Son feeling fearful about going to school

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Son feeling fearful about going to school

Postby Liz_Ryan » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:43 pm

My boy was fine the first few weeks when school started.

About a month ago, one morning when I came out from the showers, I saw him crying on the bed.

He said his form teacher was very fierce, a few times later he mentioned he wanted to change school.

I did call the school and speak with the form teacher a few times. She highlighted about my boy misbehaving in class. As a mom, of course I would not take that personally.

I tried convincing him if he had behaved and listened to his teacher, there was nothing to be afraid of.

But it seems that things started to get worse recently.

2 days back he was crying in the evening and said he did not want to go to school.

He said he was playing in the school transport on the way home and a girl told him she was going to complain to his teacher. Hence he was scared to go to school.

Yesterday, the General Office called to say that the mother-tongue teacher brought him down as he was crying. Even when the clerk spoke with him, he mentioned he was afraid as his teacher was very fierce.

After a while the mother-tongue teacher called. She said as soon as my boy entered her class, she went to her, hugged her and started crying. That was why she brought him down to the office for them to contact me.

Later on I received another phone call from his form teacher. She said she had not seen him yet as she had just returned from a workshop. She called as she had heard about my boy crying from the office clerk.

And this morning, after his mother-tongue remedial lesson, he called me from school canteen, again crying, afraid to go to his class.

The mother-tongue teacher too called me to inform that he was crying throughout the lesson even after she consoled him. He kept telling her his form teacher was very fierce.

Need advice from experienced parents out there. How do I help my boy overcome this fear? I can’t afford to have him crying everyday in school. Am so worried he would soon dread going to school, and soon hate school at all.

Liz_Ryan
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Postby teh_oh » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:52 pm

Hi,
Make an appointment with the Form Teacher and speak to her in a nice manner. Have this conversation in front of your child. If he can see that you and the Form Teacher are 'chatting' on good terms (ie, let the child see a different side of the teacher), it may bring the 'fear factor' down by a notch.
If it does not work, maybe you can request for transfer of class?

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Postby Liz_Ryan » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:57 pm

teh_oh wrote:Hi,
Make an appointment with the Form Teacher and speak to her in a nice manner. Have this conversation in front of your child. If he can see that you and the Form Teacher are 'chatting' on good terms (ie, let the child see a different side of the teacher), it may bring the 'fear factor' down by a notch.
If it does not work, maybe you can request for transfer of class?


thanx so much for your advice.

ya, actually i did think of that, but was worried it would be too much to ask for.

however if this problem still persists after this one-week holiday, guess i have no choice but to go ahead with it.

Liz_Ryan
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Postby mamemo » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:25 pm

Maybe a transfer of class would be good. However, I think a better way is to train him up to accept scoldings without crying, because we cannot guarantee a nice and softspoken teacher everytime, especially with 30 kids in the class. When my DS was in Nursery/K1, he used to cry with every little scolding (or when people raise voices at him)/ when friends or cousins don't play with him. Slowly we tell him that he is growing up, and people usually don't like or don't play with crybabies. And the more he cry, the more other people will bully him.

Now, he is in P1, and improved alot. He doesn't cry when we scold him and he can accept criticisms. Just this week, he fell into the school pond and proudly told me that he is very brave and didn't cry.

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Postby Pen88n » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:47 pm

Actually I feel that P1 being the year the kids start formal schooling, is crucial for the kids to love school and like learning. The teacher should not have chosen to take a fierce attitude towards these young kids and create this fear of schooling. Instead of reprimanding for "being naughty", the teacher can find other ways to engage the "naughty" kid to keep him occupied. Once the kids love school and like learning, the discipline, teaching part will come in more easily.

You may want to have a word with the form teacher or even school counsellor (if there is one) about your son's fear, and how they can suggest ways to address this.

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Postby Liz_Ryan » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:09 pm

thanx so much guys, for what u’ve shared & advised. Yea, though I keep convincing my boy that there’s nothing to fear if he does not do anything wrong, I honestly feel teachers should not use words like ‘naughty’, ‘bad’, or other negative words, as they might be demoralizing the child.

My son’s teacher told me she did a one-to-one access wit my boy and found that my boy was actually a smart boy as he could do his work on his own.

When I told him “Your teacher said you’re a clever boy.”, he wud go like “No, she always said I’m a naughty boy…”

Like I said, I shall talk to him & try to reason with him during this coming 1-week holiday. Shud this problem persists, I shall request to have a meet-up with his form teacher, and bring him along.

My boy used to be a happy kid, always laughing and running around.

Nowadays he tends to be quiet and dreams a lot, it’s like he’s thinking about something….

