Some of the girls in my class that time were just nasty. The teacher helped a bit by asking one of the girls to be my friend for break time and getting us do to a lot of group work during class but it still took a full term before I began to feel comfortable.
My mother made friends with the mothers of 2 girls in my class (the teacher recommended these 2 children to my mother as 2 very nice girls from nice families and introduced my mother to their mothers at an open day for parents) and once the weather got finer, we would all got to the park of beach after school together. That is what really helped with the problem.
After that experience my mother always joined me in brownies, dance class, music classes etc as soon as we moved just so we could meet other children and my mother could get to know the mothers in the school more quickly.

I’ll pray for your daughter.

Gearoidin


#11

Since you moved to a new area you could see if she wants to try a new activity such as dance, Girl Scouts, etc. Try finding out where her classmates do these activies and sign her up there. That way she could see her classmates on a more neutral setting. The girls might be more receptive outside of school. And these activites may have girls from other area schools she could be friends with, as you can have friends that don’t go to your school. I hope she adjusts to her school quickly.


#12

I do think that it will take time, but understand what you mean when you and your daughter notice that people are not that nice. My dd is in a Catholic school and it is small so there are many favorites among the teachers and among the students. My dd noticed on her first day of school three new girls in second grade. She said she felt bad for one of the girls for no one played with her at recess or even talked with her. She was very shy. I encouraged my dd to talk to her and be friends with her the next day to make her feel comfortable and wanted in a new school. She did and this got all the other girls to play with this girl and include her in the games as well. Unfortunately, even though it is a Catholic school, they are children and can be mean and exclude others. When my dd did not include this new girl the first day, she did not realize how sad this made the other girl feel. I reminded her of her first day in first grade at this school which was new to her and she had to start it 5 days later than the others due to a surgery. The first grade teacher made her feel welcomed and encouraged the others to play with her and “show her around.” Someone here recommended you talking to the first grade teacher and I would, for this made a huge difference in my dd liking to go to school in the mornings. Kids just need a gentle reminder to be open to all of God’s creature and be nice to one another.


#13

Oh! I didn’t mean to imply that she would go a whole school year crying every morning! I just meant it could take that long for her to fully adjust and that it would get better gradually!

I really hope and pray that your daughter will soon be comfortable enough going to school that it doesn’t cause her to be so upset each morning.

God bless.


#14

I’ve had similar experiences in school…right down to my mom coming and eating lunch with me. But please take it from one who’s been in your daughter’s shoes:


continually rescuing her from hard/tough/painful social situations will only make it worse.


** Now, if you aren’t going to make a habit of eating lunch with her, then it’s ok to do it once in awhile. You can even take her to a nearby restaurant and have her invite a girl who she feels has been nice to her.**


What you need to focus on now are her coping skills. She is going to encounter mean people for the rest of her life. What you teach her now could mean the difference between someone who is scared to go to work/school/social functions or someone who has the confidence to deal with mean people and have it roll off their back.


Really talk to her. What are these girls saying/doing/not doing? I have heard Dr.Laura speak to this issue several times on her radio show and she has some great advice. The main thing is not to give mean people any power. If your daughter is being made fun of for having red hair (for example) teach her some charitable responses.


**Also, I guarantee that your daughter is not the only one who feels left out. Teach her to look for the others like her. If she only focuses on the “clique” who holds the power she is going to be really susceptible to pper pressure as the years go on. But if she finds the other outsiders then they are no longer alone. **


At the start of my post I had some clear thoughts and ideas but my mind is getting jumbled. I’m sorry. If I can get my head together I wil post again…


Malia


#15

I recommend two books for you to read: Queen Bees and Wannabes and Raising Ophelia.

Excluding others is one way girls bully other girls. The school should be made aware that bullying is going on. Teachers don’t always know.

Listen to your daughter. She knows what is going on. If you don’t get immediate action from this school, I would either switch pronto or let her stay home until she can switch.


