4Yr old still getting upset going to nursery

(13 Posts)
Juneywoony Wed 12-Jun-13 11:30:37

Would like your advice lovely ladies.

My Ds who was 4 in April has been going to a lovely Pre school since last September he goes everyday 9 - 12, it is attached to the school he will be starting in September and the Reception is next door which incidentally my DD 5 is in. The first couple of weeks he was excited to go and went in smiling which I was surprised about as he has always been a bit clingy to me but happy he was settling in so well, since then though he has changed and we go through phases of him saying first thing he does not want to go, crying, clinging on to the doors when I am trying to get him in. The latest phase has been most of the year to be honest, obviously I have spoken to the teacher and assistant to see if there are any problems with other children etc but they say there is not and that 5 minutes after I leave he is fine and is for the rest of the morning. When I ask him what is the matter he says that he just wants to stay with me because he loves me which is really sweet but he needs to go.

I try not to pander to him, when I drop him off and he is crying I don't hang around just tell him I will be back to pick him up at 12 give him a hug then go but inside it is killing me, none of the other children do this on a regular basis like him, there were a few in the beginning which is when you expect it but he has been there 9 months now.

Has anyone else had this and how did you deal with it?

Davsmum Wed 12-Jun-13 12:02:46

As the staff have said he is fine 5 minutes after you leave then I should think there is nothing to worry about. Many kids react like this but are then ok.
I think its good you do not prolong the parting and leave with a hug and reassurance you will be back.

Its YOU who has to get used to how YOU are feeling - because he seems fine. It won't last forever. Just reassure yourself each time that you know he is ok.

Lifesagame Wed 12-Jun-13 12:29:03

Ds1 (just turned 5) also went to a lovely preschool and for the whole of the first term he screamed at drop off (fine after I'd gone though) but then seemed to settle and was fine.

At the start of the last term the screaming started again, this time even worse (again fine after I left though) and when I took him to his primary school settling in sessions this time last year it was horrendous, he had to be prised off me kicking and screaming and practically frothing at the mouth he'd got in such a state!

Needless to say I spent the whole of the summer holidays fretting about what was going to happen on his first day and how bad it might be. Even his teacher suggested bringing him in 10 mins after everyone else so that if he kicked off like that again he wouldn't set all the other kids off, so she was clearly worried too.

But it was fretting in vain - on day one he marched in with the TA looking a little worried but with no tears and has been fine ever since, not a single tear all year! This time last year we couldn't have dreamt it being so easy and are still stunned really by how different it's been.

I hope that gives you some hope. Stick to your guns, you're doing the right things and it will get better.

Juneywoony Wed 12-Jun-13 13:13:17

Thanks ladies that has given me some reassurance, I do tell myself surely he won't still be like this at 16 hehe!

That is the stage I am at now Lifesagame, he literally has to be prised off me, or the doorframe and kicks out, absolutely hysterical. It is a real shame as on a Wednesday and Friday mornings parents are invited to stay and read and play but I have found if I stay it just makes it worse for him. Incidentally one morning when my DH was off work I got him to go in with him, totally different, he showed him all around his classroom and was fine when he left.

I do really dread him starting reception in September although I have not said anything in front of him and mention occasionally that he will be starting soon and how exciting it will be getting his uniform and that he will be a big boy, which is usually met with a "I don't want to mummy"

I guess I just have to accept that it is taking him longer to adapt than others and like you say Davsmum I need to get used to how I feel and deal with it, just sooooo hard some mornings.

Thanks again, xx

Davsmum Wed 12-Jun-13 13:45:24

Course its not easy. Having a child brings you feelings you never knew you had or could imagine having.
You feel their distress and feel you should be preventing it or stopping it!

There will be many times in your child's life you will go through feeling wretched for different reasons - but no one told you that before you had him!
If you are aware that its about you and your feelings then it will not negatively affect your child.
I know women who won't let their children do anything because 'they' feel worried. You don't sound like that at all - just hang in there and then do it all again when the next issue comes up, Ha ha ;)

bellamysbride Wed 12-Jun-13 17:41:56

Hey Juneywooney. Just to let you know that I am in exactly the same boat. DS (4 at the end of the month) is prised off me every morning screaming. He goes two and a half days and it is utterly heartbreaking. The screaming stops about 3mins later (have timed smile) and DS has obviously enjoyed his day when I pick him up.

