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Old 03-01-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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Getting a 7 yo to school everyday

when she doesn't want to go.

My two nieces just moved in with us last week. They are in foster care and have been for most of the last 2 years. Z is 7 and I'm having a very hard time getting her to school in the mornings. They didn't go to school at all last week and started a new school close to my house on Monday. Thursday was the first bad morning and I thought it was just because she hadn't slept enough. But this morning she got up and dressed but when it was time to get on her jacket and get in the car she wouldn't do it. I've ended up having to take them since we missed the bus both days and today I had to take them in thru the office. My husband was off work so it wasn't that big of a deal today but next week he will be at work Monday and Tuesday so I'll have 5 kids that I'll have to take in just to get the two oldest to school. I'm not sure what to do to make the thing go more smoothly. I'm e-mailing her teacher today so see how things are once she gets in the classroom.

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Old 03-01-2013, 08:37 AM   #2
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Re: Getting a 7 yo to school everyday

Our kids get a reward for getting ready for school on time - for us, this means you are dressed, teeth brushed, face & hands washed, bed made, room not a pig sty, and backpack out in the kitchen for me to pack... by 8:30am. (We live less than a mile from the school the kids just walk, no bus to catch.)
If they are have that done by 8:30, they get a star on their chore chart; 1 star = 15 minutes video game/computer time. If they aren't ready, they don't get a star.

I would see if there's any kind of a reward system that would work with her/them - maybe if they get ready every morning they can get a candy or ice cream on the weekend? Especially if she realizes that the other kids are getting something and she's not - that would make my kids get their butt in gear!
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: Getting a 7 yo to school everyday

what does she tell you when she says she doesn't want to go?

can she tell you a reason? Simply because she's tired of starting new schools? Insecure meeting new kids? Doesn't like something in particular?

I just think if you can isolate what the actual issue is, it could be easier to fix. For instance if she's just having a hard time finding a friend, then I'd see what I could do to arrange a fun playdate this weekend or sometime after school and see if that would help.

Maybe she got left at school a lot or didn't get picked up and is afraid you won't come get her - you might be able to find a way to help alleviate that fear.

I would make it as fun as possible, but it sounds like she's going through a lot of scary changes all at once. I think if she felt like she was being heard and understood and got to have a real conversation with you about her fears, then she might be less resistant.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange
what does she tell you when she says she doesn't want to go?

can she tell you a reason? Simply because she's tired of starting new schools? Insecure meeting new kids? Doesn't like something in particular?

I just think if you can isolate what the actual issue is, it could be easier to fix. For instance if she's just having a hard time finding a friend, then I'd see what I could do to arrange a fun playdate this weekend or sometime after school and see if that would help.

Maybe she got left at school a lot or didn't get picked up and is afraid you won't come get her - you might be able to find a way to help alleviate that fear.

I would make it as fun as possible, but it sounds like she's going through a lot of scary changes all at once. I think if she felt like she was being heard and understood and got to have a real conversation with you about her fears, then she might be less resistant.
This is pretty much what I had.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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When my daughter was having issues you going to school I talked to her teacher about it to see if anything was going on at school to make it hard. In your niece's case it sounds like she is a new child and I wonder if she is having trouble making friends. If she is maybe the teacher would be willing to pair her up with someone to "show her around" and hopefully she will be able to form friendships.
My friends sons teacher offered to drive by and pick up her son if he was not wanting to go with mom, her son was so embarrassed by the offer that he never fought back again
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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We have a lot of issues at the beginning of the school year. Going to a new school is an adjustment for any child. It sounds like there is more going on than just that though. I know it's difficult, but you've only had a week to work on it. That really isn't long enough for her to adjust to your rules and learn to trust you or her new teacher. Your whole family will need time to find a routine that works. Getting kids ready for school is a high stress time in a lot of homes. What worked in our house was an earlier bedtime and giving the kids an extra half hour in the mornings to wake up and prepare for the day.
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