Friday, 19 June 2009

Rocket Girl

I've been having some problems with daughter lately. She's been very clingy when I've dropped her at school. She says she doesn't want me to go. The teacher has had to peel her off me and one day daughter broke free and came running down the corridor after me crying "Don't go, mummy!". Some mornings she says she doesn't feel well. Classic symptoms of something wrong at school.

It's been irritating and annoying and now it's uspetting. For two terms I've had a daughter who loved school and couldn't wait to get there each day. Now she doesn't want to go. I've spoken to her teacher who assures me that she is fine once I've gone, but that doesn't stop the clinginess in the morning. I couldn't get to the bottom of it.

Last weekend, while I was out at a concert, husband managed to get to the bottom of it:

"The boys are mean to me"

Yes, I know we've had this one before, but this time she says one of them has punched her in the stomach. She says they kick and punch and she doesn't like it.

So, off I went to talk to her teacher again and explain what we've found out. She was very sympathetic and said that there is a problem with some boys' behaviour, but it is being addressed. She said that the parents have been in and sanctions are being imposed including keeping the boys in at break.

But how do I break this habit of clinging and crying?

Well, I had a brainwave. While I was on the Early Learning Centre website buying daughter a new paddling pool to replace the one I wrecked last weekend when I fell onto it (that's another story) I saw this:

Daughter has played with this every time we've been in the shop and begged for one for herself, but harsh mummy thinks she has enough toys and has said no on several occasions.

Ah ha!

I quickly ordered one and have told her that if she can do five mornings without clinging, it's hers.

So far we've had two mornings and what's happened?

"Bye mummy, see you later!"

Keep your fingers crossed!


Claire Sutton said...

Yup, bribery and corruption will work every time!

The good thing is that you know it isn't a completely serious problem if she can forget about it for a treat. It's when treats, bribery etc don't work that you know you've got a seriously sticky situation to deal with!

Tawny said...

I am with Claire, Bribery all the way.

In all seriousness, I am glad the school are doing something about the boys. Hopefully this will be an end to her tears.

Maggie May said...

Yep! Bribery is the way!
Oldest granddaughter is able to get her spelling test right each week as she gets something that she really wants.
BTW, both granddaughters go through these clingy phases and come out of it smiling.
Just been talking to another mum, after I dropped Millie off at Nursery and she is worried because her once *happy to be at nursery child*, is now a clinging wreck & won't go visit anyone or talk to anyone.

Hope the bullying child is able to be turned around to be more sociable.

Tri Mommy said...

Thank goodness we're not the only ones who bribe a little. Of course, I prefer to call it Behavioral Reinforcement. A reward for stiking to a desired behavior. This week it's Sea World if enough good behavior has been shown during the week (which we quantify by awarding tokens). Of course, our girls are about to turn 3...
Anyway, it's good to know that I'm not the only one!

sallymandy said...

My mother, who is a paragon of virtue, told me early on in my mothering career never to shy away from bribery.

This kind of tactic always worked with my daughter, too...

Good thinking, and good luck. I'm so glad your hubby was able to get to the truth.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

distracted from main post by the image of the wotsit...does it take batteries and is it for men or women...looks like summat from ann summers..obvious eh?/

Anonymous said...

There has always been bullying-TOM BROWNS SCHOOLDAYS-and it is difficult to know how to deal wih it. At least the school is dealing with it and your scheme seems to be working. I can understand how you is awful to wait at home knowing your little girl is terrified of something or someone and you feel helpless.
Had to take my son out of one school the bullying was so bad...but it was a boys boarding school and the environment was very British stiff upper lip, be a man etc.
Hope everything gets sorted out.

Suburbia said...

Bribery and corruption never fail!!

I hope they are addressing it well enough.

Nutty Gnome said...

I've just wandered onto your site via erm,........oh heck, somewhere else(!) and have had a very pleasant half hour reading through your posts and reminising about when my two daughters (now 19 and 16)were small, had their clingy phases, tried to have food fads (THAT didn't work - "get it eaten" was about as sympathetic as it got!),got bullied briefly and generally went through all the general growing up stuff - turning out (all too quickly!) as wonderful young people at the end of it.

I reckon that if the bribery works then it's not a major issue. I just hope school are successful with the boys.

Thanks for such a nice site! :)

Catharine Withenay said...

There is nothing quite like bribery and corruption!

Glad she's pulling through this, and that the school are dealing with the source of the problem. Sounds like Izzy'll do just fine!

becomingkate said...

Oh good luck! I hope those yucky boys stay away from her.

Working Mum said...

Claire - thanks for pointing out that if was serious, bribery wouldn't work. I'm sure it is just a habit now because I've been watching her playing at lunchtime (without her knowledge) and everything is fine now.

Tawny - school are doing all they can, but I think these boys just need to mature a bit; they are reacting as four year old boys do!

Maggie May - I like to think of it as the carrot approach rather than bribery! We all work well when there is an incentive. Hope that other mum gets her daughter sorted.

Tri Mommy - I'm sure there is no harm in behavioural enforcement; child psychologists do recommend reward charts. I think we're doing the right thing.

Sallymandy - well there you go, confirmation from a parent who's been through it all; bribery is okay!

FFF - it's hydraulic, I'm saying no more!

Moannie - you are right, it has always happened, but I think now schools are more focused on getting to root of why children are bullying and treating the cause rather than the symptom - much better. It must have been awful having your son bullied at boarding school when he couldn't even come home at night, I hope he was much happier at his second one.

Suburbia - yes, I can't fault the school and they have said that the parents have been very supportive and are working to sort out their boys' behaviour. As I said above, I think they need to mature, because they are basically good boys from supportive homes, they're just four and five!

Nutty Gnome - thanks for popping in and glad you enjoyed a little glimpse into my hectic life. Hope you return.

Catharine - yes, I think she'll be okay, I think the problem is virtaully solved, I just thought she had made this clinging thing a habit which needed to be broken. Looks like I could be right.

Becoming Kate - At them moment I've told her not to play with those boys until they start to be nice again; it seems to be working as I've observed her at lunchtime playing happily with some lovely boys and girls.

Kelloggsville said...

I have always used sticker charts for specific things. I remember having a drawing of a skateboard divided into 20 sections plus the 4wheels and when she got a sticker in every one she got the skate board. I still use the concept for music practise and timestables practise - it is part of her pocket money earning. if the chart is full she yets an amount of money if it's not she doesn't. There is no debate, no arguments. Specific targets, specific reward. Works very well for my daughter, but I know mums who have kids that it doesn't work for. We are not all motivated the same way.

Hope it all turns out ok for you both, sounds like it's going to X

Polly said...

Horrible boys, I hope that they are dealt with, how dare they be so brutal. Im glad that DD was finally able to talk about what was wrong and I hope that she is ok.

I think a present for being treated so horridly is a small consolation.

Anonymous said...

Sounds a bit like our house, bribery usually works unless the problem is more deep rooted. But fingers crossed, the problem at school is being addressed and you have seen the end to the clinginess. I went through a similar thing with Amy last year - bullying and taunting but it took a lot to actually get something done about it. But that was our school.

CJ xx

scaryazeri said...

Hi there,
Not a comment for your blog, but just to say please do not take any offense at me!!!! I really appreciate your friendship, you were one of my very first followers and I do read your blog all the time! so I hope I did not offend you. :( I am sad if I did. :((

Working Mum said...

Dear Scary (and anyone else who feels like that at the moment)

I'm really busy with work and stuff at the moment and my husband has commandeered the laptop at home! (Very helpful)

I will be back to read everyone's posts as soon as I can.

WM x