We’ve hit a bit of a problem with school. iBear has started saying she doesn’t like it there anymore and it’s getting her really upset.
It all started just before the school holidays when she developed a little bit of an obsession about needing to go to the toilet in case she wet herself. The only thing we could get out of her about this was that she’d seen a couple of children having accidents at school and it had got her really worried. This lasted for a good few days and into the holidays when she then seemed to snap out of it. We never got to the real cause but thought it was just a little phase and assumed it was a product of her being shattered following her first full half term.
Fast forward through a great time on holiday and to the first Monday evening back and iBear got herself upset about not wanting to go back to school because she misses us too much. Again we didn’t put this down to anything to be worried about and assumed it was normal as she was still getting used to her new school life and was just wishing she was on holidays again. But then she said the other reason she was upset was she was worried that this boy in her class was going to have another accident. His name had started to becoming a recurring theme to iBears stories from school recently so we tried to softly ask a few things about him. It turns out he’s been getting upset about how much he misses his parents and we thought that’s why iBear was getting upset as she finds it hard to deal with other peoples sadness being the sensitive soul she usually is.
The next few days continued on a similar theme. She kept on insisting this boy was her friend at school and was just worried about him and that she also just missed us lots because she’d had a good time on holidays with us and the family. Then, things came to a bit of a head today. We’d signed iBear up to her first after school activities last week which sounded like an extra PE lesson and she loved the first session last Monday. Today however my wife got a call from the school saying they thought it would be a good idea to pick her up at normal time as she was getting herself really upset about doing the after school club. When she got there the teacher called her to one side and explained about how iBear hadn’t been herself today. The way the teacher described it was that she was being a bit meddlesome and interfering with the school day and not really concentrating on what she was supposed to be doing. She would also insist that this boy we’d heard about needed to go to the toilet despite him saying he didn’t need to. Other little thingshappened like insisting some of the children had to put their drawings in their school bags despite the teachers telling her they were staying at school. She basically said she wasn’t acting like her normal cheery happy self and suggested we had a word with her to try and get her to understand it wasn’t her job to be worried about what everyone else was up to.
I was briefed about all of this before I got home from work tonight and decided to not force the issue with iBear and see if we could have a chat as the evening went on. As we went for her shower before bed I asked her how school had been today and she said she didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t force the issue but whilst getting her dried she all of a sudden started chatting about her day. It turned out to be quite eye opening. She mentioned this boy a number of times saying things like “you just don’t take much notice of people who aren’t being nice to you do you Daddy” and that one of the other boys playing with this boy had called her “baby nappy”. It was a very relaxed conversation and she didn’t get upset but she continued to chat about her day for a while. It seems to me based on what she said that this boy hasn’t been very nice to her and that her and her friends were trying to avoid him. It also turns out that the reason she didn’t want to do after school club is because this boy was doing it too. This has set alarm bells going off for me as I hate bullying and am terrified iBear experiences it, if this is indeed what it is. It also give me reason to think that there had always been more to her getting upset about school than the toilet accidents and missing us.
This doesn’t quite fit with what the teacher has being telling us though and I still don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of the issue yet. I’m not the type of parent to always look through rose tinted spectacles at their child but the worrying thing is is this is all so out of character for her. If the teacher had, for example, pulled us to one side and told us iBear had a problem listening sometimes I wouldn’t at all be surprised. This just doesn’t feel right. She loved the first half term at school and seeing her get so upset at the prospect of going back the next day is heartbreaking.
After our chat she did say she felt better about going to school tomorrow but we’ll see how the next few days go. I’m at the school tomorrow so I may try and grab the teacher for a chat about the things I’ve been told this evening.
Have you had any similar experiences with your child settling in? I’d much appreciate any comments.