Questions in the Parenting Forum are being answered by doctors from MindWorks. Topics include: Behavioral Issues - Discipline, Emotional Development, Family Issues, Recreation, School Issues, Social Development
Not showing interest in eating & school but studying well
She started her pre-nursery in this school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and then we moved to India where she continued her nursery and preparatory (LKG and UKG). Again we moved back to Riyadh after two years of stay in India, and we admitted her in Grade 1. During this transition she had a break of six months at home.
Once arrived back to Riyadh, she was showing very much interested in joining school. We applied and she had written admission test for many schools, and finally we got admission in the same school where she started her pre-nursey, but now in Grade 1.
From the beginning she is not showing interest in going school, except the first day she returned home with happiness. Now everyday she is not eating / drinking when he starts his day to school; most of the times she is vomitting whether she eats/drinks or not eats/drinks; also not eating well in the school during break hours. Her school starts at 7:30 AM and she return to home at 3 PM. She started her food only at 3PM since last night. Her mother feeds her, otherwise she will take one and half hour to complete her lunch. Samething happening in dinner also. Overall she is not happy during these days; but she is securing good marks in all subjects, interested in doing home works, her teacher telling that she is very good in studies. Also her teacher complaining that she is not eating fast and she said she is caring her much by all means.
Somedays, if we said not to go to school because of her health / attitude then her face will change to normal (or happiness) but she will act like she is interested to go to school, till she get confirmed that she is not going school.
During the school week ends, she eats well, drinks well, play well..and she is happy.
We tried our best to get what wrong with her by all means; hard and soft but nothing worked.
How can we change her to show interest in school?
Please give me the telephone number to call you from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
your little girl sounds very anxious, though it is a good sign that she is eating well at home and on weekends. You should visit your pediatrician to rule out medical problems that could be causing her to vomit or have trouble eating, however if she is able to eat at home it is probably not only a physical issue. Children who are anxious often show symptoms with their body--particularly with changes in eating and sleeping. School fears often begin after a child has experienced an unsettling change such as a move, loss or transition to a new environment. If someone is doing something to frighten her (bullying, intimidation, abuse), that could also trigger changes in eating and mood.
I would recommend trying to find ways to help her feel more calm at school as well teaching her ways of handling anxiety. She may not be able to tell you much about why she is not eating, so you may have to meet with the teacher to learn more about what is happening in the classroom. If she eats slowly, she may feel so pressured to finish her food that she can not eat much. She may be nervous about the teacher, wanting to succeed, or be having trouble making friends. Ask the teacher about all of these issues, particulary if the teacher has noticed any bullying from other students. The school may have staff such as a guidance counselor or school psychologist who can observe your daughter and make some suggestions for how to help her feel more comfortable.
Meeting with a psychologist or therapist who can provide cognitive behavioral therapy would be ideal, however there are also books you may find helpful. You can order 'Be The Boss of Your Body' and 'What to Do When Your Worries Get Too Big' on major online bookstores such as Amazon. These books will help you teach her ways to calm herself down when she is feeling upset.
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