It seems to be the initial seperation that he finds difficult, so I am trying to be as pragmatic as possible about it. He too is adamant he does not want to go to reception but "wants to stay at home with mummy".

I think Davsmum speaks sense about not making it about your own feeling. I think I probably feel it way more acutely than DS but he is more dramatic in his expression of it. I tried the gentle approach of staying for a while but it just prolonged the agony. I make sure he knows I am sympathetic to his feelings but also make it clear that preschool and school are non negotiable. It is made slightly easier by the fact that his pre school is the sweetest, safest place and his carers could not be more lovely.

Davsmum Wed 12-Jun-13 19:07:10

It makes a nice change for someone to think I speak sense! Ha Ha,..Thanks Bellamysbride!

BoysRule Wed 12-Jun-13 19:14:19

I could have written this one today. DS1 is nearly 4 and crying going into preschool. He says he doesn't want to go because "he misses me". I spoke to his keyworker and she said she reads him a few stories and after that he is fine. He does ask after me during the day though.

I just give him a kiss and leave them to it. I feel bad for a while but I know he is fine (I am a primary school teacher and have been on the other end a lot). It is still really hard though and makes me worried about September when he starts school. I think he is now old enough to reason with though and I do think he is testing the boundaries sometimes - I wonder if he thinks I might just say he doesn't have to go.

I think we are right to stand firm and also trust that they are OK during the day and not crying for us the whole time. I think once they see other children off and playing they are happy. It is the initial separation and the hustle and bustle of other mums and children saying goodbye and chatting to adults.

Juneywoony Thu 13-Jun-13 10:13:34

Sorry to hear there are a couple more of you going through this at the moment, I think it makes it harder when they have been going for so long and are the only ones to still be doing it in their class. Of course I see some of the kids doing it the odd morning but my DS consistently does this every morning.

Yesterday was just particularly hard as he had lashed out at another child.....he had stood a bit away from the entrance and from me and DD and I was letting him get on with it him another child kept repeatedly going up to him trying to get him to come closer (I did mention that he just wanted to be left alone) but the other child continued and he lashed out at them. This is out of character for him he isn't usually a violent child but the other parent was angry(a bit ott but two sides and all that), I told ds off and made him apologise but the whole episode made him worse when it was time to go in and he had worked himself into a right state.

Fortunately this morning was a little better, still tears but the teacher grabbed him straight away and whipped him off into the classroom.

Ah well hopefully it won't be for too much longer.

Thanks again for your replies, x

Gumps Thu 13-Jun-13 10:22:54

I am going through this with ds2 who is 4. He also gets stomach pains and frequent urinating which the doctor thinks is stress. He has had a few scans to check nothing is physically wrong with his stomach and is now awaiting paediatric referral.
I have tied myself up in knots about it but I try and stay firm and consistent with him. Away from school he is a very lively character so its very unlike him. When I ask him what is wrong he just says he hates leaving me sad
I am really hoping that the more structured routine of reception will help.

Juneywoony Thu 13-Jun-13 10:36:37

Aww gumps I really feel for you and ds it's so sad he is getting so anxious that it is making him ill.

Like your Ds mine is a happy little boy the rest of the time.

Let's hope once they are settled into Reception it all changes, xx

bellamysbride Thu 13-Jun-13 12:17:45

Juney we have never had the lashing out thing but DS really doesn't like it when even the most familiar children come up to him when he is going through the transition of leaving me. I kind of understand it.

On a high note, we had a non crying exit for the first time in months today. Nobody could believe it. Typically on holiday next week so I am sure we will be backup square one on our return!

Juneywoony Thu 13-Jun-13 12:43:06

That's great news Bella, must have felt great but like you say it's just typical that you are going away next week. I have found DS particularly worse after holidays.......it's understandable when they have had time away.

Yesterday was the first time my Ds had done anything like that, he has a gentle nature usually so hopefully it was just a one off.

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