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To take DS out of preschool? Advice needed.

(90 Posts)
JCBFastrac Thu 03-Nov-16 10:34:00

DS is 3, started preschool in Sept this year. We knew it would be difficult for him as he's never been looked after by anyone except me, DH or grandma. Wasn't too bad at first but once he got wind that I would always leave him there, he's become incredibly upset about going. Today I took him in for the second time since half term week and it's been terrible. DH has been having to come with me to help as DS been getting so upset in the car on the way there that I can't concentrate on driving. It takes a while to persuade him to go into the building and he's so distressed when we leave him. When we're at home, he keeps asking 'we not going to preschool today?' so he's clearly dreading it.

The staff there have been very helpful and supportive and they insist that it will get better and that if he doesn't learn this lesson now then there may be real problems when it comes to starting school next year.

The staff put observations/photos on an online site so that we can see what he's been doing there and he usually looks happy and engaged. He obviously resigns himself to the fact that he's there and gets on with it.

DH and I are seriously considering taking him out of preschool because it's causing him so much distress, but we honestly don't know what is the best thing to do.

8misskitty8 Thu 03-Nov-16 10:49:46

Don't take him out, he is happy and getting on with activities while at nursery. It is the initial separation.
When he asks about nursery, how are you answering him ? Is it all happy and breezy about how wonderful a time he'll have ?
This will sound harsh but already he has realised that if he cries and creates enough he gets mummy and daddy to take him, getting what he wants. He is 3 you should not have to persuade him to do things. You are the adult.
I suggest take him even if crying. A goodbye hug/kiss then walk away. (Just one, don't got back for another one even if he asks, the longer you hang about the worse it will be for you both)
The staff are trained and see this many times. You have seen evidence that he isn't spending his whole time in a corner crying/pining for you, he is happy.
Yes, you will feel awful about seeing him being upset and crying for you but it will get better, and in a few weeks you'll look back on it and be glad that you persevered.
(Hope I haven't been to blunt with you.) x

mumeeee Thu 03-Nov-16 10:50:24

I would persevere as long as he is happy once he gets into things when he's there.
A lot of children are like this at this age.
How long is he there for and how many days does he attend?

rainyinnovember Thu 03-Nov-16 10:51:33

As long as he's happy when he gets in I think it's for the best. It's hard though.

user1477282676 Thu 03-Nov-16 10:52:54

Oh no don't take him out! Some DC just find it harder at first...if he's not yelling the whole time you're gone, then he'll be ok soon.

If you take him out, how will he cope when school starts?

rainyinnovember Thu 03-Nov-16 10:53:32

To be honest having read your OP carefully I think - and I'm saying this gently - you're feeding into it.

You shouldn't have to persuade such a young child. Just a cheery 'see you later darling!' and off you go. It shouldn't take two adults to drop a three year old off.

I wouldn't advocate this if I had reason to believe his distress was caused by something 'real' of course.

Gardencentregroupie Thu 03-Nov-16 10:55:49

What's his behaviour like at other times? Is he clingy, miserable, acting up, or is he happy enough? If it's the latter then it's just the initial separation and I would persevere, if it's the former then it's making him miserable even when he's not there and I would pull him out. School next year is a long time from now and there's a big difference between 3 and 4.

museumum Thu 03-Nov-16 11:03:15

How often does he go? My ds loves nursery but is still a bit reluctant just after a week off with us. The less often he goes the longer it will take to settle.
It's up to you, he doesn't have to go - some kids are fine going to school without ever having gone to nursery but some would find it a shock if they haven't been in a group setting with "teachers" before school, there's no hard and fast rule.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 03-Nov-16 11:06:22

Of course take him out, there is no point in your ds being upset when he doesn't need to be.

Thebookswereherfriends Thu 03-Nov-16 11:09:21

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that if he doesn't need to be at pre-school, then take him out.
The pre-school are not necessarily being entirely truthful with how happy he is. I worked in a nursery and a little boy started at 3 yrs, only been looked after by Mum. He cried almost non stop for several weeks despite our best efforts, eventually he got to a point of resignation, but it honestly broke my heart because you could see he was just going through the motions. I was pretty young and didn't question it or why it wasn't suggested to Mum that she tried something else.
I would work on him going to groups with you where he can go off and play independently, maybe see if you have a friend who could take him out every now and again to get used to being with non-family members. By next year when he starts school he might be fine and have matured a bit more .

