Hi, Would welcome any thoughts as I am going through a torrid time with DS1 who is 3yo. He started in mid-April at preschool, seemed to love it at first, made a best friend, was OK about staying. Then suddenly, after an incident when he was told off, he swung completely the other way. He clings on to me when we arrive, cries as if he is genuinely terrified. School have started helping me to do a quick goodbye and they say he settles within 10 minutes and is fine. I am not so sure. He won't talk about why he is so frightened, if I push a little he says he is scared of the teacher who told him off but I'm not 100% confident that I'm not leading him down that path because that's the only thing I can think of that it might be. If it was just the drop-off that would be worrying enough, but he won't take his coat off and carries his bag about with him, usually for the whole (2.5 hour) session. For a 3yo to manage to do that seems to me to be exceptional. His behaviour at home since this all started is horrible - quite aggressive and attention-seeking. I have two other children younger - they bear the brunt sometimes which makes me cross with him (it's about the only thing that does make me cross) which makes me feel wretched ... the wheels seem to have come off us as a family just now. I have a meeting with teacher in charge of nursery provision tomorrow (there have been some issues with the drop-off this week) but I'm a complete novice and don't know what to expect from her or what is the best way to explain how worried I am. I don't know what I want them to do and I don't even know if I want him to carry on. I just know I don't want to cry in front of her!
If anyone has any thoughts, however meagre ... they're likely to be better than mine at the moment. Thank-you.
Poor little chap - and poor you! I hope your meeting today goes well and that things improve soon. Some random thoughts ...
Can you arrange play dates for him with his nursery friend(s)? I can appreciate that you're busy with your littlest ones, but if he was enthusiastic about seeing friends at nursery he would be keener to be dropped off.
The nursery teacher will have met this situation before and probably have some suggestions as to how to tackle it. Don't be shy about mentioning how the "telling off" shook his world - she may be able to engineer a situation where that staff member has a bonding session with your boy. She'll also have seen mums reduced to tears, so don't worry about that, if it should happen.
Thank-you Optimist1 ... I did see your message before the meeting as I managed to log in for 5 mins but didn't get a chance to reply. Teacher (who was Deputy Head as well) was lovely, full of sensible, calming suggestions.