Parenting Woes

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.

Parenting Woes

Postby Red_Tiger » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:01 pm

Pardon my long post. Would like to seek advice on encouraging my son to attend 'school'. I've tried most advices found in parenting websites as well as sought for teachers' partnership in this issue but did not meet with much success. Here's the background:

I first placed my now three-year-old son in a two-hour playgroup class when he was 27 months old. The playgroup class had only five children. It's not from any particular branded pre-school and is just located near my house under a void deck. My nanny brings him to class but he cries everyday on the way over. That is, if my nanny even succeeds in luring him out of the house. We persisted though we wanted to give up many times as my son was already displaying signs of selfish behavior and we wanted him to be able to socialise. Despite assurances from many friends, my son cried for over a year. Yes. I persisted with the same school even though he outgrew the playgroup class and should be in N1 this year. This is because the teachers seem to put in effort to encourage my son.

To clarify, my son stops crying the moment he enters the classroom. The teachers often reassure us how responsive he is in class and how much he enjoys class. Putting it down to his attention-seeking ways, I continued to ask my nanny to bring him to school though it was really very painful as my nanny will be extremely bothered by neighbours' criticisms that we are 'forcing' a young boy to attend school. Though he happily shares what he learns in school every night, his crying ritual persists, day after day, every morning.

I finally decided to switch him to N1 in a new school (the old one did not offer classes above playgroup) just in July this year. I switched schools as he has simply outgrown the old one. More importantly, I hoped for another chance in a new environment now that my son is already 39 months old. Despite my efforts in mentally preparing my son for the switch, he continued crying from Day 1. Just that instead of just crying on the way to school, he now cries the moment he wakes up in the morning. This continues till he enters school at 8.30am (yes, 1.5 hours of crying each morning). And what's worse is that he continues crying in class now for about 10 minutes. Because he is deemed as not emotionally ready and a little disruptive, he is now put in the playgroup of the school though he should be in N1. I tried seeking advice from the new teachers in encouraging my child and preparing him at home but whatever ways as suggested by the teachers, I have already used them over and over again to no avail. The teachers in school, including the Principal, often expresses puzzlement when I describe my efforts and my son's behavior as they feel that it is 'not normal'. But they can only offer to continue to monitor and had no further suggestions, thus far.

I know it has only been 1.5 months since he started the new school. But if you add in his earlier school-going period, he has been crying everyday because of his 'fear' of school for over a year now. From whatever source I can get info from, this is not a 'normal' length of time for such behavior from a child his age. Thus, I am honestly, desperate for advice on what can be done or where I can possibly seek help from for this matter.

To re-iterate, I have tried most methods as shared by well-meaning friends, current teachers, as well as parenting websites. They include:
1) Familiarising my child with the new school before signing up
2) Accompanying him on his first two days at school
3) Rewarding my child with small tokens (stickers) on the days he attends school
4) Being firm when I drop my son off at his new school - wave goodbye and walk off
5) Sharing praises from teachers when my son performs any specific assignment
And many many more...

To be frank, I even tried alternative ways like really reprimanding my son for his behavior (disciplining him). But to no avail at all.

Also to clarify, it's not that I am worried that my son does not catch up with 'lessons'. In fact, he displays knowledge of words, numbers and phrases that I did not in any way impart to him (though I confess I succumb to lending him my iPhone - he is very familiar with most apps and the Youtube). I am just very worried whether I am even making the right decision in putting him in school. Is it better not to place him in school yet? Or is there something I should be doing to encourage him that I have not tried yet?

Appreciate advice. Thanks in advance.

Red_Tiger
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby Harlequin » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:18 pm

IMO you son has higher than normal IQ, if possible go get him assessed.

Try to home coach him with diversified and stimulating lessons/games/toys etc...

Harlequin
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby Red_Tiger » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Harlequin wrote:IMO you son has higher than normal IQ, if possible go get him assessed.

Try to home coach him with diversified and stimulating lessons/games/toys etc...


Thanks Harlequin. Honestly, a lot of my friends seem to share this opinion. But I cannot afford to not work and home school my child. Also, I heard some people say that you can't assess a child at just three years old. Would you know where I can get assessments?

And even if he is a little smarter, he still needs to attend school right? I still have to try to find ways for him to like school?

Red_Tiger
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby Harlequin » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:33 pm

Red_Tiger wrote:
Harlequin wrote:IMO you son has higher than normal IQ, if possible go get him assessed.

Try to home coach him with diversified and stimulating lessons/games/toys etc...


Thanks Harlequin. Honestly, a lot of my friends seem to share this opinion. But I cannot afford to not work and home school my child. Also, I heard some people say that you can't assess a child at just three years old. Would you know where I can get assessments?

And even if he is a little smarter, he still needs to attend school right? I still have to try to find ways for him to like school?


The process of making him like schooling in mainstream school, may not be doing him good.... unfortunately, in SG, home schooling is still very rare and tightly control by MOE.

There is a fellow member here 2ppaamm (not quite sure about her nick) she will have more experience to share about home schooling.

I will get back to you regarding the assessment.

Meanwhile, hang in there :smile:

Harlequin
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby Red_Tiger » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:37 pm

Harlequin wrote:
Red_Tiger wrote:
Harlequin wrote:IMO you son has higher than normal IQ, if possible go get him assessed.

Try to home coach him with diversified and stimulating lessons/games/toys etc...


Thanks Harlequin. Honestly, a lot of my friends seem to share this opinion. But I cannot afford to not work and home school my child. Also, I heard some people say that you can't assess a child at just three years old. Would you know where I can get assessments?

And even if he is a little smarter, he still needs to attend school right? I still have to try to find ways for him to like school?


