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3 year old hates nursery, please help me

(22 Posts)
Missymilly Tue 14-Sep-10 09:47:39

Hello everyone

I am at my absolute wits end this morning.

My son who turned 3 in August started nursery about 5 weeks ago and he has NEVER wanted to go. I am a sahm and he has always been with me, I have never needed childcare really as I dont work, dont go out that often and when i do he is with his dad anyway.

The first few sessions I stayed with him and he was ok wth that and seemed to enjoy himself but always kept one eye on me. Eventually when he was distracted I would go and the staff said he had been just fine.

However the past few times have been a nightmare to the point I cant get him out the house to go. He wont get dressed so I have to force the clothes on which he rapidly tears off, he screams until he is sick.I have tried just carrying him but its just impossible as he is going off on one so bad I dont have the strength to get him there physically as I dont drive.

He has now missed 2 sessions as I have not been able to get him there because of the tantrum. He is only there 2 mornings a week and I thougth it would be good for him.

I am at a complete loss as to what to do. Dh took him one day last week and he went ok for him he screamed and had to be peeled off dh but nursery rang later to say he was ok.

I am sat here in tears while he has cried himself to sleep on the floor. Please please can some one help me. ANy advice really appreciated. So may friends have just said i am being soft and should just drag him but its not as easy as that when he is like this.

boogeek Tue 14-Sep-10 09:56:34

Well I don't suppose it is what you want to hear but unless there is some real reason he needs to go beyond "I thought it would be good for him" I wouldn't put myself or my son through this. If it was me - and as I say I am sure you'll get more helpful advice from somebody else, I'd pull him out. I would work on having him go places without me, I might go to similar places where I could stay too (like a toddler group?) I might try to make friends with some people who go, then I would try again in 6 months or so ("nursery today, you can play with little johnny") - he's only just 3, no rush.

primrose22 Tue 14-Sep-10 10:25:44

I speak as a sahm and ex nursery nurse.... Please listen to him, I hate it when people offer such harsh advice. Listen to your son, not your well meaning friends. He hates the place. It maybe because its not a great nursery (believe me I've seen many) or because he simply isn't ready to be away from you. I really appreciate that working parents have no choice and I always went out of my way to support both them and their dc's who were struggling to adapt to nursery life BUT you have the luxury of choice, keep him at home and try again at a later date. A child can change hugely in just 6 months and do consider that boys tend to develop later than girls.
I hope your ok? Good luck x

Chaotica Tue 14-Sep-10 10:33:53

I agree with the other posters - if he doesn't need to go, don't make him at this age.

FWIW I remember screaming blue murder at the first playgroup/nursery I went to. For hours. I was taken out and never had the same problem at other places, so maybe the place didn't feel right to me. Removing him now doesn't mean that there'll be problems later.

Hullygully Tue 14-Sep-10 10:37:54

What primrose said. Wish I hadn't sent mine.

dinosaur Tue 14-Sep-10 10:40:41

Yes, what everyone else said really. We started DS1 at nursery when he was only two, because we had a new baby DS2 and we thought it would be more fun for DS1 to be at nursery. I can really see in retrospect how misguided we were, and whilst I don't think he suffered any lasting damage, I think we put him and us through lots of suffering that really wasn't necessary (DH was a SAHD, so we didn't need it for childcare reasons).

seeker Tue 14-Sep-10 10:42:34

If he doesn't need to because of work or because you need a break, then don't send him. Sorted.

TheLemur Tue 14-Sep-10 10:45:22

Can he explain why he doesn't like nursery/why he doesn't want to go?

I understand what you mean about him being physically strong when he tantrums, it's a horrible feeling isn't it to be powerless.

My DS (just 3) never wants to go to nursery and cries a little when I leave but is fine when he's there. He's been going for over a year now! (He does have to go tho because I work)

I will come from another direction to the other posters - I'm not sure he's had long enough to get into nursery yet and I personally would try to persevere a little longer... Have you tried a bit of bribery? eg: get him dressed in front of TV and if he has a strop just turn the TV off. Maybe sweeties if he goes to nursery without crying. Also you could make a chart which shows him which days he goes to nursery, talk about the other children/staff there by name etc. Tell him when you will pick him up eg: after lunch so he knows when you are coming back. Try DH taking him again if he had better luck

If it's not working maybe try a childminder as that may be a bit less stressful for him?

seeker Tue 14-Sep-10 11:03:37

By why, TheLOemur? If he doesn't have to go, why send him?

thedollyridesout Tue 14-Sep-10 11:12:01

All of my DC, by the time they got to three and a half, had 'outgrown' me and were ready for nursery. I agree with others that there is no need to send him now. Wait another few months.

