Leaving my screaming 3 year old at Pre-School. Reassurance needed please!

(7 Posts)

DD started preschool on Wednesday, she was v nervous but went in & let us leave. She cried a bit after we'd gone & was fine when we picked her up 2 hours later.
Day 2, she was unhappy in the morning & didnt want her uniform on etc & on the way & gave us many reasons why it'd be best if she stayed at home. Again she cried a bit but got on with it & when we returned was very happily playing.
Day3. Today she's in for lunch until 12.30. She's spent the morning telling me that she'd like to wait til she's bigger, won't be hungry, wants to stay home etc. Took her there (just me today, DH is at work), & she's v v sad. A little boy who's screamed every day & who's parents have always stayed stands by her screaming. We go in take coat off etc & she starts to really cry. I gave her a cuddle, told her I'd be back after lunch & that we had a fun afternoon & playdate planned, sat her at a table, said goodbye & left her screaming with a teacher, leaving the Nursery with the screams of "Mummy" following me across the playground.
I feel horrid.

Sweetiesmum Fri 21-Sep-12 11:27:09

You poor thing, its so hard, of course you find this heartbreaking
my now 11 y.o. did the same at 3!
He is an emotional darl. but loves school and he has no scars from not wanting to be left at kinder without Mum or Dad (he made lovely friends at kinder)
He is fine and takes bus to school with older brother now!
You could explain after kinder the days she'll be going again(so she starts now to accept it will happen again no matter what),try to reassure her that all children miss Mum and Dad sometimes but they love kinder and all know Mum/Dad will always come at "pick up time"
You could say that you are glad she made a lovely painting/drawing/puzzle and had a play with some children/toys/outside and that her teacher will always look after her beautifully because she loves 3 and 4 year olds! With your reassurance and her teacher's reassurance, in time she will settle more easily at kinder, of course you know this.

Thanks. Just needed to know I'm not a Demon Mother! I picked her up after lunch & she was playing nicely. They said she was fine after a while!!
She is still adamant that she isn't going again! Heigh ho! I'm feeling much more confidant about it all! Thanks again x

SpudtheScarecrow Fri 21-Sep-12 20:09:49

Both my DSs, now 7 and 5 did this. They cried for about 3 minutes after I'd left I think and then loved it. They did it every day for aaages though so I felt awful even though they'd always had a lovely time when I picked them up. DD has just started doing a few hours at 2.3 and she toddles off without a backward glance - now that makes me WEEP especially as she is my last baby.

misstrunchball Sat 22-Sep-12 14:06:34

I run a pre-school where we have had 5 new starters aged 2 of which two scream and cry when they are being left. They have been in two weeks now and one will come in and sit on a friendly lap and have a book read to them (she no longer cries when left) but likes to watch before joining in and the other will scream for her mum who can hear her on her way to the car park which I know breaks her heart sad but within 10 mins will be sat on the floor with her comforter watching what is going on around her. At this point I phone her mum to let her know as I don't want her to think she has been screaming all morning. Three hours can be a long time for a young child who may become tearful at home time (especially if Mum is late) so it can look like they've been crying all morning.

Don't feel horrid (easier said than done) but maybe get them to phone you or you phone them after about 20 minutes to see how she is. If it carries on speak to the pre-school to see what strategies they can put in place i.e. favourite game/toy to distract her, craft or even building up her hours. If she has a comforter at home or even a dummy don't forget to take that in. They need all the comfort they can get and can be weaned off it quite easily. Start with half an hour then an hour and so on. Most times it can be they don't believe you will be back but when they realise you will be will be happier to stay. It can take a while to settle but persevere with it and you will (hopefully) look back in a few months time and think 'was that my child!!'.

In a while you will be able to go home and have a brew and a biscuit knowing that she is happy at pre-school x

Thanks all. It's not going great. We're having nightmares & screaming tantrums over nothing. All a bit fraught as she'd never actually had a real tantrum before.
She screams every morning & is displaying behaviour we've never seen from her before.

JellyLellyBean Tue 06-Nov-12 22:18:43

I've worked with pre-school children before and in my experience usually children who are starting preschool do tend to get upset and make a fuss but calm down and enjoy the day after a short while. Then when someone comes to collect them they remember that they're supposed to be upset and forget about the fun that they have had during the day. It does take some children more adjusting than others.

Do you mind me asking if she's at a private nursery or a nursery that is a part of a school? I don't know if anything I'm saying is helpful but in my experience private day nurseries tend to be more focused on nurturing children and supporting their needs, whereas nurseries attatched to schools tend to have more of an academic and curriculum based focus because of the pressure from senior management to raise achievement in reception to get better results higher up the school.

I hope that's helpful and not repeating what you already know smile

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