Any advice on dealing with an insecure 6 year old at school ?

Emma - posted on 09/26/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi, my little boy is 6 years old, 7 this coming Jan and is in first class. He settled in great in "big school", made friends really easily and enjoyed school. This September however when he returned to school after the summer holidays, when I collect him from school, he is very sad looking and when I ask him what's wrong, he bursts into tears, and is inconsolable for at least an hour, no matter how much I reassure him. He says no one is his friend in school, no one will talk to him, and everyone, even the teacher hates him!!! I just put it down to him being tired, hungry etc and brushed it off, but now it's every day, and the teacher has also brought it to my attention that she is worried about him, that he is "paranoid", that he does play with his classmates, but keeps telling her they are talking about him behind his back and they don't really want to be his friend and that they all hate him. I told her I had noticed it too, and I don't know what's causing it. Am afraid if it continues it will get worse and it will start to affect him long term. Am really worried, I don't want my little man to be so upset all the time, does anyone have any advice for me pleeease! :(

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L - posted on 09/27/2011

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Yes, Emma, I hope it will all be good soon. Sounds like he has a good routine at bedtime, and you can pat yourself on the back for that. I have never managed to get my kids, (13 year old boy and 6 year old girl, both whose birthdays are also in January!), to bed early enough, and right now, they both seem to be needing more sleep. Hope the after school activities go well. Sounds like Tamara has a good idea, too. Tamara, my son collected Pokemon cards at that age, and still has them all in a huge binder. We both have fond memories of that time. :)

Emma - posted on 09/27/2011

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Thanks Girls, yes L he is with the same kids as last year, we are in Ireland and kids are in school from 9.20 - 3pm. He has changed teacher however (1st/2nd) class from his infant class, I suppose same as fulltime kindergarden in the US....He goes to bed at 7.30 each eve, has been doing so since he was a baby. He shares a room with his sister (just turned 8) and they love reading together for 30 min before lights out. You know it's probably over something really insignificant like you mentioned and am hoping it will just fizzle out in a week or so. His teacher is very approachable and kind, so there would be no difficulty in the respect. He is starting music lessons (violin) in October and indoor hurling with the local hurling club, along with most of the boys in his class, so with that combination of after school activities, am hoping he will soon move on. Will keep you posted as to his progress. Hopefully, this will all be forgotten about by Christmas and I will have my friendly happy-go-lucky boy back! :)

Tamara - posted on 09/26/2011

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My son was the same way last year (his second grade he was 7) his teacher said that he was just stand offish and didn't had his arms crossed and didnt go up to the other kids which kinda made the other kids not want to go up to him. it wasnt that the other kids didn't want to go up and play with him he was just seeming like he didnt want to play.

So i encouraged him to relax and take a few of his not so great but good pokemon cards (talked to his teacher first) to school and at recess show a couple of the boys the cards he brought kinda as an ice breaker and it helped a ton, from that day on he put a few different ones in his bag or a neat book or something in his bag so when he was feeling 'off' he could pull it out and show them for that little boost of confidence.

L - posted on 09/26/2011

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Sorry to hear your little guy is having trouble in first grade. You said he was at this school before the summer. I am assuming that was kindergarten? Was he in full day or half day kindergarten? If half day, then maybe he is having trouble adjusting to the full day of this school year. It can be very tiring, and I've heard that it can take a couple of months for their bodies to adjust to the full day of school. Maybe see if you can get him to bed earlier. Does he have anybody in his class from kindergarten? If so, did he play fine with them last year? I wonder if something even relatively minor did happen, that he is now attaching to much importance to. For example, if one of the boys said something about what your son had for lunch, but didn't think anything more of it, and wasn't trying to be mean, but now your son is worried about it. And then when he sees that boy playing with another at recess, and they're talking, he thinks they are talking about him. Could it be something like that? My hunch is that boys of that age generally don't form "cliques", and are pretty open about playing with anybody that wants to. I think his teacher should be your ally in getting to the bottom of this. Do you feel like you can approach her for help? I am concerned that she said he is paranoid, unless she said it in a sympathetic manner, if that's possible. Most schools in the US have anti-bully programs at the school, and the teachers and principal should be more than willing to help if that is what is going on. Also, maybe you can arrange a playdate for him with a classmate and his mom, and see how that goes, when they are not in the school setting. It might give you some clues. Best of luck; I know it must be difficult for you to see your child unhappy. But stay positive. I hope some of these things help. Would love to hear about his progress!

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