It feels totally wrong!!!(8 Posts)
My little girl (2 yrs) started nursery this September. I had a great 1st session with her. She really enjoyed her time there. My plan was to stay with her until she became familiar and happy with staff (and the nursery setting as a whole), standing back, being present but not involved. I made my wishes clear to the nursery but on our 2nd session I was asked to stay out! It was not my choice but I felt I had no choice. The door quickly closed on my little girl who immediately started to cry. I stood outside the room in mental distress thinking this is not what I wanted. Hearing her cry when there was no need ripped through me. What distressed me even more was as soon as the door was closed my little girl was picked up and held tightly in distress for 20mins until she exhausted herself to sleep. If the nursery staff had said, as soon as we close this door, we are going to use restrictive practice, I would have walked out! I feel so distressed and I have not been back to the nursery cancelling a number of sessions. But my daughter is supposed to be there this week. I feel as though I can't go back. Does anyone know if this is normal practice? I feel as though my wishes were completely ignored! I also get the feeling that I am not welcome to stay.
When my DC started at pre-school the two year old program was one where parents stayed for the entire duration of the session.
When they were three, parents did not attend the sessions and from the very first morning we were told to drop the children off and leave immediately. Apparently the children settle more quickly into the routine if they don't get used to their parents being there. My 3 year old did cry the first morning. As I left I saw the teaching assistant reach for her to lift her onto her lap for comfort.
If your DD is at a nursery where it is not the norm for parents to be there during sessions then I can understand why they want you to leave. Other children will want their parents to be there, your DD will get used to you being there and it prolongs her distress if sometimes you are and sometimes you aren't.
If you think your two year old is too young to stay on her own at the nursery, maybe you need to look for a nursery where you can stay for the duration or find mother and baby groups so she can socialize with other children while you are around.
I think the problem is that settling in wasn't clearly explained before you started.
This is bad practice from the nursery. The aim of 'settling in sessions' is to enableto child to feel safe and confident in the setting.
The length and number of these should be agreed following the needs of the child, not the nursery or the parents.
The nursery was definately in the wrong, but from the language you use it sounds as if you are not ready to leave your child.
Please think about what is best for DD, not for you. Any child needs time to feel comfortable with the setting, people and routines. For some children this comes quickly, for others it takes longer.
You and the nursery need to work together to this end. Show your child that you trust the nursery and like the staff there, that will give your DD confidence to make bonds with her key worker.
However, this is v unlikely to happen by the second session, so the nursery were very wrong to ask you to leave and to hold your child for all that time.
Does DD need to go to nursery so you can go to work? If so, you need to try again with a more positive attitude.
If not, perhaaps keep her at homefor a while longer.
I don't agree that cuddling a crying child is 'restrictive practice'. It depends on the child but my dd finds being cuddled firmly very comforting
At our nursery the settling in session with parents was just the first session. I can imagine it would be restrictive to have parents hanging round for an unlimited number of sessions. Cuddling her because she's upset doesn't seem restrictive to me.
I don't agree that every child settles more quickly if parents just leave. I had a 1yr old who never really settled into nursery for the whole 2yrs he was there and I still firmly believe that if a parent had been allowed to stay with him for a session or two first he would have been more content.
Parents who say goodbye then rush back every time their child whimpers are the ones prolonging the distress. Either stay or go but don't say you're going then pander to the crying.
You don't sound like one of those people though, OP. Your request to stay and observe seems reasonable enough to me but if the nursery policy is that you say goodbye and leave then you either have to respect that or take your DD elsewhere. The staff should have been clearer about expectations, though.
And as for "restrictive practice", what on earth? I work in childcare - I even have a degree in it - and have never heard that phrase. It sounds to me like they cuddled a distressed toddler. I currently work in a pre-school and as it's the start of a new term lots of the new starters cry and we cuddle them all. I'm sure their parents would be rightly horrified if we didn't! One little boy howled LOUDLY for the duration of his first few sessions but by the second week was absolutely fine! But in that time we tried cuddling, leaving him to shout, distracting, getting mum to stay and play for a bit but nothing seemed to make any difference. And last week he just....wasn't upset any more.
Yes, it's heartbreaking to see your DD like that but don't give up quite so soon. Just talk to the staff about as much as you can and monitor the situation. Your anxiety will only fuel your DD's.
I think if it feels wrong to you - then pull your daughter out. Find another nursery, one that comes via a good word of mouth reputation and try them. I did just that from an 'outstanding nursery', it cost me the entire £1000 months deposit but I have no regrets, and my daughter was immediately happy in her new nursery.
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