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To give up after 3 days?

(32 Posts)
mollysmum82 Thu 07-Nov-13 20:42:00

I'm feeling awful. I decided to put DD in preschool a couple of days ago to give her a years worth of 'practice' before school. She's never been left anywhere before and has always been either with me or DH (or with grandparents on rare occasions). She has always had strong separation anxiety, I suspect because of her traumatic premature birth and frequent hospitalisation over the last 4 years.

The first day she went in quite happily as it was novel but came out on floods of tears. The second today she was quite as apprehensive going in, saying 'I don't want you to go' and again she came out clearly having been crying. Today was horrendous. She cried her eyes out going in and clung to me. Her teachers had to prise her off me and I walked home crying myself and feeling like the worst mum in the world. She came out a bit more happily today but her teachers said she'd cried on and off throughout the session sad They also said she'd wet herself. She's not don't that in well over a year. When we got home she wet herself again and she has talked constantly about wanting to stay with me. She hasn't eaten properly either and her eczema has really flared up.

I don't know if its the wrong place or just the wrong time? Every part of me wants to take her out but everyone is saying its the right thing to do keeping her in sad

Would it be completely unreasonable to not give her a good chance at settling?

CailinDana Thu 07-Nov-13 20:47:45

She's not ready. Keep her home and cuddle her and make her feel safe. Poor thing. You gave it a good shot but she is stressed out and there's no need for it.

Ruffcat Thu 07-Nov-13 20:50:58

I take it she's will be starting full time school next year? If so then I'd stick at it for a bit, can you go in and play or read with other children so your there but she can play with others and build her confidence

IComeFromALandDownUnder Thu 07-Nov-13 20:52:15

Agree with the above poster. Take her out. Have you done any mother and toddler play groups? They are great for getting toddlers secure in that setting with a parent present.

Goldmandra Thu 07-Nov-13 20:52:49

Why is she settling in without you? Many settings allow the parent to stay with the child while they get used to the environment and separate more easily.

I would go and have a chat with the staff and see if you can spend time with her for the time being. You could also consider going in for just part of the session and then when she does start to attend alone maybe she could start doing the end of the session and bring her starting time backwards to increase how long she is there gradually.

I don't think it's essential for her to attend now but six months or so to get used to being cared for in a group would probably help her when she starts school. You could stop now and plan a more gentle introduction in a few months.

FlatsInDagenham Thu 07-Nov-13 20:52:51

It's not the right time for her. She is showing major symptoms of stress. Keep her with you.

I absolutely detest the cultural pressure to send our children away from us as soon as possible - into their own room, onto a bottle, to childminder, nursery, pre-school, reception ... let small children be nurtured by their primary carer for as long as possible.

CailinDana Thu 07-Nov-13 20:53:37

Should have added - build her confidence really slowly over the next year by taking her to playgroups (ones where you stay) and arranging playdates with other children.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 07-Nov-13 20:54:29

If her grandparents are willing i suggest you start with leaving her there a lot more and try pre school in a few months time.

RandomMess Thu 07-Nov-13 20:54:35

If she starts school in Sept 14 then I would carry on BUT I would with your child and the nursery in getting her to stay happily.

Some things that may help, start just by leaving her an hour each time, give her "something" of yours to look after - something small that can go in a pocket.

I would talk to her about her fears, what would make nursery better etc. try and get to know a few other children much better through playdates so there are familiar faces there etc.

Donkeyok Thu 07-Nov-13 21:02:21

The current educational debate shows high academic results from Scandinavian countries where the children start later at 7. Here they are talking about offering school rom 2 for deprived children. Your child is not deprived but may be deprived of you. Why don't you keep going to small group meetings such as drop in play groups, library book time, soft play sessions etc and try again next term.
Is it just morning sessions or long days?

mumofweeboys Thu 07-Nov-13 21:07:50


If this preschool is attached to the school she will attend then I think it's worth persevering as she will get to know her classmates which will help a lot with school. Even if its not it would be worth trying to settle her now while you have time and flexibility otherwise school could be an awful shock.

However I would go for a much more gentle settling in approach. I would ask the staff if you could stay with her for the first week if she has such strong separation issues, just sitting in the corner of the room. The the next week sit outside the room. If the preschool won't do this then I would look for another that's willing to cater to her needs.

