There’s something familiar happening here, something that’s worrying me.
Baby girls having a tough time at school again.
Before I tell you about my worries, let me tell you about a few stories, things will all kinda add up in the end.
About 7 weeks ago baby girl got her first school party invitation, she was very excited. I noticed that during the party she seemed to struggle with interacting with her peers, she didn’t seem to know how to play with them and instead kind of just ran along side them, or stood along side them. Later on during the party a little girl came up to me, she was a shy little girl and her dad had only just managed to pries himself away from her to leave. She sat at the table and said ‘your BABY GIRLS mom aren’t you, she’s funny she’s always getting in to trouble for hiding under the table’. Its early days I thought, she’ll settle I’m sure.
About 6 weeks ago, baby girl was on the playground at home time, there was a girl happily playing on her scooter, it was one of those funky ones that have sparks that come out the back, any way, baby girl was really enjoying watching her playing whilst we waiting for her sisters. The little girl was smiling and gesturing to lots of the other kids and clearly enjoying all the attention she was getting. She scooted across the playground in our direction, oblivious of baby girls squeals of ‘go faster, go faster’. As she approached us she heard baby girl, looked in our direction to see who was calling out to her and that’s when i noticed it. The little girls face dropped. She went from being happy and smiley to angry and hostile. Baby girl quickly stepped back behind me and looked in another direction. I asked baby girl who the girl was, she told me it was a girl from her class. I asked if it was her friend, she said ‘yes, but sometimes she doesn’t like me’ I asked baby girl how she knew that sometimes she didn’t like her, baby girl said ‘ because sometimes she looks at me and goes urgh, its you’. Take no notice I said.
About 5 weeks ago, big girl tells me that baby girl was chasing one of the big boys around at play time. Baby girl said ‘but I love him mom, I really do. Your too young, I said, play with the children in your class.
About 4 weeks ago baby girl got a yellow card, it was on a Monday. This meant that on the Friday she had to miss her playtime. Her friend had given her a toy at play time. She’d put it in her dress pocket. In class she had her hand in her pocket and was messing with the toy. Her teacher asked her if she had something in her pocket. She said no. apparently she said no 3 times before her teacher told her to take the toy, that she knew she had, and put it in her bag. I attempted to explain to her teacher that day that whilst I agree that lying isn’t acceptable, she should also be aware that baby girl was lying out of fear. Fear of what would happen if her teacher got angry, She knows that angry adults can be scary. Her primal reaction is always fear based. I also tried to explain that a shame based sanction would just reinforce baby girls view of herself that she was bad. She missed her playtime that Friday.
About 3 weeks ago baby girl came out of school quite upset, after over an hour of trying to find out what was the matter I discovered that during play time one of the older boy’s had shouted at her to ‘move’. Now I know baby girl struggles with shouting and loud sudden noises, but her mood seemed very out of proportion for something that had happened hours before.
About a week ago baby girl came out of school and looked very worried and sad. She told me she’d been chosen to be a narrator in the Christmas play but she didn’t want to do it. With baby girl clinging to my arm I tried to speak to her teacher and explain that if we removed the pressure from baby girl by saying she didn’t ‘have’ to do it if she didn’t want to then i felt sure she’d feel more comfortable with the role and less pressured. the only reply the teacher would give is ‘well we do like them to have a try’. Clearly reluctant to help baby girl by reducing the pressure, I told her myself ‘if you don’t want to, you don’t have to’. Baby girl refused to hold my hand as we left the playground that day.
Last week baby girl came out of school upset. She said some of the children had said she’d broken a skipping rope and as a result she wasn’t allowed to play with the toys on the playground for a week. She was adamant that night that she hadn’t broken anything and thought the children must have got her mixed up. I spoke to her teacher the following morning and explained that I felt baby girl hadn’t broken anything and she was upset at being punished for something she hadn’t done. Her teacher said she’d sort it. When I collected baby girl later that day she told me her teacher had spoke to her, she told me she thought she was annoyed with her, she told me she kept saying ‘tell the truth’, she told me her teacher said she was ‘wasting her time’, she told me, ‘she didn’t believe me mommy’. I rang the head. She promised to sort it out on Monday (today) and let me know.
I collected baby girl today, she told me no one spoke to her about the skipping rope incident and she’s still not allowed the toys. Baby girls was very dark and negative tonight, I knew there was something she wasn’t telling me. After much investigating she told me about her day. There was prolonged trips to the toilet and swinging on the toilet doors, and her teacher telling her off. There were incidences of rocking on her chair, and her teacher telling her off. There was talk about not doing her work, and her teacher moving her. There was talk about swapping lunch with the little girl that didn’t like her. There was talk about spending a long time in the dinner hall, in fact most of lunch time. There was talk about children saying unkind things to her in the line on the way out of class.
Baby girls behavior at home has become more difficult over the last few weeks, she’s been more hostile and argumentative with her sisters. Her play has been much more negative with lots of talk about death and blood, she’s constantly mouthing and chewing things, she’s more fidgety and clearly not happy, even her sleep patterns have changed drastically.
Her teacher appears to have already lost her trust, any feelings of safety that she felt at school disappeared when her teacher disregarded her feelings and inflicted a shame based sanction on her and reinforced the idea that she is ‘bad’. If that wasn’t bad enough, she then later refused to hear her fears over the school play and then failed to believe her innocence allowing her to be punished for something she didn’t do.
She didn’t read any of the information I gave her did she!
Things are feeling really familiar here at the moment. She’s becoming totally dis-regulated in school again.
I’m very worried that things are just going to deteriorate, fast.
What do I do!?