Harsh discipline for 2yr old starting nursery - please help!!

(38 Posts)
finnsheart Wed 16-Nov-16 12:22:06

Hello, the is my first post, so please be gentle. I've lurked since I fell pregnant with my DD, and found lots of good advice. But now I find myself needing guidance as she has just started two mornings a week at nursery.

The first week I was told by the teacher that DD didn't seem to grasp consequences. Another little girl had brought cake in because it was her birthday. But DD had not been allowed any as she wouldn't drink her water. DD has only just turned two, but she's fully capable of saying 'Dink pease' when she is thirsty, so I don't know why, on a cold winters day, they made having a drink such a big deal?

Then yesterday she was denied cake again because she kept getting up from the table. I know she will have had a melt down because she loves cake! There are only 6 kids in the group, so they all sat and ate cake and she will have sobbed. I also don't understand, because she doesn't walk around with food at home. She knows to go and sit at the table for a snack - I don't even have to ask her to do so half of the time. She is a fidget at meal times, but we can have a three course Sunday lunch at the pub, and providing she's got some crayons she's fine. At home she sits and eats meals with us, and I admit she wants to get down often before we finish, so we have to distract her. But the time she stays is lengthening. I've never had to hide fruit or veg in her food, she's a totally un fussy eater.So I feel like they are going to make meal times a battle ground that it doesn't need to be.

The teacher also said she has had to 're-arrange the room' for DD, as she's 'into everything'. Which she is. I've had to re arrange my cupboards and shelves, but isn't that just toddlers? Either they offer a setting for 2 yr old or they don't?

They mention nothing of the activities she has participated in, or what they have been doing. So I came away so disheartened yesterday, I cried on the way home. I'm not that parent that thinks their child is perfect - she's not perfect, she wears me out!, but she has only just turned 2, and yesterday day was her 5th morning in a nursery setting.

Oh yeah, and the other thing is she didn't join in with French - singing songs etc. sigh

All I want is some undistinguishable piece of art and a tired child at the end of her nursery day. At the minute all I am hearing is negativity, and sadly no art sad

So is this normal? Am I being sensitive? I want to make an appointment to speak to the head of Early Years, but at the same time I don't want to be the new parent, first time Mum that just 'doesn't get it'.

Any thoughts appreciated.

SueGeneris Wed 16-Nov-16 12:25:48

No. It doesn't sound right to me. Are any of the nursery staff parents themselves?

It doesn't sound age appropriate - the expectations, even considering they are trying to manage a group of small children.

Perp Wed 16-Nov-16 12:26:02

Your nursery sounds unrealistic to me, too strict in my opinion? She is only two, don't get disheartened by any of this, your dd sounds more patient than most I know. flowers

Artandco Wed 16-Nov-16 12:26:52

It sounds harsh. But I think nurseries do have to have rules otherwise it would be chaos

Does she go there as you have to work? 2 years is very young for that environment I feel. If it's just a break or fulltime childcare I would look at a childminder instead. Usually better for small children as smaller groups (max is 3 under 5 usually), and home environment.

alltouchedout Wed 16-Nov-16 12:27:39

Bloody hell, find alternative childcare if at all possible. And make it very clear to them why you're doing so. They sound unreasonable and unkind.

Kiwi32 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:28:22

My nursery makes a big deal about food not being used to reward/punish. This definitely doesn't sound right-do you have access to their policy documents covering food? Might be a good starting point for discussing it further with them...

AdmiralCissyMary Wed 16-Nov-16 12:30:45

Good grief, of course she doesn't understand consequences, that is what learning is about and everything sounds age appropriate to me. Find another nursery, this one will just get worse.

Buzzardbird Wed 16-Nov-16 12:30:47

You're in the wrong nursery. Even if you tell them all these things, they are not going to change their expectations or proceedures.

PeggyMitchell123 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:31:01

I would find alternative childcare. I wouldn't send my child to a nursery so strict and unreasonable. My son goes to nursery 2 days a week. They have said he has been told a few times for dumping toys, splashing water etc but they wouldn't withhold food from him confused

Look for a more relaxed nursery

YouMeanYouForgotCranberriesToo Wed 16-Nov-16 12:32:09

Oh my gosh, she wouldn't do french and she's 2 already?! There's no hope for her!

Seriously though, your nursery sounds too strict. Denying a 2 year old cake because they didn't want a drink! I wouldn't exoe6ct them to have to rearrange the room for her, because it is a NURSERY, it should be set up for 2 year olds. Every 2 year old I know is in to everything. Mine nearly 2 year old often doesn't want to join in with activities at nursery, but they just keep trying. Some weeks she'll join in, other weeks she doesn't.

YouMeanYouForgotCranberriesToo Wed 16-Nov-16 12:32:23

Sorry for the typos!

SueGeneris Wed 16-Nov-16 12:33:22

I have three DCs. First nursery I booked for my eldest I took him out of after one settling in session. This was because staff dealingwith several new one year olds (who were struggling to settle and roamingabout crying instead of sitting down for lunch) were just ordering them to sit down and eat - no empathy. Next nursery crying new starters generally were picked up by the nursery manager and carried on her hip and chatted to while she got on with stuff.

