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What would you have adviser your daughter to do?

(26 Posts)
grandtanteJE65 Sat 25-Sep-21 14:54:34

My daughter was practically in tears on the phone.

When she takes her 6 year old son to school - he started school in August at the start of our new school year -, he is happy and she is glad BUT

another little boy stands crying violently and his father just walks away..This happens every morning.

She asked, should she try to comfort the boy, ignore him, as everyone else is doing, or speak to his teacher, or to his father=

I said I would have had a quiet word with the teacher and sais it distressed me to see a child who was obviously so unhappy. It is, after all, part of her job teaching the reception class to deal with this sort of thing.

Well, DH told me in no uncertain terms that our daughter should do nothing , By saying anything to anyone she risks being called an interfering busybody, or an overprotective mother and that either of these opinions if held either by the staff or other parents could make our grandson's schooling impossible.

I frankly couldn't believe me ears, but to be on the safe side told our daughter of her father's opinion and said that my advice may have been wrong and that she should wait a while and see whether the boy in question settles down.

What would your advice have been? Similar to my husband's or to my original advice, or something completely different?

When I asked her, she said the boy seems genuinely upset, and is not just throwing a tantrum.

Bridgeit Sat 25-Sep-21 15:05:53

Perhaps strike up a friendly conversation with the father about what it’s like when children get upset etc.
If that doesn’t bare fruit then a confidential word to who ever is responsible for the well being of pupils at this school is essential.

Calendargirl Sat 25-Sep-21 15:06:45

If he keeps on crying when he goes into class, his teacher must be aware that something is wrong.
Perhaps the school are already aware of the issue, maybe it has already been discussed with the father and he has been advised to walk away, not prolong the goodbyes?
I’m inclined to agree with your husband, there may be reasons why the situation is what it is.
I don’t think it is up to your daughter to interfere, unless it keeps happening and the school seem unaware.

Soroptimum Sat 25-Sep-21 15:14:02

I’m obviously guessing here, but I bet the tears quickly dry up once dad has disappeared. Parents are advised not to prolong the agony! I would advise not to interfere - as that is what your daughter would be doing, however well intentioned.

icanhandthemback Sat 25-Sep-21 15:14:12

My child did this at school every morning without fail throughout his Primary School. The moment we got into the classroom he settled down. The more I tried to reassure him, the worse he got until he would make himself sick. Eventually, when it continued at the start of every half term, at the age of 10 we decided that we needed to seek help or his life would be hell at secondary school. He just wasn't ready for help sooner and apart from a wobble a couple of years in, he was fine. Strangely, although he remembers crying and feeling upset, he can't remember why but his abiding memories are happy ones of his school days.
Maybe instead of your daughter saying anything, she could encourage her children or others she knows to try to distract the crying child.

DiscoDancer1975 Sat 25-Sep-21 15:14:30

What happens afterwards? Does he settle down quickly? Is this at the school gate? Is there a teacher there seeing them in, or does he have to make his own way, up the path? Into class? Still crying.

My gut reaction is not to get involved, and leave it to the staff, so long as he’s in no danger. Definitely don’t speak to the father. Often, in my experience, the more you pander...the longer it takes. We also don’t know about him or his home life.

I remember a little girl being like this at nursery when her mum left, and it upset me. Mainly because she didn’t need to be there by law, and she was so young. Three maybe. So not necessary. School is necessary, so he has to learn, but keep out of it as much as possible.

Grandmabatty Sat 25-Sep-21 15:21:42

I'm with your husband here. Although it must be distressing for your daughter to witness this, she really doesn't know what has been agreed with the father. By comforting him, she might be making the situation much worse. It goes against the grain I know, to leave a little boy in tears but she should leave well alone.

VioletSky Sat 25-Sep-21 15:22:46

The school will already be aware. Most children who cry at drop off calm down very quickly. If the child wasn't they would be looking to handle it differently.

He is in safe hands at school, his father knows this and obviously the school has probably communicated to him that his son is OK when he leaves.

He is also probably putting on a stoic face for the sake of his child coupled with some embarrassment. It may not be a reflection of how he is actually feeling inside.

I'd tell your daughter to stay out of it honestly.

BlueBelle Sat 25-Sep-21 15:51:57

I feel I m with your husband too I doubt the father is unaware of the tears and has been told how to handle it When I did a few years as a teacher assistant there was a little girl who came in every day in floods of tears hanging onto her mum who had been told to say bye bye see you later and go She was fine after about five minutes in the classroom but the same would happen the next day
So I think your daughter should stay away from it ….totally different if she saw him fall or being bullied

eazybee Sat 25-Sep-21 16:42:58

I would imagine the class teacher is aware of the situation and the father has been told to leave his son without fuss.

Your husband's advice was right, although it was an over-reaction to suggest your concern could impact on your grandson's education. It would not.

Peasblossom Sat 25-Sep-21 17:19:06

How would she feel about someone interfering in her parenting because they thought they knew best about her child?

I bet she wouldn’t like it!

Well meaning interference can undo weeks of progress. Let alone the implications of an unknown adult deciding to “comfort” a child 😱

And staff, quite rightly, won’t discuss a child with anyone except the child’s responsible adult.

