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to think DD should be doing more than 'coping' at nursery 6 months in?

(17 Posts)
SashaFierce99 Mon 22-Feb-16 23:44:52

DD is 4 and started morning sessions at nursery 6 months ago. She isn't happy to go, isn't happy when she comes out, doesn't take part in activities, says she doesn't want to go, doesn't have any friends there and won't eat, drink or use the toilet there. She mostly plays alone and seems to pass the time avoiding others until home time.

I asked to discuss her progress with her teacher who said she's coping and really that's the best I can hope for. The only advice re: eating, drinking and toileting was that she'll get hungry/thirsty more at school and will therefore be forced to eat/drink and subsequently use the toilet.

Aibu to think this is all pretty crap, or I am expecting too much from them?

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 22-Feb-16 23:47:45

I don't think a child who isn't eating, drinking or using the toilet is 'coping'.

Is she generally a very slow approach type of child? Or is there something about nursery she doesn't like?

Out2pasture Mon 22-Feb-16 23:49:14

this sounds like an issue with her maturity. i'm not sure what nursery could do.
how is she outside of nursery? does she interact well at friends homes or with grand parents etc.

Quodlibet Mon 22-Feb-16 23:49:30

Oh poor little love. Can you remove her?
And no, that doesn't sound like an adequate response to me.

Fatmomma99 Mon 22-Feb-16 23:51:46

My DD went to nursery at the shockingly young 4 months, and loved it. Very, very sadly, it closed when she was around 2. There was one just over the road (and I'd partly chosen her original one because it was 2 mins away from where I worked).

She never, never, never liked it. She coped, but she wasn't happy. She wasn't there THAT long before we moved, and she went somewhere she liked more.

So I have two schools of thought:

Your child will be starting school in the next year, so (a) on the one hand, it's not that long she'll have to be where she is (suck it up) (b) once she's at school, she's going to have to learn to live with it (another potential suck it up), but also (c) if you have a choice, use it, and try switching nurseries to see if that makes her happier. Because then you could see if it's NURSERY she hates, or THAT nursery she hates.
If I was in your shoes and had the choice, I 'd go with option C. But if you aren't able to, it's only for the short-term.

Good luck!

Newtothisbutanoldhand Mon 22-Feb-16 23:51:54

That doesn't sound like coping to me.

Is this normal for her? Or is she normally a very outgoing child?

She sounds miserable bless her.

What's your gut saying? You are the expert on your child.

SashaFierce99 Mon 22-Feb-16 23:56:30

Her maturity? How so?

She doesn't interact well anywhere. We suspect autism but the nursery disagree.

She's 100% happier during the holidays. She says she doesn't like the other children pushing and arguing, doesn't like going outside, doesn't like eating or drinking there, doesn't like the activities - yet she's happy to do loads of them at home.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 22-Feb-16 23:58:32

I think that is pretty crap and you're right to be concerned. Did she only start nursery at 3.5? That is quite late (most start as soon as they turn 3, at the latest, when the free hours kick in). Was she in different childcare then or with you?

If she isn't going to the toilet etc and staff are sure about this (in DD's nursery they would not always know) then presumably they are keeping a close eye on her. Can they identify any children she wants to play with, even if she isn't yet?

DD is 4 and has been in nursery since 8 months old, but when she moved up into the 'pre school' bit she struggled and did not play with others. Her key worker was concerned and we had an action plan. For a while she was asked to choose a friend and the two of them went to play in a little room together, several times a week. It helped her to build friendships and develop confidence and now she has a best friend and they go to each other's houses to play.

I think you should talk to the key worker / teacher and agree on a plan to improve things.

YourHandInMyHand Tue 23-Feb-16 00:01:10

Has she been in any form of childcare setting before?
It's obviously not the setting for her. When is she due to start school?

Most registered childminders also offer the 2, 3 and 4yr old funding and this might be a good sort of setting for your DD as smaller group of children and ratios. Plus with school in mind when she does go most childminders will work with you to do a good transition to school when it's time.

I've worked in Early Years for over a decade and I wouldn't describe this as coping.

If you suspect autism my advice as the mum of a now 11 yr old on the spectrum is start asking around for the most supportive inclusive school you can find. I was lucky to have one on my doorstep that fought alongside me but I know so many parents who haven't been as lucky.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 23-Feb-16 00:03:08

Sasha I've been wondering if DD is autistic as she was struggling with communication (her language is advanced, but interaction not right) and eye contact, but nursery cannot diagnose and we are still waiting to see a paediatrician. Her interaction is much better now but 6 months ago I was quite worried. The nursery's intervention made a big difference so I think it's worth asking them to address it.