Imsosorryalan Thu 07-Nov-13 21:07:51

Not worth it! My dd still has night mares of the nursery I tried to 'force' her to go to 6 months ago hmm
She is now at preschool, and loves it. She started in sept and I'm still leaving late and going early to help her settle. It works. She is happy and her key worker is apparently her best friendwink
Please wait, she will be ready for school when it's time. Now isn't.

junkfoodaddict Thu 07-Nov-13 21:12:54

I would do one of two:

1. Stay with the Nursery as 3 days isn't enough to expect most children to settle. Having said that, Nursery staff are well accustomed to little ones crying and wetting themselves during their early days. Your child isn't the first and certainly won't be the last to behave in such a way. Even so, as a parent myself, it is distressing to see them so upset. Ask the staff to stagger her time each day and allow you to accompany her, reducing the time as you see fit. I would allow 6 weeks and re-evaluate.

2. Remove her from the Nursery altogether but build up her confidence by attending parent and toddler groups, soft-play centres, sure start children centre activities, tumble tots, etc, etc so that she has the opportunity to socialise and experience the big wide world but with you there to offer her comfort and security as and when it is needed. Gradually she should begin to let go when she has the confidence to do so.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Nov-13 21:24:18

I would take her out, she sounds unhappy and stressed. If you do decide to try her again, I would stay with her for the settling in sessions.

There is also no need to send her to school at 4, legally she doesn't have to go until she's 5 but if you are thinking of deferring, I'd start another thread on that nearer the tine smile

mollysmum82 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:26:43

Thank you so much for your kind replies, I do appreciate it. I chatted to dd's teacher at the end of the session today and she said 'you just need to steel yourself, drop and run' she said if I stayed it would just make matters worse and if I left dd there for only an hour she would be different to all the other children sad

I disagree though, she's come on leaps and bounds confidence wise in the last year just by going toddler groups gradually. She will often leave my side for. The whole toddler group session because she knows I'm still there.

Do you think it's time to try a new place then?

Thanks so much for not thinking I'm overreacting.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Nov-13 21:31:32

I sent my pfb to a preschool who said exactly the same thing and had lots of problems, like him being hit every day and watching TV although I didn't find out until after he'd left.

When dc2 started I insisted on staying. Really didn't like what I saw. The reason the staff hadn't wanted me to stay is they had to reluctantly get off their lazy arses and actually look like they were doing something with the children.

Trust your instincts.

Squeakygate Thu 07-Nov-13 21:32:50

Maybe it's just not the right setting for her?
i would pull her out but make sure you both go to toddler groups / activities with other children around.

Goldmandra Thu 07-Nov-13 21:34:20

Do you think it's time to try a new place then?

Yes I do.

Find one which is more responsive to the needs of individual children. That teacher sounds very inflexible and old fashioned. She needs to read about more recent good practice and the need for a supportive transition.

LadyInDisguise Thu 07-Nov-13 21:37:07

The pre school is wrong. It is much better for you to stay with her and gradually leave her and just 'run away and hide' as they advise you to do.
I would look for a different pre school tbh.

And yes if she is usually a bit of a worrier and doesn't want to leave your side easily, then leaving her like this will just heighten her anxiety levels, hence the wetting herself, eczema flaring up etc...

Sirzy Thu 07-Nov-13 21:41:04

It sounds like the wrong setting for her.

When DS recently started pre-school parents were told they could stay for as long as they needed at drop of times until their child was happy. Most were able to just "drop and run" within a few days but a couple needed longer and that was fine with them.

Even now they are still happy if a child is upset for whatever reason going in for the parent to take a "gradual retreat" type approach if that is what they feel is best for the child.

WaitMonkey Thu 07-Nov-13 21:44:41

Totally, what Flats said. I don't think I've ever agreed with anything on here as that.

feelingood Thu 07-Nov-13 21:45:39

I would leave it.

Discuss how you can leave her for an hour and build her up over a transition period - some kids need this. But at a later date.

Cuddles lots

Amy106 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:50:45

Poor little one. Leave it for now. She is not ready yet. When you do try again,you need a more flexible, child friendly program so she can be eased into the change.

Goldmandra Thu 07-Nov-13 21:51:25

* let small children be nurtured by their primary carer for as long as possible.*

I agree with Flats too and don't understand why people feel that children learn and develop so much better in a busy noisy environment where adult time and attention is spread so thinly than at home feeling secure with an adult to themselves.

The only exception to this for me is a few months before they start school. The ratios in Early Years settings are kinder than in schools and that allows practitioners to give them a little more attention while easing them into the routines and independence they need be accustomed to in school.

You need to find somewhere like Sirzy's DS goes smile

bababababoom Thu 07-Nov-13 21:53:51

Take her out. She does not have to attend school full time until the term after her fifth birthday (in fact, she doesn't have to start until you feel she is ready as she can be home educated for as long as you want, so you could delay the school start in that way if you chose to)...foprget next year and concentrate on this year, and building up her confidence, and perhaps getting to meet some children she may start school with if you choose to send her.

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