My five-year old IC hated school.
She's a newbie in a German school here in the Philippines. We visited the school a few times before the school year started. She loved that there's a big swimming pool.
The first day of school started normally. She went inside the classroom and talked with her teacher. Then suddenly, she wont let go of me. She clung so tight I couldnt breathe. We had to bring her home because she was screaming and clinging; there is nothing we could do.
When she calmed down I asked her what happened. She said she wants a bigger bag. Then I remembered; her teacher noticed that she's got the smallest bag in the whole class. That made her a bit insecure. So off we go to buy her a new, bigger bag.
She got the bag; but never let go of me. Wont go inside the classroom; wont join the kids in the playground. Nope, she only stayed with me. That was the second day. The third day, we decided that I would join them in the classroom.
The fourth day I was asked to stay outside. IC was allowed to check that I am still there every few seconds. The fifth day IC insisted I should stay outside and wait until the school is out. And everything went smoothly afterwards.
And then came the one week semestral break.
A few days before classes would resume, she kept on saying she hates school. The night before classes would begin, IC cried herself to sleep. She wont go to school, she adamantly repeated. Never telling us the reasons why.
First school day? She cried and screamed. She wont stay in the classroom; and instead chose to sit alone on a bench outside the whole time. Second day? She cried and screamed, bite and kicked, slugged and pushed -- I had to compromise. She'll stay and I would sit outside until the school bell rings.
The third day, we talked to her teacher. It turned out that her bestfriend; the only girl who could really speak German; was transferred to another section after the school break. She felt really lost.
Thus both parties resolved:
- to find IC a 'new' buddy in class
- to give her extra activities that she loves to do
- to remind her again that doing hurtful things is not a good thing to do; that it is better if she would tell us what she wants
- to be patient but resolute in making her see that being in school is the best for her because she would get to know more friends and learn new things
- to understand what she is going through and try not to use bribes and threats to encourage her to stay in class
- but the best of all, she's got an invite from her teacher to write to her, to send her emails or text messages on just about any topic that she wanted to share (that made IC so proud)
- to take it easy and
Now, it seems IC's cured of her 'I hate school phase'.
What made IC excited about school again? She got injured in a biking accident and she wanted to show off her plastered foot :)