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To think that a child new to nursery should not be left to cry

(20 Posts)
machair Sat 26-Jul-14 17:30:32

When collecting my DD from nursery yesterday, I noticed one of the new children (I guess about 15months) sitting on the ground by herself, crying her eyes out. There was one carer present but she was attending to another child. I asked her what was wrong with the child and was told, in a blase manner, oh she's been like that for the last ten minutes, doesn't want to be picked up. I bit my tongue but AIBU to think that someone should have been at least trying to comfort or distract the child (or even call her mother), especially when new to the nursery?

limon Sat 26-Jul-14 17:48:38

Yanbu! They should be offering some comfort.

limon Sat 26-Jul-14 17:52:18

Yanbu! They should be offering some comfort. Why do you say call the mother (just pointing out the father might also be an option).

Fairylea Sat 26-Jul-14 17:53:40

Yanbu. Complain in writing to the nursery manager and send a copy to their head office. Ignoring a crying child is never okay.

teeththief Sat 26-Jul-14 17:56:14

I think YAB a bit U basing your judgement on the few minutes, at the most, I assume you were there. You said the member of staff was with another child and the crying one didnt want picking up. Maybe they'd been trying to comfort it but then had to deal with the other child briefly?

greeneggsandjam Sat 26-Jul-14 17:56:41

Maybe she had been offering her some kind of distraction/comfort until you arrived.

I never know why people are so keen to report absolutely everything.

greeneggsandjam Sat 26-Jul-14 17:57:39

People who work in nurseries are only human and don't have ten pairs of hands.

Idontseeanyicegiants Sat 26-Jul-14 18:05:00

It's just a snapshot really isn't it though? We would sometimes only be able to offer any reassurance to a distressed child by being close by but not trying to cuddle them when they didn't want it or at least seeming to be doing something else rather than putting unwanted attention on the child. It's best to be lead by the child themselves as an individual than assuming that they all want the same thing.
In all honesty I would assume that the staff member knew what they were doing.

ArraSails Sat 26-Jul-14 18:12:20

For some children it can be even more upsetting to be picked up and hugged by nursery workers, a little distance can work better in some instances.

Maleeka Sat 26-Jul-14 18:12:51

Yabu, i work in a nursery catering for children between 2 to 4 yr olds, and sometimes, no matter what kind of comfort you offer to a child, they wont respond to it straight away. We had a child who took around 3 months before he finally realised that his mum would be coming back for him and he hadnt been left there to fend for himself! He would sit by the front door crying and every time the door was opened, he would try to do a runner!

Different members of staff tried to comfort him, spending a lot of time, coaxing him away from the door, trying different methods, but it took him finally realising that it was ok to be away from mum for a few hours, before he responded to us.

It was a lovely day and lots of high fives all round, when he was finally able to be dropped off by mum and enjoy spending time making new friends and having fun in the nursery.

Fast forward a year and he is a happy confident little boy who we will miss like mad when he goes to reception.

You cant always make a snap decision based of a few mins of seeing a child crying.

rocketjam Sat 26-Jul-14 18:54:50

I completely agree with Maleeka, very sensible answer. I'm a child-minder and have experienced children who, although we had a long and slow settling in period, wouldn't be comforted by any form of cuddle/attention/distraction methods. They do eventually accept the comfort offered but we occasionally have to leave them on the floor to help another child. I have (more than once) carried 1 to 1.5 year old in a (much too small) sling out of guilt and not wanting to leave them to cry.

Boredinchippenham Mon 28-Jul-14 21:13:49

See a little one crying is very upsetting, but you need to know all details before making a complaint confused

Mumof3xox Mon 28-Jul-14 21:17:44


Sometimes nothing can console a child. They just need to get it out.

If the practitioner cannot console her then there is little more she can do about it. If the child is 16 months old the practitioner also possibly had another two children to care for and it would be unfair to spend all of her time trying to comfort a child who could not be comforted

machair Tue 29-Jul-14 23:35:00

And if the child is crying and crying because it is in a strange environment, doesn't know the carers (who don't know the child), it's ok to just leave it and not bother calling the parent to ask that they come to comfort???

Mumof3xox Thu 31-Jul-14 19:35:48

How exactly do you know the parent wasn't aware?

They may have known the child was not settled

They may have been unable to or have chosen not to come to try to settle them

Some parents opt not to do any form of settling in with their child when they start nursery

Lucylouby Thu 31-Jul-14 21:07:14

How long were you in the room? I imagine not long, so you really don't know the full story of what was going on. You walked into a room and took the attention of one staff member, which meant the other children had one less adult to deal with them. Of course you are entitled to that time, but it can make things difficult if several children all need adult attention and one of the adults is dealing with home time.
Unless you have other issues with the care at the nursery, I wouldn't report it as you don't know the full story. I know it feels different when you are paying for care, but sometimes, with the best will in the world, a child may have to be left for a few moments when something else needs doing. (And I mean that in the nicest possible way, I'm not saying a crying child should be left for ages, but for a very brief few minutes, it might be the only way forward, especially if the child is resisting all efforts to be comforted).

machair Thu 31-Jul-14 23:27:20

Mumof3xox, I think for a parent not to do any form of settling in with their child when they start nursery sounds cruel, especially when the child is of an age when they don't understand why they have been left in a strange environment.

Lucylouby, I asked the question because I was concerned about the child but didn't say anything more. Was under the impression that the child had been left for more than just a few minutes. However good a nursery seems to be, would you not mention something to the person in charge if you saw something which caused you concern?

Mumof3xox Fri 01-Aug-14 06:03:44

It may seem cruel to you. But that parent may not have had a choice, or it may just be how they choose to parent their child

MrsMook Fri 01-Aug-14 06:34:11

Sometimes there isn't time for a settling in period. Ds2s was brief because I had 2 weeks notice of my new job starting. In his case, this was no issue and he settled in like he owned the place.

I've seen new children on their own, crying because other children and tasks can't be neglected. I've also regularly seen new children attached to the staff like limpets and know that the staff do what they reasonably can to comfort the children. With Ds1, I was called a few times as he was alow to settle. With Ds2, it would have been a significant problem as I can't just walk out of work, and I frequently have no backup.

It's the big picture that counts.

WilburIsSomePig Fri 01-Aug-14 07:14:44

You really don't know anything much about this situation. Your 'impression' could be completely wrong and they may already have spoken to the child's parents for all you know. The child may have had many taster sessions and this is the first without a parent and may not want to be picked up by someone they don't know. For a parent to come back to comfort the child then leave again would be so confusing to the poor child.

Are you withdrawing your own child from this nursery if you have such concerns about their practice?

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