I’m so so worried his fear might turn into hatred, hatred for school :(

Liz_Ryan
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Postby chubby08 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:13 pm

Liz_Ryan wrote:thanx so much guys, for what u’ve shared & advised. Yea, though I keep convincing my boy that there’s nothing to fear if he does not do anything wrong, I honestly feel teachers should not use words like ‘naughty’, ‘bad’, or other negative words, as they might be demoralizing the child.

My son’s teacher told me she did a one-to-one access wit my boy and found that my boy was actually a smart boy as he could do his work on his own.

When I told him “Your teacher said you’re a clever boy.”, he wud go like “No, she always said I’m a naughty boy…”

Like I said, I shall talk to him & try to reason with him during this coming 1-week holiday. Shud this problem persists, I shall request to have a meet-up with his form teacher, and bring him along.

My boy used to be a happy kid, always laughing and running around.

Nowadays he tends to be quiet and dreams a lot, it’s like he’s thinking about something….

I’m so so worried his fear might turn into hatred, hatred for school :(


Have you go to the school and speak to the form teacher? Another way is to transfer your boy to another class. You may try to bring this out to the shcool principal.

He may lose interest in his studies if continue to stay in the same class.

chubby08
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Postby Laughing » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:58 pm

It is good to meet up with the form teacher to understand the situation better rather than over phone to send the message of seriousness . If the teacher never change the way/style that she approach your child, forever your kid will thinks that he is a "naughty boy". Since this is the label given by the teacher, only this teacher can help to remove it too.
As told by my sister-in-law through her experience, do contact the VP or the Principal if nothing has been done... "higher rank" office holder do make thing happen.... :nunchuk:

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Postby LOLMum » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:35 pm

oh dear, so sad to hear of him crying in fear of his teacher.

i am not sure transfering him to another class will help. a new teacher might not be nicer or understanding or patient.

also if you seek a transfer which is an easy way to end this problem, your kid might never learn to conquer his fear. so how, now teacher, next the little girl who threaten to tell (what are you going to do with her?) and then his boss, his wife .................... when will it end?

as his form teacher and mother tongue teacher are awared of his fear, i hope they will do something to help him overcome his fear. calling someone "naughty" might not mean in a negative way as i do call my kids "naughty little rascals" without malice.

working hand in hand with the teachers is a good start but this take time especially when we are talking about 30 kids in the class. it is impossible for the teacher to speak nicely and softly to him all the time so tell him to take it positively.

i always tell my kids that if someone threaten to tell his parents or teachers about my kids, dont be afraid because we are always 100% behind him (of course, deep in our heart, we adults know we have to listen to both sides of the story) or threaten to kill my kids etc, my kids are not to be afraid and must tell us. as far as dh and i are concern, if my kids didnt do anything wrong, there is nothing to be afraid of.

do excuse me for sayiing this but i think your kid might have turned from a fun loving boy into a timid one. could it be the kids in class/school are much bigger size than him and more pushy?

if so, one way to help him overcome his fear is to enrol him in a self defence course like judo, karate etc. this will boost his confidence and make him a bit less fearless of bullies and maybe the teachers (haha just a joke, better to be a bit fearful of teachers, otherwise no respect for them and end up as a dropout or gangster) you should check out such courses at cc because they are generally cheaper.

you might have been doing this with him already but i think it would help to boost his confidence if you could encourage him to order food himself, ask for help (like going to the librarian to ask for a book etc) by himself more often

also go to library and get story books about kids fearing to go to school because of bullies, fierce teachers etc and read with him. these books always end with the frightened child overcoming his fear of school. i dont know the titles but google for it and i am sure you will find some suitable books.

all the best. dont expect results so soon. some kids take a longer time to adapt to the environment.

LOLMum
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Postby Liz_Ryan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:28 am

Hi LOLMum,

Thanks so much for your advice.

Actually my boy is rather big-built for his age.

And he has nvr complained about classmates or anyone, it is just his form teacher that he is afraid of.

And I noticed recently that it actually got worse.

Am not sure if my shifting office has added on to his emotions.

We are living in Jurong East and I have been working in Toh Guan Rd East for few years, since he was a baby.

In Feb this year, my office shifted to Changi North!!!!! :cry:

In the morning we have to leave home earlier to send him to the student care and in the night, I'll reach home much later, and have to make him sleep earlier as he needs to wake up early the next morning. Hence my time with him is really left so little.

One afternoon, he called me, crying, during recess and asked me if I'll be coming home early that evening.

You see, he'll reach home 6.30pm every evening. He'll be alone at home till I come back. He even has to go coffee-shop on his own, buy food & eat on his own.

At times I really feel like a useless mother!!!

Liz_Ryan
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