SashaFierce99 Tue 23-Feb-16 00:11:08

I have asked. She's under a paediatrician who agreed with us over autism but because nursery disagreed it's prolonging the process which isn't helpful when she's due to start school in September. I feel like if I move setting it looks like it's because they've disagreed with me and that that too will prolong the process.

This is her first childcare setting. She's rather be alone that in childcare, she says.

Out2pasture Tue 23-Feb-16 00:35:04

sasha what is she like in family settings? are you a lone parent? what is she like with your spouse?
it takes a certain level of maturity for a child to trust others, be self sufficient and participate in cooperative play.

HidingUnderARock Tue 23-Feb-16 00:44:03

It sounds like you are feeling socially pressured by the nursery.

If you don't go with your gut now but trust what they are telling you then you will really regret it later. You know you aren't thinking of moving DD just out of having to be right, and if they think you are it kinda proves they are more interested in being right than in what is best for DD doesn't it? Not sure if I explained that well. Either way if you move her you wont have to deal with them much longer.

They may be invested in making the nursery look good both to you and your contacts and also to whoever keeps tabs on lost customers.

I once took DC to check out a day nursery, and watched one child dropped off clinging to mum and crying. He spent the entire morning walking round and round the room with his hand on the wall, refused to eat/drink or join in the activity. I watched as his mother picked him up and ask how he had been. "Oh fine!" they said all smiley. "He cheered up as soon as you left, don't worry about him he's fine."

I am sure it happens a lot tbh.

madein1995 Tue 23-Feb-16 01:14:41

I agree with hidingunderarock, I've done placement at a nursery setting and parents were often told their child has been happy and enjoying when actually, said child/baby had spent all day crying. I'd go with your instinct, whether they do it to keep customers or to allay parents fears, some nurseries aren't entirely truthful, I have no illusions that went on in my placement nursery was a one off. It seems to be a popular thought that it's kinder not to tell the parents the truth as that'll make them worry more.

SashaFierce99 Tue 23-Feb-16 09:05:32

I agree, I've worked in nurseries and know they aren't always truthful. It's the reason I'd never send my dc there before they can talk to tell me about their day. DD says she isn't happy there but she doesn't cry that often. I do think the nursery are most concerned with how they appear and think I'm being precious for wanting her to be happy, progressing and not just 'ok'. There's no point in her just enduring it when I'm at home with her sibling anyway. She is also Scratching herself because she's anxious but again, the nursery have disagreed that it's anxious behaviour.

AntiquityReRises Tue 23-Feb-16 09:19:16

WTF? The nursery sounds awful. Some places are just shitty and rely on the fact the children can usually make up for their shortcomings. My 4 year old is autistic and his first nursery had the attitude that "he would learn", apparently he would learn how to sit at carpet time by me taking him home before carpet time! And he would learn how to play by being left to his own devices so I'd walk in and see him doing the same repetitive things with toys.

I took him out after a month. The nursery he's in now is wonderful! He gets lots of support and they don't minimise anything. The SENCO was astonished nursery 1 expected me to take him home. They help him play, they help him integrate, he has someone sitting with him at food times for support and encouragement.

Personally, I think if they don't already get it, don't already understand children, children with special needs and their early years job then my child's health and wellbeing is not going to be compromised by attempting to teach them and "work with" them for things they should already know. Ds's new nursery has actually taught me that I don't have to settle.

And that's before we get onto them actually denying there's a problem and thus hindering a diagnosis that will only benefit your child and help you get the help she needs.

If I were you, I'd take her out and either keep her at home or ring round some other nurseries, find out how they would support your child.

When I told nursery 1 I was taking ds out I was told off! Told that she'd just given a dinner lady extra hours and now she'd have to tell her she didn't have those hours. That's messed up priorities. My child is not there for someone else's income ffs.

DIYandEatCake Tue 23-Feb-16 10:52:14

Your daughter sounds very similar to mine - who also 'just coped' at nursery. Luckily her nursery was a lot more helpful - they found little ways of integrating her and making her feel part of things (like choosing her to do little jobs, doing small group work with her and a few other 'quiet' children etc.) It still took about 6 months before she would speak to other children though, and the nursery staff never got more than single word answers from her (and that was huge progress - she wouldn't talk to anyone except me and very close family til over the age of 3). She started picking at her nails at nursery and on a bad day would peel bits off til they bled. I have at times suspected she might be somewhere on the autistic spectrum, but I'm not really sure.
Anyway, the reason I'm posting is to give you some hope - she started school in September and instantly felt much happier there. She is thriving, learning to read and write, doing brilliant drawings and paintings, skips in in the morning and skips out at the end of the day full of what she's learned. She is still quiet and doesn't interact much with the other children, but she does sometimes join in play now. I think she finds the structure of the school day much easier to manage than the 'free play' at nursery - the environment is quieter and calmer, the activities are more directed, and I think it feels more purposeful to her. I have been really pleasantly surprised.

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