I'd expect them to be more relaxed in their expectations and focus on building her trust in them and making her feel secure and happy. My nearly 2 yo would not understand 'drink your water first' before being allowed cake and I wouldn't expect him to!

BastardGoDarkly Wed 16-Nov-16 12:33:38

They had to 'rearrange the room' ?! Wtf for? It's supposed to be a nursery!

It sounds horrible to me, and I wouldn't send mine back.

Is there anywhere else?

regularbutpanickingabit Wed 16-Nov-16 12:35:23

Definitely not right at all. Of course they need structure but part of the nursery's remit should be to plan individually so that each child develops appropriately. If she's in to everything then they need to direct her time gradually to become more focused on a single task or area as she matures. Being in to everything is normal for many toddlers!

No way should cake be a reward/punishment! Asking her to sit down to eat cake is fine. Telling her she won't get any because she got up from the table is inappropriate.

Seriously, it sounds like they have expectations more akin to a 4 year old than a 2 and it is not the right setting for her or you.

tava63 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:38:39

Your DD sounds great; this nursery is not at all child friendly and like others I think you should find alternatives. I'm sorry you and your DD are having a bad experience. Well done on picking up on these issues so quickly.

adagio Wed 16-Nov-16 12:45:53

Sounds awful, I echo previous posters - move her if you possibly can.

My background - first dd now age 3 almost 4, been in private full time nursery since 1, now moved to childminder wrap around to 'big school nursery'. Second dd just starting private nursery age 9 months.

The private nurseries I looked at were all keen to ensure food is a social and enjoyable event, never a punishment or reward. They sit down (with guidance) and peer pressure. They also were all (and i looked at a few) very keen to talk about daily activities and focus on rewarding positive behaviours and gentle guidance never punishment. Indeed I think naughty is a dirty word in many childcare places. Does your nursery have a behaviour policy? and a food policy?

My fridge is plastered in art, even the baby seems to produce something every week (!) and the bigger one has been bringing home armfuls of delightful crap every day for as long as I can remember - recycling is 'art heaven' here just to keep the volume down. Private nursery seemed to be higher quality - I suspect the nurses helped a lot! Loads of hands and foot paint stuff. School nursery on the other hand is much more...free format...

Sounds like they are treating your baby as a 4 year old not a 2 year old.

finnsheart Wed 16-Nov-16 14:49:35

Wow, thank you for the responses. I genuinely feel a million times better, and that I'm not being sensitive.

Because this is my first child, I'm not familiar with different types of nurseries. This nursery is part of a private prep school - as I thought they would offer high standards :/ The idea was she would move through the whole school, which is until they are 13yrs old. They have two nursery rooms, one for 2-3 yr old (my D is in here) and one for 3-4yr olds. I was told they move up when they are ready rather than when they are the right age. Which I thought sounded good, because they are focusing on the child as an individual. But the experience we've had doesn't match.

I have called the school and am waiting for the Head of Early Years to call me back.

TiggyD Wed 16-Nov-16 19:47:47

Food should not be used as a punishment or reward. End of.

Toddlers are supposed to be in to everything. It's how they learn. Some are exhaustingly in to everything though. [remembers one little girl grin ]

No art? Poor. They may be taking it easy with persuading her, though with their attitude to food I doubt it.

Negative? Poor again.

Basically, they're just not very good at their job. Talk with the manager, but you're probably going to need to find a different nursery. Maybe save the threat of reporting them for withholding food as a punishment for if they insist on keeping your deposit. And tell the school why you won't be using their nursery.

I work a lot in a nursery in a private school. The standards and ethos is very different. Much more "be good enough" rather than "be the best".

NotAnotherUserName1234 Wed 16-Nov-16 20:44:43

ah - much more of a pre-school / school environment than a day nursery, I think you should go and look round some other nursery's and also ask around, pick the one that fits your child best now.

FineAsWeAre Wed 16-Nov-16 21:02:29

I work in early years and everything you describe is poor practice. I know there has to be boundaries but she's two! IMO 2 year olds should not be in schools, the settings are often teacher-led and most have little or no experience with that particular age group, therefore expect them to be like the older ones. A different nursery or a childminder would be your best bet.

MrsRhettButler Wed 16-Nov-16 21:06:06

I would move her, I feel sad just thinking about her missing cake twice and she's only 2! I'm not even that soppy and am quite strict myself but bloody hell it sounds miserable there sad

MrsRhettButler Wed 16-Nov-16 21:06:58

In fact I would never take her back starting from now.

Cel982 Wed 16-Nov-16 21:12:37

Oh God, please don't let her spend another minute there, it sounds appalling. They clearly have no idea what's 'normal' for a 2-year-old.

StarUtopia Wed 16-Nov-16 21:16:07

Move her. This is not a good nursery (just because it's attached to a good school doesn't mean anything)

Don't feel bad about moving her either!

TiggyD Wed 16-Nov-16 21:47:38

And let the teachers' tyres down as you leave.

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