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To feel quite sick at the thought of my child starting school nursery?

(42 Posts)
Slightlyneuroricnat Fri 10-Jan-14 03:54:46

Hoping at least a few of you can identify with the overwhelming sick feeling I get everytime I think about my daughter starting at the school nursery in April.
Luckily she will be one of the eldest ( 3 years 10 months ) but has never been in any form of childcare before and although a very confident little thing, she is known to panic and cry if she can't spot me at the park / sort play etc.
I know it's only 3 hours a day but the thought of letting her to to strangers to be cared for makes me feel awful.

JapaneseMargaret Fri 10-Jan-14 05:08:33

Yes, I understand how you feel. My DC2 (DD, 3yrs 5m) will be starting Kindy in a couple of months, and I am slightly dreading it (not in the UK).

She is very shy, although a total character around people she knows. She is very much a Mummy's girl and hates being away from people she has a close relationship with.

However, bigger picture, I know this will be really good for her.

Your daughter being panicky when she can't see you in the park is totally normal, and no reflection of how she will be at nursery. At nursery, she will be in a safe environment, with people (albeit not her Mum) designated to care for her. In the park, when she can't see you, there's no-one else, so it's normal for her to feel panicked if she can't see you.

The initial settling in might take a bit of adjustment, but she will build bonds not only with her carers, but also with her peers. She will make friends, and she will feel safe. And people who work in these places do so, for the most part, because they actually like children. smile

My DS, who's older and a completely different personality, has absolutely thrived in the environment I am sending DD into, and so it's easy for me to have faith in it. I can see that it's not so easy for you, however you're obviously sending her there for a reason, and you really just have to have a little faith in both your decision, and in her.

And the other thing is that early childhood education is really, really important. It sets children up to learn. Children who participate in ECE before going to school statistically do better. It also helps with their social skills and builds their independence. And all of these things build their confidence and self-esteem.

These are all the things I remind myself of, when I'm having a wobble about her stating. She - and you! - will be fine. smile

CheshireDing Fri 10-Jan-14 05:10:08

Awww she will love it once she realises you come back for her and how many fun things there are to do there.

I find bigging things up in advance to make them sound really exciting helps, what about getting her a new bag or hat etc she chooses for nursery ?

formerbabe Fri 10-Jan-14 05:52:34

YABU when you say you are sending her off to strangers to be looked after...she is going to a nursery, its not as if you are handing her over to randoms in the street.

Chottie Fri 10-Jan-14 05:58:47

She will be fine and I am sure you will be posting to say how much she loves nursery and is benefitting from it.

Why don't you take her for walks past her nursery and show it to her and tell her that's where she will be going? It will give her a chance to see the building and for you to answer all her questions before she starts.

Please, please don't let her pick up on your fears smile

OpalQuartz Fri 10-Jan-14 06:10:17

Do the school do home visits or induction visits so they aren't strangers on the first day? Most schools and preschools offer this nowadays.

RubyrooUK Fri 10-Jan-14 07:53:07

A lot of parents feel very anxious about their children starting preschool. So of course you will not be alone.

But like someone says, don't let your daughter pick up on your fears. She may find it a new adventure and not suffer from fears. Talk lots to her about starting and explain what will happen. Tour the preschool with her. Walk past it lots.

These people who look after her will not be strangers very long and they are very used to this situation. Our children must be a few months apart in age and my very shy child has to start reception in September at age just four. I am terrified.

But the good thing is that both my children already attend nursery as I work. So I know what benefits it has brought on top of what I do. It has definitely helped DS1 deal with social situations with other children; develop friendships of his own with other children not based on my choice of friend for him but his own; and the staff are wonderful at discovering what he loves and helping him develop in that way. (Hopefully I do that too, but the more the better!)

So YANBU for having fears as she is your baby. But there don't seem to be any major reasons for thinking she won't cope with the usual preschool system. So don't worry too much as it sounds like you are more anxious than she will be; it should be a good experience for her and while you might miss her, hopefully soon you will enjoy hearing about her day and sharing a new type of relationship.

Andanotherthing123 Fri 10-Jan-14 07:56:01

YANBU - your daughter will start nursery, you'll have a good cry after dropping her off then you'll both quickly realise you have a whole other topic of conversation and you'll marvel in all the new stuff she's learning.

