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Advice? 2 year old suddenly hates nursery

(13 Posts)
tillyma Mon 23-May-11 22:17:32

My DD turned two a month ago and since turning two she hates to go to nursery. She has been in nursery for 1.2 days per week since she was 14 months. The remainder of the week she is looked after at home by either DH or myself who have arranged our work schedules so that we can each spend some time at home with her. She also spends one half day each week at her grandparent?s house. At best she cries and holds on to me when I?m dropping her off, at worst she starts screaming and trying to run out of the nursery. It is taking about 30 minutes to get her to calm down enough for me to leave. We had no issues with her settling in nursery when she first started or when she moved to her current room several months ago. Nursery say that she gets involved in the activities but periodically states that she wants to go home and gets upset. There have been no big changes at home or at nursery so I?m at a loss as to why this is happening or what we can do about it. When we question her about it she just says that she doesn?t want to go to nursery ? she wants to stay at home with Mummy. I don?t think it can be an issue with other children or staff because she?s talkative at home and tells us quite a bit about what happens at nursery. In the last couple of days she has started to mention not wanting to go to nursery on the days when she?s at home. She?ll also say things like ?teddy is crying? and when you ask why she says ?he doesn?t want to go to nursery?. At about the time that her reluctance to go to nursery started she also became reluctant to attend the activities that we do together but that has passed now. If anyone has any advice to give I?d be really happy to hear it. Work commitments won?t allow for us to stop using outside childcare.

openerofjars Mon 23-May-11 22:32:30

My DS was exactly the same, and it turns outhe was scared of the lions and tigers at nursery. Go figure. I beat myself up for weeks, phoned the nursery manager for chats, tried talking to him about it. Then one morning he said "I don't like nursery because of all the big lions. And tigers. I'm scared of the animals".confused

So anyway, I went to nursery with him that morning to have a word with the lions and tigers, totally straight faced. I gave those bloody imaginary cats such a talking to. It worked: he's happy there now.

I'm not saying your DD's nursery has a big cat problem, just that it could be something similarly out there and impossible to understand unless you're a toddler.

Have you had a chat with her key worker?

noisylurker Tue 24-May-11 21:50:33

openerofjars I've just snorted at my laptop reading your reply. Christ, the things we do for our kids!! Fabulous smile

I hope you find an answer soon, there is little worse imo (in my ordinary life, anyway) than having to leave your sobbing child and bugger off to work. I don't have any good advice but you have all of my sympathy.

SouthStar Wed 25-May-11 02:52:36

Its a tricky one as so many things can change their minds over night. What ages are the other children around her? Maybe she is just bored if she is surrounded by younger kids.

In the mornings, Id drop her off and go as hard as it is. We had a few tears and tantrums with our ds when we dropped him off at nursery and the more we paid attention to it the more he kicked off because he was getting the attention he wanted and it meant we stayed around abit longer.

estobi1 Wed 25-May-11 06:14:48

We had the same issues with our eldest daughter and now my little one is doing it - it is heartbreaking to leave them when they are crying so you have my fullest sympathies. With my DD2 however, the minute i leave it all stops and she is happy as larry. She talks enthusiastically about nursery when you ask her what she has been doing so I have resolved not to take the situation further and by paying less attention to the "I dont want to go" hopefully it will stop - that may work for you? I have also been told the quicker mum leaves the less distressing it is for the little one so perhaps this might work? Good luck not an easy problem to resolve.

tillyma Thu 26-May-11 12:58:25

Thank you for all your replies. Openerofjars you made me smile about this which I didn't imagine happening. SouthStar and estobi1 I've been a little annoyed that the nursery staff have not done more to help me get away quickly - the tantrums happen by the coat pegs and I often wish that someone would pop out and take her off me. Maybe I should be braver and just carry her into the room while she's in full flow. Anyway, it may not come to that. This morning as we were getting her ready she was crying and saying that she didn't want to go so I suggested that she might like to show her teddy what happens at nursery. She talked to teddy all the way to nursery about the things she sees on the journey (teddy has never left the house before because she's so attached to him that we've been petrified about him getting lost). She went into nursery with not so much as a tear. I'm on tenterhooks to see how she gets on and I'll report back.

notasausage Thu 26-May-11 13:52:18

Ask the staff to come and get her from you if she kicks off or take her into the room and hand her over. Give her a quick kiss and a hug then wave with a big smile say "have a lovely day, mummy will be back to get you later". Keep smiling and waving and leave confidently. It's the hardest thing in the world to do but I bet when you ask nursery later she will have stopped as soon as you're out of sight. Good idea on the teddy. Hope it works long term and you don't have to go through the sobbing again.