The process of making him like schooling in mainstream school, may not be doing him good.... unfortunately, in SG, home schooling is still very rare and tightly control by MOE.

There is a fellow member here 2ppaamm (not quite sure about her nick) she will have more experience to share about home schooling.

I will get back to you regarding the assessment.

Meanwhile, hang in there :smile:



Thanks again Harlequin! Truly appreciate the encouragement too :-) Do feel I am going mad at times.

Red_Tiger
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby patntee » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:03 pm

Hi Red_Tiger, my son is also 39 months this month. He also cried for half a year going to childcare (full day). But mine has an older sis to learn and copy her actions from. When we first started him at childcare, the sister was still in K2 at the same centre. We thought it would be easier for his transition but he cried nonetheless for the full half year. Only from the 3rd day of school in January this year, after seeing his sister at recess during the P1 orientation, perhaps he suddenly realised he should grow up too. He goes to school happily every morning since then. He also has some friends that he likes to play with in school and we will always bring up those friends' names in conversations with him. Maybe you can find out who are his favourite friends and use them to entice him to go to school so that he can play with his friends? That is if you have not tried this yet. I can fully understand how painful it is to deal with a crying child at the school entrance! All the best!

patntee
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby Red_Tiger » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:22 pm

patntee wrote:Hi Red_Tiger, my son is also 39 months this month. He also cried for half a year going to childcare (full day). But mine has an older sis to learn and copy her actions from. When we first started him at childcare, the sister was still in K2 at the same centre. We thought it would be easier for his transition but he cried nonetheless for the full half year. Only from the 3rd day of school in January this year, after seeing his sister at recess during the P1 orientation, perhaps he suddenly realised he should grow up too. He goes to school happily every morning since then. He also has some friends that he likes to play with in school and we will always bring up those friends' names in conversations with him. Maybe you can find out who are his favourite friends and use them to entice him to go to school so that he can play with his friends? That is if you have not tried this yet. I can fully understand how painful it is to deal with a crying child at the school entrance! All the best!


Thanks Patntee! No matter how, it's encouraging to hear from a fellow parent :smile: I wish I had someone for my son to model after but there's no one... Yes, I am trying to repeat his friends' names to him, sharing with him that his friends go to school everyday too. But so far, he gets upset when I mention them though it was he who told me about his friends in the first place. I can only hope that there will be some miracle soon!

Thanks again :-)

Red_Tiger
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby jedamum » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:11 pm

Do you have the option to take temporary part time job to send him to school daily.? I did that for my elder and it took three months for the crying to stop.
Not sure how is the mood like when your nanny handle your kid as I did chance upon threats to little kids by their caregiver, sometimes even grandparents. It will deeply tramatise the little ones if they are the sensitive kind. Mine was adverse to attending preschool as he witnessed other kids got threatened and punished by the teacher.

Hang on. It will be over somehow.my little boy now already primary five and quite independent. I am now the one that is mothering him too much.

jedamum
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby ammonite » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:33 pm

Red_Tiger wrote:And even if he is a little smarter, he still needs to attend school right? I still have to try to find ways for him to like school?


I disagree. He needs to socialise and to learn new things. School is not automatically the place for it for some children. Preschools can be very varied. Why not look around at the different approaches available if you don't want to homeschool him? Look around at Montessori schools (must visit, not all are really Montessori), project approach schools (creative o, st James kindergarten k2 year), play based or academic based etc to find something that may suit him. Some kids have sensory sensitivities and avoid noisy places, some need a lot of physical activities that help them to self calm etc.

Some schools are willing to let more advanced kids skip to K1 or K2, and the kid just repeat again until they enter primary school. This is possible only with the support of the principals and with great flexibility where they let the child do other things in the company of their peers.

Explore and be thick skinned. If you don't ask you won't know what is possible.

ammonite
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Re: Parenting Woes

Postby highheels » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:54 pm

Hi Red_Tiger,

I'm a SAHM to a 4yr old girl. My situation is exactly like yours. A bit of info about my daughter: she has always been perfectionistic and intolerant of anything "imperfect" (e.g. colouring out of line, a crease in the page of a book, "uncomfortable" socks). She's extremely sensitive, gets hurt very easily and cries at the drop of a hat.

So. When my child was 26mths, she attended a half day childcare programme three times a week. She cried every single time. I thought she would outgrow it when she was 3.

At 3yrs, I placed her in school (i.e. not childcare or playgroup). It's from Mondays to Fridays, 8am-11am. She cried everyday at dropoff, and would continue for about 5-10mins after I left. According to the teacher, she would be fine after that, but would get a little weepy on and off throughout the day.

I asked my daughter many times what she was scared of at school. Her reply would be "I don't want to be away from Mummy."

In January this year, I decided to get her assessed, to check if there were any developmental issues or autism involved. I brought her to KK Child Development Unit, and the doctor informed me that my daughter was fine, but she does have school anxiety. My child was referred to a psychologist.

During these sessions, my child revealed that she was terrified of school because she feared "making mistakes". The teachers did inform me before that if a task was a little bit more challenging, my daughter would refuse to do it. According to her teachers, she refuses to try anything which she can't do perfectly. I've observed this behaviour at home too.

Did these sessions with the psy help and has she stopped crying at N2? Well, the psy sessions did teach her some coping skills, but no, she is still crying everyday at dropoff. That's a total of almost 2years of crying. I've thought of switching schools but the teachers at her current school are very sympathetic, understanding and caring, and if her fear of school is due to "making mistakes", I doubt switching schools will help.

Sigh. Sorry I can't give you any insights, but I hope my story will help you know you aren't alone.

highheels
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