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How to help an unhappy child...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lizzii_2008, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. lizzii_2008

    lizzii_2008 New commenter

    I am in nursery but thought I'd post in Primary for some all round views and opinions! Basically a little girl in my class goes home and tells parents and family she doesn't like nursery and none of the other children talk to her (she is only part time 2 1/2 days a week, majority are full time). I thought I had a good relationship with her parents but mom seems a little off lately but hasn't raised any concerns.
    I am certain that of the 25 children in my class, 24 of them go home happy and I'm just not sure how to help this particular child.
    She is so quiet and doesn't initiate any conversation with ANYONE and although she does like to answer questions, she does not communicate with her peers. She is an only child and is very happy to play alone.
    Do I continue on because the parents haven't raised any issues or are there any ways that I can support this child? I am an NQT and just a little unsure what to do!
  2. how about giving her a job (that needs doing most days) with another child who you think she could bond with.
  3. If she doesn't speak to anyone, I think you should speak to the SENCO, because that could be an indicator of several different conditions.

    The fact that she's an only child is irrelevant.

    do you have any other confers about her?
    Is she behind in any other skills?
    is she able to take turns?
    How are her fine and gross motor skills?
    How's her eye contact?
    What's she like at story time?
    Can she sit still?
    Does she understand the story?
  4. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Maybe she just hates nursery and would rather be at home with her mum. And maybe other children do too bu twant to please the adults around them, who send them to nursery, by appearing to like it. I didn't tell my parents lots of things that I hated as a child because I didn't want to upset them. Nursery children are really very young. I would be more surprised if every child liked nursery then if some didn't.
  5. lizzii_2008

    lizzii_2008 New commenter

    This is partly what I don't understand; she is very bright! She can write her name, identify letters and link to sounds, form letters well etc. She answers questions in whole class and group times, sits perfectly with the other children and I have no concerns at all about her academically.
    Obviously in nursery there is lots of free choice and she plays alone and does not talk to any other children in the nursery and she is telling her parents she has no friends and no one talks to her but she doesn't attempt socialising even with adults near or joining in the conversation.
    I have added her to my speech and language group who do a lot of work on turn taking and just general talking.
    Having spoken to mom a before Christmas, she stated that the little girl is a complete chatter box at home and on a recent trip to the park, where parents were welcome to join, she stayed alongside her father the whole time and chatted away happily to him.I'm just a little unsure the best way to approach this situation!
    Also, my class love nursery and most of them bounce through the doors happily everyday apart from 1 or 2!
  6. You do realise that bright kids can have SEN as well.......
  7. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    Some children - especially bright, only children - are often more comfortable with adults than with other children.
    In some ways, your description of this little girl, reminds me of my own daughter when she was younger. When she was 2 and a half, we sent her to nursery for 2 mornings a week, because she wasn't getting many opportunities to play; with other children. She was an only child, and spent the week with either her dad or his parents (I was working full time).
    Cariadlet was very chatty at home, and also seemed very confident and sociable when I was out and about with her at weekends - chatting away to strangers in shops. But most of these conversations were with adults.
    When Cariadlet first started nursery, she played alongside other children rather than with other children. She found it quite hard to break into friendship groups as she was only going for a couple of mornings (which I thought was plenty for her at that young age), whereas most of the other children were full time. As most of the other children had been going to nursery since they were babies, the friendship groups were well established when she joined.
    The difference between Cariadlet and your little girl, is that Cariadlet always liked nursery - even in those early days when she played by herself. She did eventually make many friends and enjoyed playing with (rather than alongside) them.
    I think that the little girl in your nursery is finding it difficult, because the nursery environment is so different from what she is used to. She probably had a lovely time at home in a nice quiet environment with a mum who gave her lots of attention and played with her. She can't see the point of being sent to a building full of lots of other children. When she goes home and says that she doesn't like nursery, don't take it personally. It doesn't mean that she doesn't like your or your nursery. She just prefers being at home, to being in a pre-school setting.
    Although her feelings are understandable, the next step is to try and make her feel more positive about nursery. I'd start by playing alongside her yourself, for a short time each day. Talk aloud about what you are doing, leaving openings for her to join in a conversation without forcing her by asking direct questions (she would probably answer these to be polite, but you want to aime for her to choose to talk to you).
    She's likely to talk to you fairly soon as she is used to adult company. You may find other children coming over to join in the activity. When this happens you'll be able to make it a shared activity quite easily without forcing the little girl to join in any conversations.
    It will probably be a long time, before this little girls is initiating conversations with other children or seeking out other children to play with, but I'm sure that it will happen eventually.

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