We have just moved house and changed DD's nursery (2.5). The staff said she was far worse when DH dropped her off because he fell for her hysterical sobbing and wouldn't leave until she'd calmed down - she's a smart cookie who has DH exactly where she wants him!

tillyma Fri 27-May-11 19:12:12

The teddy has worked for the last 2 days. Today she said a couple of times that she didn't want to go to nursery but there were no tears at drop off time. The staff said that she's had moments where she seemed a bit sad and withdrawn but hasn't been crying for me during the day.

candr Sun 29-May-11 19:30:37

The staff should work with you on this nd have someone ready to distract her straight away. We used to film kids once their parents had gone so they could see when they collected that 5 min later child ws fine and happy. Is she able to tell you in more detail or draw what she is un happy about as it sounds as if it preying on her mind when she is at home which is sad. She may just feel a bit pillar and post with childcare but that is something she will have to learn to deal with as finding childcare is hard. Have a chat with staff and explain you would appreciate a bit more help and maybe for them to keep a diary of times she get upset and what she ws doing as there may be a clue or trigger ie meal times, staff change over or when she is tired. Good luck

georgiegirl15 Sun 29-May-11 21:42:42

Hi, I agree that the staff should be working with you more to help over come this stage. Above all dont feel guilty! We have to work to pay bills/keepsane/have own life* delete as applicable! This is undoubtably harder for you to watch and go through than it is for her. Ask the manager of the nursery to have a key worker for the week to work with you and your DD. If there is someone there for her as soon as you go in it might make the transition better for her. Its a good idea to try and keep a diary of times when she is upset and the teddy idea is fab. You could also try talking to teddy directly and asking teddy all about his day in nursery and how he has helped. Also - this one is the hardest by far - if there is a member of staff available be as bright and cheery as possible (I know you'll be grieving inside) and give her a kiss, tell her you love her and to have a nice day. Tell her who will be picking her up and that you will see her later. Above all good luck!

xxsaralouxxx Sun 29-May-11 21:58:36

Hi, I'm a nursery nurse and have been for 16 yrs for my sins!! I know this sounds awful but honestly and truthfully the best thing you can do is drop her off and run! I'm a parent myself so I know how heart wrenching it can be, but it's the genuine truth that the longer you are there trying to calm her down the longer she will be upset. You may even find that she screams all the louder at first but it wont last as long once you're gone and will soon stop when she realises you are coming back eventually and it'll be no quicker if she screams for you. I've had to do the whole grab at the door and run thing many times for parents and they are often surprised at how this works. Talk to the nursery to see if they would agree to you just handing her over straight away. I also think the teddy idea mentioned above is a fabby idea.
Good luck xxxxx

AlanaB Thu 04-Apr-13 14:43:23

Hi all, my 22 month old is showing an increased dislike for nusery too and I am just writing a blog post about it now! I might try letting him take his Henry Dog into nursery on Monday to see if that helps as I've been over all other reasons and suggestions and can't point to anything obviously wrong at all. We'll see...

fififrog Thu 04-Apr-13 21:28:44

My DD is just 2 and literally the last two weeks she's been kicking up a fuss about going and this week said "don't like nursery". She's also at home with me, DH or granny 3 days a week. I don't have so much of an issue at drop off though she is tearful and clingy but perhaps because I do drop her and run. She took a couple of months to settle when she first went at 9.5 months so I got used to it then. The thing is she always has a really good time so I try to point out all the good stuff she does there like painting that we don't do at home - doesn't seem to make any difference to her mood now though it did help with previous blips. I'm trying to convince myself it's just a phase... Soul destroying phase though! She's totally glued to her bunny while she's there though and I sense they have been relaxing their rules with her as apparently she has taken him into the garden, which is not normally allowed. Anyway, much empathy from this corner!

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