As a precursor to nursery, I found that swimming lessons were useful as they can start these at age 3 and you stay and watch. It gets them used to the idea of a 'teacher' in a very gentle way (provided they are happy in the pool that is) and you can offer lots of support for correct behaviour by 'thumbs up' etc.

goldenticket Tue 14-Sep-10 11:16:49

Can DH take him for a couple of weeks? Otherwise I would pull him out and try again in 6 months.

TheLemur Tue 14-Sep-10 11:29:37

seeker I just believe different experiences - toys/people/places - is good for childrens brains and that stimulation and learning go hand in hand.

Of course there is a line and a child should obviously not be pushed if they are truly unhappy, I just wanted to put across some approaches to nursery that have worked for me as my DS is a clingy/bad settler

Missymilly Tue 14-Sep-10 12:53:58

Thanks so much everyone for all the replies. DH cant take him on a regular basis due to work. My feeling is to pull him out as it just goes against all my instincts as his mother to let him suffer like this, but on the other hand I dont want to have to go through it all again in 6 months or a year if he is still the same.
He has also regressed a bit since starting nursery i.e not sleeping so well and wetting himself which he hasnt done since first being potty trained which troubles me a bit as its affecting him away from nursery too.

seeker Tue 14-Sep-10 13:00:16

He's only 3 now. He'll be nerly 5 when he starts school - a completely different person. Don't wortry, take him out and have fun with him. He'll grow up soon enough!

longgrasswhispers Tue 14-Sep-10 13:44:10

I agree with everyone else. Don't send him if you don't have to.

I tried my dd at a nursery back in March this year (she was 2.3) and she did exactly what your son is doing. I persevered for two weeks (3 mornings a week) which reduced me to a shaking, weepy wreck, and then stopped it. I felt she was a bit subdued in the afternoons after nursery and I had begun to hate it as much as she had. I got quite a lot of stick from 'friends' (whose children had settled into the same nursery with no issues at all) about this, who thought that I should have tried harder, and pursed their lips whenever I tried to explain why I'd taken her out, but it just wasn't in me to keep putting her (and me) through it.

We'll try again in January when she's 3.

Not quite sure what I'll do if it's the same situation in January, because I can't afford not to work for much longer.... sad But you never know, looking on the bright side, I may win the lottery yet!

Missymilly Tue 14-Sep-10 14:38:20

Its so hard when your "friends" dont agree and have plenty to say on the matter eh, when in fact they havent got the slightest clue of how it feels to have a child like that. They are all full of Oh stick it out and your mad if you take hime out, stuff like i need to toughen up. I know EXACTLY what you mean longrass about being reduced ti a shaking weeping wreck as thats what I am like now. It really does knock your confidence and is quite depressing tbh.Think I have spent the past 5 weeks more in tears than not in tears lol xxx

Hullygully Tue 14-Sep-10 14:54:06

Missymilly, tell your "friends" to fuck off. You may put it more politely if you wish.

chitchat09 Tue 14-Sep-10 15:40:22

If your DC isn't ready, by all means don't force the issue for too long.

However, I have to say that leaving while your DS was distracted wasn't exactly fair on him. One moment you were there and then all of a sudden you weren't. While their crying when you say good bye is upsetting, at least they know you are leaving, and you have the opportunity of telling them when you will be back, even telling them where the little hand will be on the clock when you come back (and then you had darn well better be on time!!!) and then when you arrive you can point to the little hand and say 'see, the little hand is on the number X and I'm back like I said I would be' (even if they can't read numbers!). As upset as they will be, they will know that you are not deceiving them and will believe you. Sneak off on them and they won't trust you.

Vine Tue 14-Sep-10 20:09:57

DS1 hated nursery, crying, not eating etc so pulled him out. Tried again a few months later, he loves it and won't stop talking.

I agree with giving him a break for a bit, it worked for us.

Simi21 Fri 07-Feb-14 22:36:44

I work at a nursery and i hate it, it was my first childcare job, i am working there for the time being but i will leave as soon as i get another job, even people i work with say all nurseries are bad, i have done work placements at other nurseries during my time at college and i can honestly say they are all the same the staff appear all nice in front of the parents but its all fake, i have been in my current job for a year and habe been unsuccessful while applying for other jobs but im still looking, im hanging on with this current job otherwise i will struggle with the rent and everything, anyway my point is if your child doesnt want to go to nuesery please listen to him

ceeveebee Fri 07-Feb-14 22:47:53

The OPs DS must be about 6 by now....

deelite72 Mon 10-Feb-14 14:40:06

Even if he's 6, I read this because it's relevant to me. Interesting what Simi21 said.

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