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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Little Miss Worrier

My Girl is still afraid of school and the teachers. Each day she worries about whether she has packed all her books. She worries she will be scolded if she forgets. She worries that she may forget doing her homework and handing it in. There are many different sets of books for each book and she has to remember to differentiate between them. For example, for Mathematics, she has a text book and an activity book for Maths in Chinese. She has another text book for Mathematics using the Abacus plus a numbers book for Maths in English. (She may have more as we have not been given the full set of books yet.) She insists on bringing most of her books "just in case". "Mummy, I want to bring this math book too just in case teacher asks for it." This increases her bag load but for now I let her bring her books "just in case" ... until we are surer of what books are needed for each subject.

She dare not lend her pencils and color pencils to those around her when they ask for it because "Teacher said we cannot lend or borrow from each other. I am scared that teacher will scold me." Then she is unhappy because her friends call her selfish.

As soon as she woke up yesterday, the first words that she uttered was "I think I need to bring some glue today because today is arts and crafts day. Can we put it in the bag?"

At school she cried when teacher asked them to take out a text book and she could not find her text book in the bag. Later on she discovered it was in her bag but she had missed it out when searching but she panicked and cried. Then she cried again when she saw the boy next to her taking out a book which she did not bring. Then she checked her timetable and realised that the book was not required for the day.

This morning, before she left, she wanted to check her bag again to make sure that she has not forgotten to do any homework that was required. "What if I forget?" she asks worriedly.

"The teachers are so fierce." "School is so long" (school hours is so long. She finds 1 hour for a subject to be very long). "The teacher scolds me everyday even when I did not do anything wrong." (When the teacher scolds the class, she takes it personally.) "I don't like school. I don't want to go to school."

The best thing we can do is to listen to her, support her but not manja her because that would not be helping her. She has to learn to toughen up and accept school life for what it is. The fierce teachers, the longer school hours as compared to preschool, the heavy school bags, the homework. Good thing I did not sign her up for any after school activities which lasts up to 3.10pm for Std 1 and 2 kids and up to 3.40pm for kids from Std 3 onwards. After school activities is compulsory from Std 3 onwards.

She is getting braver in speaking in Mandarin to some classmates now. "The boys speak to each other in English most of the time but the girls speak to each other in Chinese." Funny. This was what I observed too, when I visited the school earlier on before she started Std 1.

As for lessons, they have only just begun. There were no lessons for the first 3 weeks of school. Lessons now are still very simple. Much simpler than what she has learned at kindy. At the moment, her little brother still brings home more homework than her.


  1. Perhaps u can help her pack the books like what I did for Wien:


  2. My girl cried again on the Mon, Wed and today but not on the Tues(she was so happy to go to school that day, I dun know WHY???). I accompanied her this morning(which I don't do that normally) to school till 7.45am but she still cried and asked me to stay longer. Hubby asked me to calm her down but I've failed. Her class teacher asked me why is she so emotionally lately and she said maybe she'll change her seating with another friendly/talkative boy..lets see how?!
    But my girl never did complained about her teachers/the school books but only once about the boy sitted next to her...aiyoh, macam-macam reasons..

  3. Jesslyn,
    Thanks for sharing your tips. We've only just got the timetable right before the CNY. So I've just started to teach her how to pack her own bag. The teachers advised us not to pack the bag for the kids but to curi curi check. Hahaha. So I ask her to pack herself based on her timetable. She has no trouble with that. She packed everything correctly but she is still worried! Alamak!

    Princess Geraldine's Mummy,
    My girl also complained about the boy sitting next to her. Said he kept on borrowing her pencil and then loses it. Its so good of your girl's class teacher to take note of this and even suggest a change. As for my girl, she'll just have to learn to be tough and learn to deal with these things herself. What we can do is talk to her and try to give her tips.

  4. Admire your composure in managing this. I'd be even more worried than my daughter if I were in your shoes. Courage is needed to stay the course despite the present 'burden' of seeing your child in a challenging situation and you certainly have it!Hope the 'pain' will turn to 'gain' soon. I certainly can't bear to feel the stress...

  5. MG, your daughter sounds like me. I'm always making doubly sure whether my boys need a certain book or not! I just don't want to get caned because of an unintentional 'oversight'. I'm more kangcheong than my boys!! No2 is still having morning blues so you can be sure that your daughter is not the only one still having 'anxieties'. If only the teachers are less fierce.....

  6. Anna,
    Can't be helped. Just have to listen and talk to her. If try to hug hug and manja manja her it will get worse, not better.

    Haha. I just wrote a post about "Fierce Teachers"...

  7. To read all your post about the girl experiences in her new school, I get a conclusion that she's not happy at all there. Just curious... did you really make a good decision for her, I mean the school and her happily learning experiences ?

  8. henny,
    I don't think it has come to a stage for that question to pop out though it is a question that is always there at the back of our minds. This is what we have expected to deal with when we sent her to Chinese school here because it is the culture and the way of the school. However, the other choice which we have isn't much better so we plod on for a while and give her and the school a chance first.


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