He's due to go two afternoons a week only but has been reluctant since starting 5 weeks ago. For the first 4 sessions I stayed for the whole time. I didn't really interact with him just tried to fade into the background: being there but letting him follow the teachers instruction, etc. This worked and he pretty much ignored me in the end just glancing over occasionally. Since then I have brought him in and then said goodbye after 10 minutes or so. EVERY time I start to get him ready he cries and says I don't want to go. I had this same issue w/dd who cried every time I dropped her off and it was traumatic so I don't want ds to cry at playschool. Today, as he and I are both sick (well, he's on antibiotics but if he hadn't kicked off so much I would've sent him) I have given in (am not up to staying for a session or even battling it out) and he's in bed - asleep immediately so maybe still a bit under the weather. What can I do to improve his pre-school experience?? With dd I switched her to a montessori where she settled in immediately and never once objected to going but there is no alternative for ds: it is this pre-school or nothing. He will be going there full time from September. There are kids much younger than him who just come in and get on with it - why are mine so clingy? I feel that it must be some failing on my part as they are such different characters but only in this instance have behaved identically. HELP!!!
Have you asked the staff how he is after you've gone. It's quite common for children to kick up when Mummy actually leaves, some may contunue to be a bit upset for a few minutes afterwards, but most will soon forget all about it and join in quite happily with everything that is going on. Some then burst into tears when you arrive at pick up just to make you feel really guilty If he is settling soon after you leave him I wouldn't worry too much. Get the staff to help by taking him off and getting him engaged in an activity before you go. And I'm sure you don't, but don't let leaving get too drawn out - a quick kiss with 'Mummy's going now, have a really good time and I'll be back soon' and go.
He doesn't cry at all at school! I mean, he's just not like that - he'd whisper I don't want to stay, please take me home but whereas you'd have heard dd 5 miles down the road ds just is quieter. But he'll plead with me before it's time to go to pre-school and maybe cry big silent tears while begging me to stay at home and I know he gets on great when I'm gone and joins in and so on it's just that he comes out and says yes, that was okay but I don't want to go again. I know this isn't as bad as prising little fingers from my leg and escaping to a backtrack of heart-wrenching sobs but he doesn't want to go and I want to try to change THAT. He's 4!! I thought I was doing the right thing by waiting til he's this ripe old age before starting!! I cannot bear any children being unhappy. What to do???!!
I would leave it until September to be honest. I think 2 afternoons a week may be just a bit confusing to him. I am a nursery teacher, and 2 sessions a week is the absolute minimum we suggest as many children struggle to settle in effectively with only this number of sessions. You may find that he settles better when he has a more regular and increased pattern of attendance.