Another demoralising school drop off

(14 Posts)
eversomuch Mon 30-Nov-15 10:37:53

DD is 4.9, DS is 3. DD is now in Reception full-time and DS goes to preschool 3 mornings a week. Dropping them off is a drama every single day. DD clings to me and refuses to go sit on the carpet with the rest of the class until the teacher or TA takes her from me. DS cries and clings when I drop him off. I leave feeling like the worst parent in the world.

This doesn't happen when our nanny drops them off one or two mornings a week. It's like a magic mummy factor or something.

A few weeks ago I asked DD how we could make it easier for her and she suggested we have a giant double hug and giant double kiss and then she would go to the carpet ... and that worked for a few days, but now we're back to the clinging and refusing to let me go.

I try to be patient but I do sometimes end up getting impatient or cross or resorting to threats -- like "I won't be able to drop you off any more if you keep doing this" -- not helpful I know and only adds to my sense of failure and frustration.

Both kids (but especially DD) are, like me, introverts and highly sensitive (HSCs), so I know that the change in environment and the social aspects of school can be hard for them. DD wouldn't even play more than ten feet away from me until about a year ago, and has only started making friends since starting primary school (yay! I recognise that that's a huge step!). Both of them want me with them all the time -- and although I know the day will eventually come when I'm the last person they want to hang out with, and I'll miss these early days -- right now, it's exhausting, demoralising and just so hard every day.

I know too that I shouldn't care what other parents think, but I feel like I get a lot of looks from other parents who are wondering what's wrong with my kid that she does this every day.

Any suggestions? Thanks.

poorincashrichinlove Mon 30-Nov-15 10:53:19

Firstly, don't worry about what the other parents think OP. As your DCs settle well when the nanny takes them it does sound like your children have an attachment to you that makes separation traumatic. Are you able to say more about your home circumstances and parenting that might help make sense of your children's attachment?

OrionsAccessory Mon 30-Nov-15 11:07:46

I imagine they're attached to you because they're 3 and 4 years old and you're their mum, that's a good thing. They're having to fit in to a timescale of when they should be ready to be away from you all day in a room full of other children, not all kids are ready for that. I would keep talking to them about it and accepting that this is how they feel at the moment. I don't think there are any quick fixes tbh.

Nevercan Mon 30-Nov-15 21:14:20

Could you try offering a reward chart and they can put a sticker on the chart when they get home. We did this after advice from the teacher and my dd 4.5 went for it

Iguessyourestuckwithme Mon 30-Nov-15 21:20:14

What does the nanny do?

I am a nanny and know that kids act differently for me and their parents.

I think you need to choose one approach and keep to that instead of trying lots of different things.

I tend to do a quick hug and a promise I'll see them later and then go - it helps no one if I stay or if the kids are in tears etc when I leave. I'm quite brusk about it. I speak as a nanny who does 24/6 for a child who I've had from 5 months - 6 years so a strong attachment.

Tatie3 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:23:35

As a mum and I childminder I can only recommend that you make drop offs short and sweet, children pick up on your anxiety so a bright and breezy hug and kiss is the way to go.

BYOSnowman Mon 30-Nov-15 21:25:20

Agree that short and sweet is best

With ds, I used to put a note in his pocket (mummy loves you, pizza for dinner, a joke etc) and we agreed he would sit at a table and read it. By the time it was out of his pocket I would have legged it!!

It's tough but they will grow out of it!!!

Believeitornot Mon 30-Nov-15 21:32:16

Ok stop the threats because this is not helping and kids have memories like elephants.

I'm guessing you work? I have a nanny and get this too. It is best if I remind them which days are "mummy days" so they know the routine. We also talk about what will happen and I make the transition quickly. No hanging about, drop off and tell them you will be back. Best to clear off quickly!

phoenixrose314 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:35:09

My husband recently started working away and my DS suddenly started displaying these exact behaviours - I put it down to separation anxiety, pure and simple. I tried to think about it from his little person perspective (he's almost 3) - one day Daddy was here, and then he wasn't, and it feels like FOREVER until he comes home (he's away Mon-Fri). Young children don't have a sense of time like we do, and the fact that the routine changes from you to your nanny probably throws off their sense of what happens when too.

My advice in the short term: explain to your child(ren) exactly what is going to happen in their day, in order, i.e. We'll have breakfast, you'll get dressed, go to school, you'll play with friends, have lunch, do learning, then at home time Mummy/the Nanny will pick you up and we'll do ___ (insert nice activity here - colouring/baking/watch a film).

Advice in the long term: Create a big chart from Monday to Sunday, with a "morning" "afternoon" and "evening" section. Put a colour on days that she's with you, and days that she's with the Nanny, so she's clear about what today will be, and then what tomorrow will be.

She is trying, in her childlike way, to establish some sort of guarantee that you will come back, because thus far she can't establish a certainty, because sometimes it's you, sometimes it's not. Keep her informed, make sure you load on the love and like another poster has said, keep the goodbyes short and positive. If you're stressing about it and reminding her of times she has cried and clung to you, she'll be more inclined to think like that too. Talk about her friends and all the fun stuff she'll get to do, remind her you're off to work, nice kiss and goodbye.

It will eventually work out. Please don't worry. You're doing great flowers

Brokenwardrobe Mon 30-Nov-15 21:40:26

My Ds did this on and off even a little into y1. He's y3 now and he doesn't give me a second glance once he's at the school gate. It is frustrating and hard and all the things you said. No helpful advice, but just to reassure you that it will eventually pass.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 30-Nov-15 23:45:00

DS did this. I dropped him quickly into TA, and never gave it a second thought. Not the first, not the last, and no reflextion on the child or mom. Dump and run.

WombOfOnesOwn Thu 03-Dec-15 22:00:26

While you're on your way to the school, rehearse a little how it will go. "okay, we're going to have a double kiss and a double hug, and then you'll stay on the carpet and you'll have a good time with your friends and the teacher!"

It's hard for kids of this age to keep a "good" behavior pattern in mind for a long time--that's why you see the reversion after a few days of the behavior pattern you want to see. More rehearsing, more gearing up during the trip for that moment, and you might see different results--but you have to be consistent about it and do it regularly until a real pattern has developed, a pattern long enough for the child to be secure in it.

Purplelooby Mon 07-Dec-15 15:53:38

OP I've no idea what to say as I haven't fixed it either, but I have two HSCs in nursery (20 mo DS and 3 yo DD) and so I just want to send hugs and I'm sorry that I've not offered any advice in the slightest, except to say that with my oldest it's much better if I have my younger one there at drop off (so I drop him first, then deal with her hysterical screaming as I leave. I'm afraid I do the kiss drop and run with her).

Purplelooby Mon 07-Dec-15 15:58:05

Oops 3 yo DS and 20 mo DD - not vice versa!!

Actually I've just put a post on about DD and (the one about being scared of men).

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