DS2 has just started school and it's painful but I look at my eldest now at 6 years and wonder why I ever worried. Ds 2 is at a special school and he's going swimming today - I can't look at his swim bag without tearing up and worrying although I know he's going to absolutely love it!

you and your daughter will be fine, it just takes a bit of time (giving myself the same advice!).

Slightlyneuroricnat Fri 10-Jan-14 09:34:45

Thankyou so much for all your kind words
It is the school nursery so my reason for sending her apart from the socialisation aspect as shes out different places everyday mixing with other children isn't really part of te decision, but I do think it's kinder for her to go for 3 hours for an entire year and a bit before starting school 9am-3pm everyday next september!
I def wouldn't let her pick up on my fears and we talk about it lots, some days shes very excited and other days she cries and says why can't I go with her :-(
She is also questioning why she has to go and not her sister who is 10 months younger hence why I was considering using a seperate pre school for my youngest once or twice a week to get some alone time with my eldest but then I feel that's unfair as I kept my eldest at home for nearly 4 years and she wouldn't even be 3.
Jesus mothers guilt is horrendous

OpalQuartz Fri 10-Jan-14 09:57:19

Oh yes I remember your other post. I was one of the ones saying preschool would be good for your younger one and the one to one with your eldest would be nice. But I'm glad you've reached a decision you are happy with (even if it is not what I suggested grin)

Blu Fri 10-Jan-14 10:10:51

You are overthinking this - understandably!

The reason she is going and not the younger one 'is because she is much too young, she isn't a big clever girl like you yet, she isn't grown up enough to do the fun things that you will be able to do, she will have to wait until she is allowed to go'.

Your older one going off to nursery is the normal pattern of everyone growing up in turn and moving forwards. Support her to blossom into it, it is about her, not you.

Hold tight!

Slightlyneuroricnat Fri 10-Jan-14 10:13:24

Opal,
Thanks, I'm guessing you've changed your username as cant find your post on my other thread but not many people were in favour of that idea!
It's still a possibility though and I am going to visit some pre schools over the next few weeks and see how she reacts and what feel I get for them.
Regardless of feeling panicked about my eldest going, having time with her alone is a different matter and something that I do think would be good for her as come next year she will be in school full time and the chance will have passed me by.

WilsonFrickett Fri 10-Jan-14 10:19:33

I didn't see your other thread but as you have children 10 months apart in age who have basically been treated 'the same' since they can remember, you have to prepare for the 'why doesn't my sister have to go' conversations, as well as the 'why can't I go too' conversations!

Older DD will start to be invited to parties, playdates etc on her own when she starts school and nursery, for example. Both girls will start to have different opportunities and social lives - you need to start treating this as a normal fact of life and (channeling my mother) start saying 'just because'. You can't make everything the same for both children which I think you are trying to do (from your post about spending 'alone time' with elder DD as if to try and make up for the fact her being at pre-school will give you 'alone time' with your younger DD).

I understand the anxiety about starting pre-school but I do think you're massively overthinking what is a completely normal part of family life.

BrownPaint Fri 10-Jan-14 10:23:27

I totally understand how you feel. I was really upset when DD started pre-school. Even though she has been with CMs from 18m.

She loves it, but I stick get a sick feeling when I drop her off and just watch her floating around for a while...heaven knows what I'll be like when she starts school...

purplebaubles Fri 10-Jan-14 10:23:56

Better she goes now, than waits until first day at proper school!

Do understand your fears. DD has been at nursery since she was 10 months. She is now 14 months and about to move rooms, to go with the wandering toddlers, I'm beside myself! She's far too tiny to move up.

However, she has thrived since being at nursery. Seriously. Best thing you can give your children is some independence.

Best tip - don't show her you're nervous/have concerns. Honestly, kids pick up on it. You need to be breezy, cheerful, have a lovely time darling and then cry in the car if necessary!

formerbabe Fri 10-Jan-14 10:57:51

These threads always make me feel like a crap mum...I was so happy on both my kids first day at nursery...
1. Because it is much more fun/social for them.
2. Time to myself!

