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What would you do?

(11 Posts)
bellamysbride Mon 13-May-13 17:16:48

Sorry, the title sounds dramatic. smile. DS is coming up for 4 at the end of June. He has always had trouble settling in with people when I am not there (with the exception of his Grandma who we don't see that often). I thought that a really informal drama class would be great for increasing his confidence. It is a lovely group, great teacher and nice children but it involves me leaving him. He has been going since christmas and not once have I been able to leave him without a fuss. Today it reached the point where I wasn't able to leave at all as he was disrupting the class with his tears, so I had to leave taking him with me. It seems such a shame to abandon the class though as when he stays he thoroughly enjoys it and comes out happy and buzzing. So what should I do, persevere or just stop taking him? He is the same with swimming lessons but fortunately I can stay for those and I feel that they are non negotionable from a safety point of view. He starts school in September and I am frankly, bricking it grin.

amazingmumof6 Mon 13-May-13 18:25:33

tough one. I would persevere, he's got to learn to be without you for short periods of time in preparation for school as you said.

it is hard to leave him of course and it's tricky when he's interrupting the activity, but he must learn.

he was so upset today and I wonder if that could be for other reasons like being more tired, or getting ill.
and I guess not being 4 yet he is just a little boy who needs mummy some days more than others, without any special reason, which is understandable.

not sure what to suggest apart from keep trying - maybe a different activity is the answer if he just doesn't want to do the drama class.

also get his hearing and eyesight checked - if he has a problem with either/both that could be a reason for his feeling vulnerable without you.

bellamysbride Mon 13-May-13 20:20:04

Thanks amazingmum. I think I am just fed up of the fuss. I have to take my DD (18m) too and she gets fed up sitting at the side. I agree that he needs to learn to cope without me and that it is better to do this before big school. I do think that he would be the same with any activity though. He loves the water and swimming but we still have the same ordeal with swimming lessons.

He has had a hearing test (had a minor speech delay, much improved now) and was fine. Though interestingly he complains that the class is 'too loud'. Eyesight is an interesting one and will keep that in mind. He goes to preschool 2 1/2 days a week. Recently he has asked me to stay for a few minutes there too. But it is literally just a few minutes then he will happily go off and play. I really don't feel comfortable just leaving him screaming as I think he is genuinely overwhelmed by entering a big group of people. Other than this he really is quite socially confident.

Any other tips/ advice very gratefully received.

fififrog Mon 13-May-13 20:29:23

I don't have any proper advice but if it's entering a big group could you find something in a smaller group setting? Or get there early so it's just him and the teacher when you leave? If he can manage preschool I am sure he'll be ok with school even if teething troubles. You know he can do it, like you say it's a matter of finding a way to boost his confidence, isn't it?

amazingmumof6 Mon 13-May-13 20:52:44

has he had lots of ear infections?

I did when I was a kid, had my ears syringed many times, which caused some damage and 1% hearing loss in one ear. I've always complained about things being too loud and last year was diagnosed with having hyperacusis. nothing I can do about it, and even if he was to have this I doubt that would be the reason he is shying away.

he seems to have a bit of separation anxiety and I wonder if anything happened recently that made him feel anxious to leave you/you leaving him above he's usual shyness.
I'm thinking perhaps you spent a night away or something unexpected rattled him. Any changes in routine - his, yours or your family?
Maybe he realized you spend more time with DD so he is a bit jealous?
have you been talking to him about school?

Anything you can think of? of course, whatever it is you are not to be blamed (in fact I forbid you to feel guilty! grin) but if you can think of a reason you might find the solution much easier.

bellamysbride Mon 13-May-13 21:26:51

I can't think of any change. It really is only me who looks after him so I think that probably has alot to do with it. He has always been very attached to me. He spent a rare evening alone with DP a couple of weeks ago and DS created such a stink I had to come home! We have only just started talking about big school in the last couple of weeks, just gently introducing the idea. So frustrating, but I think I need to go gently, forcing the issue doesn't seem to make any difference. I am trying to think of a quiet, small group activity. Chess for 3yr olds? grin.

bellamysbride Mon 13-May-13 21:31:04

Oh and as far as I am aware he has only had 1 ear infection but that was discovered by accident so quite possible he has had more.

MsDeerheart Mon 13-May-13 21:42:34

if he is happy at pre-school I wouldn't worry over much about school - and I wouldn't push the drama group -he is only three and I think that is quite young for doing a class where you leave them - even my v confident DS1 would have struggled with that I think at 3 .And again loads of DCs at 3 stuggle with swimming lessons - I know 2 who have refused to get in the pool!

what I would push is him spending time with out with DP - I assume his dad - I would start doing something - say an exercise glass every week -the odd shopping trip /coffee with friends at the weekend- would be good for you as well

with school I assume there will be visits- and also will he be going with children he knows - both can help - and would he be going part time intially - again can be good - and teachers are very used to a whole range of behaviour

MsDeerheart Mon 13-May-13 21:43:49

oh and my DS again confident did have wobble about leaving me /big school about this time - once he when on his visits he was fine

amazingmumof6 Mon 13-May-13 21:44:17

yes, chess, excellent!grin grin

it's so hard, coz you just can reason with a 3 or 4 year old (or even with a 40 year old some days...)

if he fusses to much next time, just stop for a few weeks, then try and restart.

bellamysbride Mon 13-May-13 22:21:53

Thanks for all the advice. I think I will give the drama class one last shot then if he is still reticent about it just give it up and enjoy the summer in the park.

MsDeer you are completely right about him spending more time with DP and I do need to remember that he is only little. I think I get embarrassed by others reactions to his clingyness but that's my issue really.

Thank you again, you have given me the confidence to trust my insticts.

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