Crying at school gates(50 Posts)
Posting here for traffic. DS has recently started a preschool attached to a school. He was clinging and crying his eyes out this morning and I had to pride him off me. Any tips to help us both deal with this? It's horrible.
Can't you go in with him and get him settled playing before you leave?
I think some children just struggle with their parent leaving them. My daughter cried every single day that I left her at pre-school, for two years. And every day that j left her with her childminder, that went on for five years. It broke my heart but no amount of settling her, distracting her etc worked. I used to cry too once I was out of sight, because I couldn't bear to see her upset. But often she was settled within thirty seconds of me leaving.
She is almost a teenager now and has had no ill effects.
It's hard though.
I went into the playground with him and took him to his teacher who told me I was making it worse for him. I was prising him off me. I think a little settling in session or two would have helped, but school won't offer that. It's drop and go to get them school ready I guess - but they're at preschool NOT school!
My eldest did this for two months. He eventually got used to it.
It's something which you have to just keep being positive about to him and sticking with it. I agree with the school that dropping and going is the best approach. By staying, I'm convinced that it allows the child to cling to your more.
He will settle eventually and each child takes a different amount of time to do so.
well, I would be insisting on a couple of settling session, that is very poor practice at pre-school.
Dd2 was a clinger and cryer, worse actually in year 1 than in pre-school and reception, and I am sure it was because we went into the room with them in pre-school and reception and helped them hang up their coat and then said goodbye and left.
She was always like it, at other people's houses, birthday parties etc. nervous right up until she walked into the room and saw that all was fine.
A couple of things helped. At pre-school she always took a toy. It stayed in her tray in the cloakroom (where gloves etc went) during the day, the pre-school leader and I had a lilttle plan so that it was 'not allowed' into the classroom, but knowing it was there was usually enough.
At school, she had a teeny tiny teddy in her pocket, and I used to kiss it and tuck it in. She had to be very careful that no-one else saw it as it was against the rules. Then she porgressed to bringing a small teddy, and kissing it and putting it in MY pocket.
But yes, prised off me every morning.
The real key is what happens 5 minuets later? My dd was fine the secodn she walked into the room, it was the transition moment. Some kids however are not fine, and cry for half an hour. That is not fine.
took him to his teacher who told me I was making it worse for him.
The teacher does sound a bit harsh, they are normally used to such situations and keen to reassure the parents (and get rid of them )
I talked to ds about going to nursery at various times in the morning before we went to remind him that he was going! It helped it not be as much of a shock when we arrived at the gates.
Many children are more distressed by the process of parting than the absence of the parent. Make the parting loving and quick. If you hang around hoping he will relax you are actually making it worse. Ask the teacher at pick up how long it took for him to cheer up and how he was during the day. That is the most important bit
I still have this with my son and he's in year 1.
It’s really tough and the teacher doesn’t sound very understanding which is not helpful.
Is there any kind of ritual you can establish that might help? E.g. do you do pasta in a jar? He could take his jar with him and earn a pasta for going in, his teacher could give him another one when you leave, etc. My DS coincidentally developed this routine where he would take his biscuit box, exchange biscuits with another little girl in his class and then they would go in together. It helped them for an entire year.
I didn't hang around for more than a few minutes. He said he was scared, so I tried to reassure him and carried him to the teacher, hoping that would reassure him and to actually make parting quicker and not long and drawn out. It's very much "bags on, line up, off we go". I'll ask how long he takes to settle. I felt such a shit leaving him and just wish there was a gentler settling in period.
Try not to carry him. That’s something I was told by DDs nursery head on her first day and I’ve never had a problem. Just hold his hand and chat to him about something else and walk him in.
I’m just going through this too. I have been telling him that I’m popping to shops to get him a treat and I’ll be back, and asking what he wants which is usually a kinder egg - then I have the kinder egg ready for pick up!! I did that 3 times and on 4th time I said it’s at home we’ll get it later and he forgot. But I’d rather bribe him than see him upset!
Sorry that sounds far blunter than I meant it too - I know it’s hard. I take my nephew to school sometimes. He’s in year one and still has daily freak outs but absolutely adores school. It’s so hard when they’re crying to not scoop them up to comfort them. I just never make an issue of it; it’s just a practical we’re going to school attitude and it does help.
My daughter also did this in reception and year 1. We used reward charts so she would get something if she didn’t cry for 10 mornings etc.
I'm not sure they'll do pasta thing for him. Teacher is in a playground. I'll book an appointment to ask what they'll be willing to do. Maybe a sticker (although that probably flouts strict uniform rules - girls in preschool even have to wear same colour hair clips?!??!!!) I felt like asking what the fuck they wanted me to do to get him in quicker. I don't expect teacher to spend ages settling him at detriment to other children, but home toys aren't allowed, settling in isn't allowed, I can't distract him with something as it's playground drop off at playground gate. Maybe there's another reward thing they can do. Or maybe he'll grow out of it. I'd just rather a gentler method if I can think of one that school will allow.
In reception the teacher had a sticker reward thing going on with my daughter, worked some days but not others.
I know I'll get shot down but is this clingy behaviour partly a result of parental obsession with holding their baby all the time? I find it very odd that putting a baby down is considered almost a form of child abuse! Yes they might grizzle a bit but will settle.
Yes they might grizzle a bit but will settle
Some will. DD1 would grizzle and settle. DD2 would grizzle then scream, then scream some more and vomit. They’re all different.
So my little boy went through a phase of this with nursery recently (he’s is 3 starts school in September).
We did a sticker chart at home.... for every time he didn’t cry he got a sticker. So many stickers = a blind bag / kinder egg.
It’s worked... he tells his nursery staff he’s not cried and is so proud of himself.
A lot of it was preparing him in the morning making sure he had enough time (we would get up at 645 for a 730 drop off). This I realised was too rushed as he wanted 5 mins cuddle on the bed watching programmes with me. I always make sure he has warnings too... ie 10minutes then we have to turn X off and get ready... 5 minutes.... etc
Worked for us
Wow that is harsh of the school! I am in France where almost all DCs go to pre-school at 3yo. They are allowed to go into class with their cuddly toy, food etc. My DS’s teacher did not know about the pasta jar but as soon as she saw me carrying it around and rewarding DS she asked if he could keep it through out the day.
Is it possible to look into other schools? Personally I find excessively strict uniform rules to be counter productive and their enforcement is a waste of everyone’s energy, so that alone would put my back up.
Personally I would move to a different preschool. 3 year olds need a caring, nurturing environment, not overly strict teachers and uniform policies.
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