Archive for the ‘School’ Category


February 6, 2011

In a complete turnaround from my last post, we’ve had a great week of Ella going to school. On Monday, when Ma, a former childminder, takes Ella at lunchtime, she texted Hannah to say Ella had skipped to school. On Tuesday, we changed the morning routine, so that Ella got up of her own accord, about half an hour later than we’d been getting her up; we said there’d be no television before school, unless she went without crying; and to ease the trip to school (in case I’ve been force-marching her up the road and hill too quickly), I drove. This seemed to have great results, as she again skipped from the car into school, and apart from a wee bit of clinging at the door, she was fine when I escorted her into class. On Friday, again we let her get up at her own time (which does give enough time to get ready), she did television (because she’d been good) but I did have to walk, because on a Friday I go into work, and I don’t have time to drive home, park and catch the ferry. Nevertheless, she was very good again, even remarking when I was putting her shoes on at home: ‘I don’t want to be late for class’. The other change we’ve made, which Ella calls ‘lesser lunch’, is to put less in her lunch bag, with the aim of reducing the pressure to finish it all off at lunchtime, and increase the chances of reward from the teachers.

So a spectacular turnaround in behaviour, and a hattrick of good trips to school. I hope it continues, and Ella develops a more positive attitude to school and sees it as a happy place to go. There will be enough stresses and strains during her school career in the coming years, without the relaxed early years being difficult.


The Trial of Pre-School

January 30, 2011

Ella goes to pre-school 2 and a half days a week. I take her twice, for the two whole days she goes. As I mentioned in the previous post, she’s been quite resistant to going to school on many occasions. What is most strange is that once at school, she’s fine and enjoys it and plays with the other kids, doesn’t have any problems with the activities; it just seems to be the prospect of school and going there she doesn’t like.

This week has been a case in point. Monday was bad, I don’t know the details because Ma, who has often babysat for Ella, takes her on that day. Then on Tuesday she put on a right performance. Last week she wasn’t well, so she was trying to use this as an excuse on Tuesday, pretending to cough. She started crying when we left the house, and all the way on the 15 minute walk to school. She got worse when we arrived, and while I took off her coat and hat. Then, just as we were going to the door from the hallway into the main classroom, she pulled out a big fake cough, while crying, and choked and vomited. Very embarrassing, quite worrying, but I knew it was entirely because she was winding herself up. Fortunately I had a change of clothes, so got her changed, and wiped her face. There wasn’t a lot of ‘product’. I felt I had to persist, or she’d use the same behaviour in future. So I handed her over to her keyworker and legged it. I rang up the school later in the morning, and they said she was just fine, outside playing happily away with the other kids. Nice. I had been confident that this would be the case when I left her, because it always is.

Friday wasn’t dissimilar – crying when we left the house and all the way along the walk. This time I kind of gave in and gave her a carry. At least during that she stopped crying, but started again when we arrived in school. I also changed routine here, and rather than fighting to hang up her coat and bags while she stood by sobbing, I just chucked them on the floor and took her through to her keyworker, who Ella loves and calms her down quickly and gets her involved in something she enjoys. This was to avoid another chunder event, and it did work in avoiding a repeat of Tuesday’s horror. Again, once there she was fine and came home at the end of the day with a ‘Good Girl’ sticker, showing that she’d done well at school.

So it remains a mystery why she gets so emotional about going. Hopefully this isn’t a 400 evidence sheet on why we’re bad parents. We feel that now she’s going to school (even just pre-school), to stop now would give a bad message about real school. So we’re hoping something finally gives and Ella realises she likes school, and is happy to go.