September 12, 2011,
G.M. asks from Huntington Beach, CA on September 10, 2011
HELP! My Kindergartener "Hates School"
I've been trying so hard to be positive and light hearted when I respond to my kindergartener who comes home from school and tells me he HATES school...and every morning telling me he doesn't want to go.
He doesn't like being told what to do and when to do it, he says and the worst part of all of this is, I hated school for 11 years until I took the G.E.D. in 11th grade and finally escaped. (I can't remember hating K, but 1st on up) I have trouble telling him what the great part is that he should be looking for, because it always illuded me! He's a perfectionist and gets irritated when he tries to complete his work but his hand can't produce what he thinks it should.
We both, I suppose, have issues with being patient and going though the motions of "practice makes perfect". And it has been really uncomfortably warm lately, which is not exactly a mood elevator. I'm hoping that the upcoming cooler weather will eliminate some of the stress, but...
Although he is a very wise little boy, I do not believe that advancement is the answer. He struggles to finish his assignments and becomes angry when asked to practice things he is unfamiliar with or not good at.
D.B. answers from Charlotte on September 10, 2011
You've gotten a lot of comments that I hope will help you. I want to talk about the upcoming years with you, G..
LIE THROUGH YOUR TEETH to your child about how you felt about school. He doesn't have a prayer if you tell him that you hated school too.
If you are not working outside of the home, start going to the school every single week and volunteer. Help the teacher, get to know the guidance counselor, befriend the principal. Put yourself out front and center. BE the mother who the staff really like. It will help you get your child the teachers in the coming years who will be the right "fit" for your son's temperment.
There are a lot of teachers whose personalities will make your son hate school even more, and dig in his heels so that you will all be miserable. Having a great relationship with the school will help you keep from getting these kinds of teachers.
The school psychologist might be a great help to you as well. She can work with the teacher to help your son cope. And your son DOES need to learn coping skills to deal with his internal anger with a perfectionist personality.
10 moms found this helpful
D.S. answers from New York on September 10, 2011
I think what could be happening is your son's feelings are bringing up your own past feelings about school. Hating school is not inherited so I would try not to focus on that. However, if your son is strong willed, and used to getting things his way, and impatient, that can be inherited, lol. Sounds like my son and I. The best advice I can give you is to not feed into it, remain positive like you are, and set him straight firmly by telling him he needs to mind his teacher, he needs to listen when he is told what to do, he needs to follow the rules, and not to justify his feelings or allow him to believe that in any way the teacher is wrong. Sorry mom but behaving, listening, and following the rules, are things we have to instill in our children if we want them to have a positive experience in school. Teachers will not tolerate it, and they shouldn't. Being a perfectionist is another story, I think with my son, being a perfectionist came from praising too much, I know that sounds weird but too much praise can set our children up to thinking they can't fail, they have to do everything right. I always thought I was being a good mom by constantly praising and I realized later that I wasn't. Try to show him by pointing out your own mistakes that it is okay to not be perfect and even mommy makes mistakes. Good luck!!
7 moms found this helpful
J.C. answers from Philadelphia on September 10, 2011
I think people generally like what they are good at. Work with him at home so he becomes a good reader (check out the book "Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons"). Play racing math games to get him to know his math facts. Foster friendships by inviting kids over to your house. He may not love school but perhaps he will want to go to see his friends. Volunteer at his school if you are able. My kids love seeing me at their school.
I also teach my children the importance of a good attitude. I also roled played what a good attitude looks like and what a bad attitude looks like. This always cracked them up. I also believe happiness is a choice and I try to teach them this too. Does your son really think staying home all day would be fun? If he wasn't in school he would have responsibilities like cleaning, folding laundry and picking weeds in the garden:) Make sure he knows we all do things we don't want to do but your best off to make the most of it. Good luck!
6 moms found this helpful
G.J. answers from Los Angeles on September 10, 2011
Two things: make a personal and positive contact with the teacher. Your son will see this and realize that you are comfortable. As well as seeing that you have a "friend" in his teacher. Also, if you have the time. . . the younger grades love parent volunteers. Second item, offer a positive for your son in relation to school. Pick him up and go to the park or get a treat. Something he enjoys. This way he knows that if he attends school, then he also gets your time. He may be missing that time with you. It seems like you two have a great bond. What an awesome blessing.
5 moms found this helpful
K.W. answers from Seattle on September 10, 2011
Make a genuine attempt to make this work. Keep up your positive and light hearted attitude. This may just be first-week jitters. He may love school in a month.
Also start looking into alternatives like homeschooling. Public schools don't work for everyone. Start making inquiries of the local homeschool groups. Even if you're working full time, you might be able to set up some swaps that could be practical.
Hating school for a few weeks while you adjust to the new routine is fine. But don't leave your child to hate school for 11 years. There are so many good alternatives.
2 moms found this helpful
K.E. answers from Dover on September 10, 2011
Your son sounds exactly like mine was last year in kindergarten. He would do just about anything to stay home or get out of class. Once he put a plastic craft eye in his ear and we spent the day in the emergency room. He got himself kicked off the school bus by the middle of the school year. I was called weekly by the principal or one of the schools counselors plus the emails from the teacher at least twice a week. He did struggle with his work and he would take so much time to do the simplest things. This year he is in first grade. My husband and I had a lot of anxiety over school starting and both of us didn't think he could get through the first week without getting into some kind of trouble. My son recently told me that this year was going to be different that he really liked school and that there were a lot of bullies that bothered him last year that are no longer there. Last year he never once said that anyone was bothering him. He's only been in school a few weeks and so far things have been really great. Kindergarten was new for him last year and he didn't know how to handle what was expected of him. This year he already knows that there is an expectation.
2 moms found this helpful
C.W. answers from Santa Barbara on September 10, 2011
Please, please listen to Dawn!! She is so right!!
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T.C. answers from Colorado Springs on September 10, 2011
Boys develop their fine motor skills later than girls. He may need to wait a year to get going in formal school. If you are able, I would seriously consider homeschooling him. It is much more enjoyable, less stressfull all around, and you can focus on things he enjoys, learn in a different way than what the school can offer. In other words, you can teach him in a way that fits his style of learning rather than a one-size-fits-all method. You can enjoy reading together with hot cocoa (in the winter) and cookies, you can teach concepts of distance by marking out an area for him to run (feet, vs yards, vs mile, for example). The sky is the limit, and it is very exciting to see what you can do with your children learning this way. Yes, there will be parts of the schooling that will need to be done even if nobody really wants to do it. That is a fact of life. I assume that one day when he is married, he will have to do things in a job that he may not enjoy, at least part of his job anyway. It's character building. Children do not actually do best in an institutional setting. They do best in a loving environment where they are encouaraged and heard. At least maybe consider it.
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