#16

I realize I’m chiming in a bit late, but have you talked to the lunch aide or recess aide in charge? Teachers can be blissfully unaware of what goes on in the playground, especially if it’s during lunch hour. My advise is to inquire as to who is in charge during recess and let her/him know what is happening. It may be another teacher or a parent volunteer.

I have three daughters (and one son) and the social issues with girls seem to appear much earlier than with boys. I had my children in a parochial school and it was a difficult social scene, with lots of parent/children (family) cliques. It wasn’t anything that I was prepared for as a parent, or expected at a Catholic school. Sometimes you just have to adjust your expectations of a situation. Your daughter has had a lot of upheaval in her life, and it does take time for things to get back to normal.

Good luck and you remain in my prayers.


#17

My heart goes out to you, honey!
My son was your daughters age when he was going through a real tough time.
He was being bullied mentally and physically by the neighbor kids.
He was depressed big time.
He told my husband that he didn’t even want to try anymore.
That it didn’t matter because nobody liked him anyways.
I cried myself to sleep every night.
I know how you feel and I think most importantly you should pray with your daugher every day.
I did this with my son and not only did we pray together but he prayed to God on his own, too.
I don’t know if this is an option for you because it does cost about one hundred dollars a month but what we did is get my son in karate.
Not so he could learn to fight.
That is a misconception alot of people have about karate.
But so he could have self-confidence and self-respect.
He has learned how to AVOID fighting.
How to walk away.
He has learned how to defend himself if someone is trying to physically hurt him.
I have come across people who think karate is all about beating people up.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
We are a typical American family.
We live paycheck to paycheck.
And we do without alot of luxuries.
Like taking vacations or eating out all the time.
But we felt and feel strongly enough to put and keep our son in karate, in spite of the cost.
All I know is my son felt how your daughter is feeling and I felt how you are feeling.
And today my son couldn’t be anymore confident.
And I am not saying he is conceited.
He just feels good about himself.
And he rarely gets bullied.
And if he does, he knows how to stay in control of the situation.
Best of luck to you and please know that you and your daugher are not alone and there is help out there for her.
I will pray for her.
God bless both of you!!!
Love,
Karen


#18

Hi all! Here’s the update:

I went each lunch with her today, and got to see first hand how mean these girls are. It broke my heart for my baby girl, but I showed her how to just politely smile back and walk away.

The whole school attends mass every Friday, and my daughter just informed me that she prayed to get a new school for 2nd grade. She said “Jesus…please find me a new school. This one makes me so sad.” :frowning: Pitiful, isn’t it?:frowning:

The lunch went really well (for mother/daughter time), and she enjoyed being with me. She didn’t cry when I left which surprised me. However, I did bring some delicious cookies for her class, so I think she was more concerned about handing them out.

I will find out next week about the acceptance into the new school, and will keep everyone posted.

Please, Please, PLEASE remember us in your prayers. I would feel like I won the lottery if I got a call with the good news!:wink:


#19

If you don’t mind sharing, just what do these mean girls do or say? You may have to teach your daughter how to stand up for herself depending on the behavior of the other girls instead of just waking away. She is going to face situations in life where that won’t stop bullies.


#20

sad to say the word “Catholic” over the door does not insure Christian values will be practiced inside, any more than it insures Catholic doctrine will be taught.

we moved when my kids were in middle school, deliberately choosing neighborhood, house and parish for the highly recommended parish school. Without going into everything my two youngest suffered for almost a year before we got smart, I will say the adults in the family also suffered at the hands of a vicious (no nicer word applies) circle of parents. Suffice it to say that something which happened to one of my children, condoned and laughed at by the parents and administration, required legal action.

The move to public school was one of the best decisions we ever made. That is what got us involved in CCD/RE and my children came to their (Catholic) colleges with a strong faith, and strong understanding as well as practice, which they fortunately have not lost (except for one son which is a whole other story).


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