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 10-Jan-14 11:00:38

YANBU about how you feel.

it is overwhelming for some/a lot of people, and even though I never felt like this I still felt guilty for leaving them, because they were crying and it's just horrible.

she is more than ready to learn how to be with peers and without you - even if the first few weeks will be difficult she will benefit from this inevitable next step.

be strong, it will be ok.

and in the meantime try and distract yourself, you don't want her to sense your fear and copy you!

good luck

peppinagiro Fri 10-Jan-14 11:05:38

I wish I could be at home for my little girl til she's 3/4 too sad You're so lucky, but I can completely understand how daunting it must feel. Ina way, I guess it's harder at that age as they're so much more aware. I'm going back to work in July and my little one will be going to nursery 2 days a week - she'll have just turned 1. She's a real velcro baby at the moment and wails if I so much as leave the room, so I'm dreading it.

Slightlyneuroricnat Fri 10-Jan-14 11:22:16

Peppinagiro
I think you're absolutely right, looking back to when she was 1 I think she would have dealt with it better!
Now she's so much more aware and can say " I don't want to go" pulling at my heart strings, making me wonder if it's the right call, it's far worse
Wilson
Again, correct
As they are so so close in age they are very similar intelligence wise and that's another factor making me consider pre school for my youngest when I wouldn't have when contemplated the thought with my eldest.
I don't want her to feel left out, and I don't want my eldest to wonder why she's going off somewhere and my you gets doesn't have to.
But again, maybe im viewing it all too negatively and she will enjoy being able to do something that my youngest can't.
My youngest is " the clingy one " so I think she would quite enjoy the time with just the 2 of us, just have an overwhelming sense of guilt there isn't a bigger age gap everytime I look at my eldest now.
Never had that before. In fact, I've preached about how fab the gap is. Although I guess even with a 3 year age gap my eldest would then be going off to pre school wondering why baby was at home so possibly that's a silly argument
I talk about it in a very positive way and make sure we walk pass once a week and say wow you will be going there soon because you're 3 and a big now now smile
As I said, sometimes she's happy about that and others not so happy

WilsonFrickett Fri 10-Jan-14 11:26:38

Even the most curious, adaptable and up for anything children are complete traditionalists OP. Basically, you're suggesting something as huge as abolishing the monarchy. To Prince Charles. It's natural that DD will have some wibbles.

I think as well on the other pre-school thing - do you really want to be dealing with settling two children who have never been away from you in two different pre-school care situations at the same time? Madness I tell ye! At least get DD1 in and settled before you think about something for DD2. And definitely don't do it just because DD1 will feel left out. Where will that end?

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 10-Jan-14 11:26:58

ah "I don't want to go"

that old chestnut! DS5 is 4 in May. he's been going to playgroup since Sept last year and LOVES it.

yet every morning he says "I don't want to go to playgroup". <rolls eyes>
I just smile and say "ok" then take him without any further duscussion, explanation, comment, begging or reasoning.
he comes home happy.
in fact yesterday he was stroppy because he didn't want to go home!grin
some things need to be ignored - obviously only once the new situation is established.

OpalQuartz Fri 10-Jan-14 11:46:52

Slightly Yes name changed since then. I was the one who wrote "I agree with Bonsoir..." Or something along those lines.

hackneybird Fri 10-Jan-14 13:52:19

YANBU - it's a big move but an important one, it's fairer on children for them to ave some time in the pre school environment before they start school proper.

But a childcare professional said to me once 'it's the parents that need settling in more than the children' and I do agree with that.

You'll both be fine, you're obviously doing all the right things in trying to get prepared.

Good luck!

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 10-Jan-14 16:11:06

and whatever you do DON'T hover!
say goodbye, kiss, hug then leave, decidedly!

Kids always pick up on the parents' hesitation and will in a split second decide that if they cry the events about to happen might just be avoided, decisions reversed.
so do her a favour and just go.
it will give a clear message that you are happy to leave her because she is in good hands, she will be safe, no need for drama.

hope this helps

Slightlyneuroricnat Fri 10-Jan-14 19:33:34

Thanks again for all your comments
Starting 2 at the same time would be too much I think
I think I'll start him and see how she goes but look at a few pre schools for my youngest to start the month after if I think she will settle okay and that my eldest would benefit from some time just the two of us

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