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proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 4 year old daughter, Nadia, does not want to go to school.

Customer Question

My 4 year old daughter, Nadia, does not want to go to school. She only started going to pre school this year in May and things was going fine. Then there was a school break from early June up til 25 June. From 26 June onwards, she does not want to go to school at all. As i am a working mom, i had my maid to assist me to send her daily. I was shocked to find out that my girl does not want to enter the class at all. She kept on crying outside of the school until the teacher had to ask my maid to take her back home. Ive spoken to her and try to tell her that school is very important and she should not skip classes but it still goes on for days. i have a younger daughter who is 3 goin to the same school as well but she finishes 1 hour before her. My maid told me then when she was there picking up my second, Nadia was there sitting beside her watching tv while the rest of her classmates was learning. I guess its ways of her teacher to make her like school. On her way back home, she wanted to buy snack and throwed tantrums outside of the shop until a stranger had to buy her one since my maid do not have any cash with her. What did i do wrong? How can i get her to like school and learn rather than cry? Help!!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know you have been facing this problem with your daughter. I would love to have the chance to dialogue with you through this chat interface. If you could get online we could work on your situation once I get a better understanding on what is causing your child to behave in this way. Looking forward to meeting you here. Rafael

Customer :
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please take your time, I will continue to be here looking forward to meeting you.

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problem that your daughter has with pre-school. As a teacher for over 20 years, I see many younger students not wanting to go to school which is in fact a completely normal stage. Your daughter is experiencing separation anxiety and fears the situation of a new school. It is seemingly traumatic for her but she can get through it. You have done nothing wrong.

Nonetheless, you can continue taking her to pre-school. However every evening before she goes to school or in the mornings, tell your daughter that you want her to be a big girl at school with no tears. Then you will need to implement a reward system. If she can make it to school and has a great day, she receives a sticker or two on a chart when she returns home. After every 10 stickers or so (you decide the amount), then she receives a special treat or a special outing to the park or wherever she likes to go. The goal is to focus ore on the positive behavior to eliminate the negative. Also, the school needs to make her feel most welcomed as well. You may want to discuss any behavior modification plans the school may want to implement to assist your daughter.

I do have some concerns about the school however. It is a bit odd that the school would tell your maid to take your daughter back home. The school should want your daughter to stay at school and try to work with her to ease her fears. Also, plopping your daughter in front of the tv away from the other students is not a very wise educational option. It appears that when your daughter is crying, the school just wants her to be away from others or go home. The school should also pair your daughter up with a special buddy.

You may want to try a different pre-school. Often many parents must try 2-4 pre-schools until the right one is found for their child. If this is not an option for you, try the behavior modification plan using the stickers. Results may not happen overnight. The key is to stay consistent. Do not let your daughter's crying control the situation. Give your daughter another month or two to get adjusted to a new school, new friends, new teachers, and new routines. She really has not been at the school long enough to settle in. Also when there is a break of a few days or weeks from going to school, children often will revert back to not wanting to go to school. It is all a normal part of being a little independent and breaking away from the comforts of home.

Another option is to send your daughter to school with a little picture of you in her pocket. Tell her that you will be there with her at school all day. If she starts feeling sad, then remind her to look at the picture and be a big girl.

If you need more assistance, please let me know. It has been my pleasure today assisting you with your daughter's pre-school concerns.

I wish you and your daughter the very best at school and in the many years to come.

Have an awesome day.
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Good evening. I know that it can be difficult as a working mom to be involved in the schooling of your child, however my first recommendation is to take the time yourself, whether through a scheduled visit, phone call, or even an email to reach out to your daughter's teacher to try to get an idea of why she doesn't want to go back. Even before this, it may help to ask your daughter herself (if you have not already) exactly why she does not want to go. Figuring out the "why" to this situation will best help you to resolve it. I would also recommend that you find at least one day away from work where you can attend a day of school with your daughter, at least for a few hours. If this is not at all possible, recruit your maid to sit in on the class with your daughter. If you talk to her teacher about it, there should be absolutely no problem with making this arrangement. Teachers of younger children in pre-school and kindergarten usually enjoy having the parents of their students in for a visit, and to help out in the classroom; grading papers, handing out materials, reading to the class, etc. This will help accomplish 2 things, 1) allowing you to see first hand what your daughter's school experience is like, and 2) allowing your daughter to see you in her classroom environment, enjoying yourself and helping out. Hopefully, her seeing this from you will help to inspire her to like school again. Another option (again, if the previous recommendation is not possible) would be to try to manage the time to drop her off and pick her up some days yourself. Take some time during these days to chat with the teacher for a moment, or go into the classroom and have a look around with your daughter. Here are a few links that provide ideas for easing your daughter's anxiety about going to school:
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Tips_Handling/?page=2
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/School_Refusal/
; including the use of a therapist if necessary. I hope that my answer has provided a fresh insight to your query, and that it will be of some assistance. If you require any clarification about my answer, please message for "earthsister." I wish you and your family the best.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello dear client. Pre-school teachers are often very busy during the day and may not have the time to chat with you at great lengths about your daughter. Also, you may not be allowed to volunteer or spend an entire day with your daughter at school without being "cleared" to assist or observe the classroom. Some pre-schools have very stringent rules about visitors to protect the children. Additionally, a four year old may not be able to articulate why she does not want to be at school. She just wants to be with you.

However if you did visit the school or volunteer right now, those actions would not help your daughter feel more comfortable. She would probably be even more upset when you left. Make sure you do visit when special occasions happen at school as well as during any conference times. As a working parent, it is truly understandable that you may not be able to take time off from work. That is perfectly fine because we all have diverse circumstances.

Therefore if you decide to continue sending your daughter to her pre-school, develop some type of daily communication journal with your daughter's teachers so that you can see if there are any patterns with regards to her behavior. Is she crying just in the mornings, or ??? Have the teacher write a little message daily detailing when your daughter is upset and also times when she is perfectly fine. You can even respond back to the teacher depending upon what is written.

Furthermore to help your daughter adjust to her pre-school, you may want to role play various situations at school. Role play how your daughter should behave when she gets dropped off, when she wants to play with a new friend, during nap time, during academic learning time, during creative exploration time, etc. If your daughter does not know what to say during the role playing sessions, then guide her in what to say and how to behave. Then when she returns home from school, ask her about her day and if she tried any of the suggestions as practiced in the role playing sessions. If she failed in some areas, talk about what she can do better the next day.

Continue to praise your daughter as you have been doing. Just give her time to adjust. :)

Feel free to request me, proexpert37, for further assistance if needed and I can continue working with you.

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