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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2012-06-20

Please help! 6 year old

I have a 6 year old daughter who is in Grade 1 - we have just recently moved from the coast to Pretoria. When we were in Durban the teacher couldnt stop raving about how bright she is etc. I am now having serious problems with her at school - she doesnt colour properly, her workbook is a mess, she loses her things etc. I have sat down with her one on one , now am i at my wits end and when she comes home without another item of clothing I now give her a hiding. I have taken away toys, tv time etc nothing helps. Once again this morning I had to sign a letter from the DOE because she is battling and its things she knows.I want to take her to a therapist but dont know who to take her too. Occupational, Educational or Child Psychologist. Her dad is not a part of her life (by choice), and i told him to stop calling her because everytime he has a new girlfriend and that person has a child my daughter gets told that she has a new sister / brother. He believes discipline is based on buying her things and not actually sitting down and dealing with the problem. I really dont know what to do anymore - I feel like sitting in a corner and crying because i have no more answers.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Giving kids a hiding is NEVER a good idea, it teaches that it's OK to use physical violence when you're angry or frustrated, and it does NOT teach kids to behave better. Do you really thi nk she voluntarily and deliberately, and consciously, decides to "lose" something ? If so, it would only be as a sign of distress and a desire for attention.
Is it not likely that your child has been temporarily disturbed by the move up from Durban, loss of friends and a school where she was confident and successful ?
Stay away from Ocupational Therapists who are too busy aggressively expanding their territory into fields where they have no effective training or expertise. A child psychologist would be best especially if the main part of the problem sems to be emotional ; an educational psychologist could be helpful if it seems mainly an educational problem.
Her father, as you describe him, is surely part of the problem, providing inconsistency and confusion, and inappropriate problem-solving.
As Maria says, give it time, lots of love, understanding, and calm chats about how things are going.
Take care to notice everything she does right and praise that ( not too lavishly, that feels insincere )
And as Purple says, think carefully about the possibility of bullying, which often explains why a previously conscientious child starts "losing" things.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2012-06-20

When a child who is usually very conscientious about their things suddently starts coming home without their cap or jersey or whatever, it raises flags about bullying.

Your child has just moved all the way across the country, lost her friends, after just having coped wtih the transition to grade 1, the work is different, the school is different and has different rules - she isn''t struggling academically, she is struggling to cope and the problems at school are a symptom of that.

She needs kindness and compassion and understanding - not hidings.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Maria | 2012-06-20

It sounds as if your daughter is having a hard time adjusting to your new circumstances. I would give it some more time, be patient, lots of love and attention. Praise her when she does do something right or well. If you had none of these problems in Durban then I really think that''s all it is. Post on the Parenting Forum too, for advice from other parents.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-06-20

Giving kids a hiding is NEVER a good idea, it teaches that it's OK to use physical violence when you're angry or frustrated, and it does NOT teach kids to behave better. Do you really thi nk she voluntarily and deliberately, and consciously, decides to "lose" something ? If so, it would only be as a sign of distress and a desire for attention.
Is it not likely that your child has been temporarily disturbed by the move up from Durban, loss of friends and a school where she was confident and successful ?
Stay away from Ocupational Therapists who are too busy aggressively expanding their territory into fields where they have no effective training or expertise. A child psychologist would be best especially if the main part of the problem sems to be emotional ; an educational psychologist could be helpful if it seems mainly an educational problem.
Her father, as you describe him, is surely part of the problem, providing inconsistency and confusion, and inappropriate problem-solving.
As Maria says, give it time, lots of love, understanding, and calm chats about how things are going.
Take care to notice everything she does right and praise that ( not too lavishly, that feels insincere )
And as Purple says, think carefully about the possibility of bullying, which often explains why a previously conscientious child starts "losing" things.

Reply to cybershrink

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