Soubriquet Thu 03-Nov-16 11:16:06

It takes a while for them to settle

Dd started when she was 2. At first she keen to go. When she realised she was being left, she sobbed every day. Yet she was happy as anything when I went to go and collect her

After persevering she loves going and now is excited when I tell her it's a pre-school day. She had a few wobbles when she was moved up from the nursery to the pre-school. Nursery was free play all day. Pre-school was a bit more structured. But after a couple of weeks she was happy and smiley and ready to go

WatchingFromTheWings Thu 03-Nov-16 11:24:44

All my 3 did this. My eldest did it every day for the first 3 weeks of term. Then he'd settle....just in time for half term holiday or end of term. Then start all over again after the holidays! He'd cry/tantrum as he was going into the class and was completely fine within a minute or 2 after I'd gone. Stick with it, he'll soon start to look forward to going.

nothanksbyenow Thu 03-Nov-16 11:24:55

My kids both did this, after being fine for the first few sessions they resisted going in and would get upset at being left. I'd say it took the first child 2 weeks of gradually making less fuss each time to being a token cry at drop off. The second child was about 3 weeks. This was for 2 afternoons a week to start until they got used to it and got up to 2 full days.
I had lots of photos too, and I'm glad I waited it out a bit- they both loved nursery and were totally engaged the whole time they were there.
So perhaps give it a little longer to see how it goes.

JCBFastrac Thu 03-Nov-16 11:26:06

Thanks for the replies. DS goes 2 days a week -mon and thurs. In between sessions at home I think he's been his usual self but maybe a bit angrier than usual. A few weeks ago he was very angry and I thought that might have been due to preschool.

There seems to be this general belief that preschool or nursery is necessary to prepare them for school and I worry that if we took DS out then he would struggle with starting school.

whirlwinds Thu 03-Nov-16 11:31:57

My ds was like that but after a few months it went a lot better! I did not feed into it and the hard work has paid off as, though reluctant at times, we have no real issues going to school for yr1 term.

There was times I had to carry him screaming his head off, broke my heart and would call up 30 minutes later for an update and by then he was happily settled. I wanted to make sure my child was interacting and learning social codes from an early enough stage as we had the exact same setup as you until dc was 3. The only time dc was home was down to illness and only then.

PollyHampton Thu 03-Nov-16 11:32:51

Ds1 cried every day going in to preschool and the first 2 years of school. Literally 5 minutes after I left he was absolutely fine, it's just a habit they get themselves in to. You need to toughen up a bit and be firm, he'll adapt soon enough!

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 03-Nov-16 11:34:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shemozzle Thu 03-Nov-16 11:35:02

Preschool really isn't necessary. I'd take him out if he's miserable. You can't get that year back.

I took my dd1 out of preschool, not because she hated it but because she had afternoon sessions, and she went to her father's on weekends so it meant we couldn't do anything but preschool, no more museum, zoo, farm trips, meeting family or friends. She seemed to find nursery boring and I didn't think she was getting much out of itso I decided to make the most of her last year before school and take her out and she had absolutely no problems settling in to reception. Most of the children starting in her year group all went to different nurseries, childminders, or didn't go to nursery at all anyway.

He doesn't have to even start reception next year if not ready, compulsory education age is 5, and there is also home education which is hugely increasing in popularity now.

Spend the year building up his confidence instead by going to classes with you, meeting other kids at playgrounds, visiting family and leaving him there occasionally
to go shopping.

BarbarianMum Thu 03-Nov-16 11:40:28

My ds2 was a bit like this. Not so extreme about being left, but never wanted to go and never truly settled. We perservered and I really regret that now. If I had my time again I'd take him out.

He took to school like a duck to water, despite not liking pre-school. He was older so I guess just more ready.

I think if a dislike of preschool is overshadowing his home life (worrying about going) it's not worth it.

DearMrDilkington Thu 03-Nov-16 11:48:59

My dd was exactly the same when she started last year, don't take him out!! It will take a while but he will be ok going in soon.

My dd has since started primary school without any tears at all and her confidence is brilliant! It's all down to the nursery, it really did her the world of good. She was incredibly shy when she first started, then she made a friend at nursery and the change in her was amazing. By January she would run into nursery without looking back.

I know it's absolutely horrible but stick to it, especially if he will be starting school next year.

JCBFastrac Thu 03-Nov-16 13:38:08

Dear, how long did it take for your DD to settle? It's just that we're on about week 8 now I think and it's not getting easier, just harder!

baconandeggies Thu 03-Nov-16 13:46:47

bollocks to persevering if you suspect he's not ready for pre-school. It's not obligatory. We used the free 15 hours with an accredited excellent childminder instead and my dd loved the 'home from home' environment whilst following the same early years stuff.

baconandeggies Thu 03-Nov-16 13:49:52

she was then a very happy and confident little girl starting school at 5 years, as her needs had been met. As a result she made friends easily.

We had some family comment that she needed to "be institutionalised" at 3 - but she really didn't.

RedHelenB Thu 03-Nov-16 13:59:55

If he is happy once you've gone then I would keep him there.

allowlsthinkalot Fri 04-Nov-16 11:09:44

I would take him out. That year before school starts could make a huge difference to his readiness. And three is tiny. He doesn't have to be in school full time until the term after he turns five if you choose to send him to school (or whenever you like if you home educate!).

My daughter attends Reception two days a week. She is 4.5 years old. I didn't send her to preschool until she was ready (around her fourth birthday).

There is this massive cultural thing at the moment that they need preschool. I don't believe they do. I wouldn't be making my toddler unhappy for it.

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