Oh my goodness, tell her your advice was totally wrong. Not may have been. Just in case she’s tempted.

Hithere Sat 25-Sep-21 18:33:48

I agree with your dh

All your daughter sees is a glimpse of their day, not enough to evaluate how to proceed.

I bet it is distressing for her. Not her circus not her monkeys.

My child has days where she is truly upset and doesnt want to go to daycare.
Our strategy: have a great day! We love you! (In cheery happy voice with marching face)
Inside, I want to cry too but doesnt help

User7777 Sat 25-Sep-21 19:09:08

Yeah, mine was on the ground, like an upside down beetle, crying, legs and arms flying. The classroom assistant, had a major job on her hands for a week. Mine was keen to go to school initially. But then realised it was everyday virtually. Another kid in her class, tried to escape, cried everyday in Primary School. She became a car mechanic. I was asked to walk away, so I did, but at 3pm, my kid came out smiling having had a good day. It was separations anxiety for mine. Best scenario as I see it, is to get them ready for school. I taught mine concentration, and the ability to read before school admission. We all have a little cry when they start school. As a reception teacher once told me, that year, reception intake, is the hardest for teachers.

wildswan16 Sat 25-Sep-21 19:09:16

If he is so upset then the teacher will have noticed. Perhaps the father has already checked with the teacher and knows he very quickly stops crying.

The father leaving quickly is possibly the very best way of dealing with the situation. This is a situation your daughter should not interfere with. Your DH is very sensible.

Bibbity Sat 25-Sep-21 19:12:09

Team DH.

This is very common for some children and the most advised thing is to drop them off and leave not to create more upset.

freedomfromthepast Sat 25-Sep-21 19:22:46

My own daughter grabbed onto my leg screaming like a banshee. Another mom had to pry her off my leg and hold her so I could leave. Teachers advised me the best thing to do was to leave quickly and with little emotion as most children calm down once in the classroom.

She would come outside every day after school and tell me about her wonderful day.

I know it is hard as a parent and grandparent to watch children cry like that, but it is best to leave it alone.

cc Sat 25-Sep-21 19:33:37

Let the school deal with it.

Callistemon Sat 25-Sep-21 20:11:01


I’m obviously guessing here, but I bet the tears quickly dry up once dad has disappeared. Parents are advised not to prolong the agony! I would advise not to interfere - as that is what your daughter would be doing, however well intentioned.

Very true.

When DD2 started school she saw all the other children howling in the playground and was bemused!
Then, after a couple of weeks, the tears subsided but DD decided she ought to have a good cry - she was fine once she got into school.

The teacher will be aware if he continues crying (he probably won't) and will deal with it.

Callistemon Sat 25-Sep-21 20:15:23

Could your DD ask your DGS to go over to the other little boy, then leave the playground herself (watch from a distance) so that the boys can go into class together?

Neen Sat 25-Sep-21 22:41:36

Retired TA here. I'd be surprised if the school are unaware. They may have even advised to walk away and don't look back( though generally with such situations a staff member is in sight ).
Quite often separation anxiety can be overwhelming but once in the schools after bell and routines, it seems less emotional for the pupil.( For some anyway ).
Quite often the parent/s worry all day and phone etc and the pupil is fine .

CafeAuLait Sat 25-Sep-21 23:34:10

Also team DH. I doubt the teacher is unaware. She or he is probably working with the father on this. You don't know what is going on with this boy that you don't see. Nothing worse than being judged as a parent when you already have to deal with difficult circumstances and are doing your best.

Newmom101 Sun 26-Sep-21 13:17:45

My DD is 4 and cries at drop off pretty much every day, no tantrum just very upset at me leaving. She’s been like it since she was small regardless of whether she was left with her dad, family or nursery. She just doesn’t like me leaving.

However, within a few minutes of me being gone she’s fine, the tears stop and she’s off playing. If I walk quickly away, doing a quick drop and go, she settles quicker because there’s less time for her anxiety to build up. If I stay and try to comfort and encourage her into class she’s far worse and takes longer to settle as she’s more anxious about me leaving.

The school will be well aware of the situation. In my DDs case she is under referral for autism screening so there is potentially underlying SEN issues.

Your daughter may feel upset seeing it but I’m sure the dad feels far worse. I feel awful but I know she’s happy there once I’ve gone.

Chardy Sun 26-Sep-21 13:31:59

Advice - mention it to the teacher personally or by email, then leave it.

lemsip Sun 26-Sep-21 14:36:03

your daughter should tell a teacher a child is distressed in the playground. you were right and your DH is horrible!

the parent of the child may be trying tough love..thinking the quicker he leaves the quicker the child will settle down........I remember when my children started school they'ed be crying and I'd be worried all morning but when I collected them the teacher said they were fine as soon as I left the, anyone else remember that.

Hithere Sun 26-Sep-21 15:16:45

The key here is not the kid, but your daughter's reaction -what does she feel so affected by it?

As a parent, I would make me sad to see that but to the point to be in tears and affecting so personally?

That is unusual.