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Toddler doesn't want to go to nursery- we haven't even started yet!

(11 Posts)
HairyPorter Fri 06-Sep-13 11:01:05

He starts next week. He's 2.5 and has suddenly become averse to the idea of nursery- was excited about it previously. He now refuses to try on his clothes or shoes for nursery or to even talk about it. Any suggestions? I can't drag a screaming toddler to nursery on his first day! I don't mind if he starts and decides es not happy there, but he's never even been!

fluffyanimal Fri 06-Sep-13 11:06:23

Don't talk about it any more. Just fill the days between now and the start day with lots of fun, exciting things to keep his mind off it, and then on nursery day just take him out of the house without making a big deal of it.

Does he have to wear a uniform at this nursery? Is that what necessitated the trying on of nursery clothes?

By the way, many children take a good couple of weeks to settle in to nursery, so if you want him to go, don't just pull him out if he doesn't like it after the first day!

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 06-Sep-13 11:10:48

DS had not long turned 3yo when he started preschool a few weeks ago, and he took at least one week to not go in crying. He has just recently accepted the routine of walking there without any fuss or drama, and waves to us at the window now.

Your little one is so small yet. I would suggest not talking about nursery and don't make a big deal out of it. Talking about it will cause further anxieties when he's not even been there yet. He hasn't a clue what you're talking about.

I got a phone call in the first few mornings when DS2 started (never had this with DS1 - he just settled in from day 1) to reassure me that DS2 was okay, and had settled with distraction.

Don't worry, you'll probably find he'll settle after a few weeks. It's a whole new setting for them.

Goldmandra Fri 06-Sep-13 12:09:42

He doesn't actually know enough about nursery to pass an opinion on whether he wants to go. He is responding to what he thinks nursery is which could be enormously different from the actual experience.

At 2.5 children don't have the emotional intelligence to predict how they will feel or the experience to know what they will or won't enjoy. He's probably formed an understanding of the concept of nursery from a few select and possibly irrelevant and quite random experiences.

I'm not a fan of sending children to nursery at this age just for the sake of it but you can be sure that the opinions he is expressing now are unlikely to be in any way relevant to what he's going to experience when he starts there next week.

Just give him a countdown once a day to let him know that the time is approaching but don't try to persuade him to feel different about it. He'll quickly form an opinion once he's there and forget totally what he's thinking right now.

KatoPotato Fri 06-Sep-13 12:20:54

I got quite worked up about DS not wanting to go to nursery until DH put it into perspective by saying 'If you took everything he said at face value he'd never have eaten any breakfast every morning!'

I think because you are anxious about it you think he is too, but like previous poster said, he's in on position to pass an opinion yet!

Think about all the things he apparently 'doesn't want to do' in a day, the lists is huge, but you don't take it on!

Goldmandra Fri 06-Sep-13 12:38:18

You could get him to make something or choose something special from home to take in to show the staff and choose a comfort object/cuddly toy/something of yours to take with him to help him keep the link with home.

If he has a special interest, e.g. dinosaurs you could buy a book related to it and drop it at nursery for them to share with him when he first arrives. As you know it will be there you can also tell him about it the day before and on the morning to give him an incentive to go.

HairyPorter Fri 06-Sep-13 14:44:27

Thanks for all the responses! Yes he does need to wear a uniform but its a t-shirt and joggers and school shoes. He's refusing to even try on his shoes! I'm tempted to take away all other shoes and clothes today so he'll have to wear them over the weekend? Is that a bad idea? It wasn't his opinion that was troubling me, it's more that he is capable of throwing mega tantrums and life will be much easier on if I can get him to cooperate with the dressing up and leaving the house (will have to take 11m dd with me too). The shoes have dinosaurs under and I tried making it seem like fun but he wasn't having any of it!

Goldmandra Fri 06-Sep-13 19:35:40

In your position I'd take him in on the first day wearing whatever he wanted, with his nursery clothes and shoes in a bag.

A good Early Years setting would encourage him to change if and when he seemed settled enough and allow him not to if he was upset about it. You could keep taking the clothes in for them to put on him for as long as it takes for him to feel OK with putting them on at home.

The clothes are the least important thing about this process and I hope the staff will see this. He needs to feel comfortable and safe there before being asked to wear something he doesn't want to wear. It is a long time before he will need to do it at school.

If the staff are rigid and willing to allow him to be upset about it, rethink your choice of childcare.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 06-Sep-13 19:55:47

The staff will more than likely not be fussed about the uniform if he's unsettled to begin with. These details are not important. Once he's settled down in the nursery environment they will then focus on the smaller details.

Any good nursery will be understanding and they'll be experts at settling children who are new to the environment. They will talk you through what is best for your child and best for you to maximise the chances of it going smoothly and as stress free as possible.

fififrog Fri 06-Sep-13 21:00:28

My DD is 2.6 and has been at nursery since 9 months - she loves it but she often says she doesn't want to go of a morning. I just say, oh i know you'd rather play with trains and stay with mummy, I'm really really sorry but i have to go to work and then just try to make as little fuss as possible. It's always fine. It took her months to settle in BTW.

stormedmentor Mon 09-Sep-13 13:25:01

I had that problem with DD2 (now 13) and then I had lots of strong wine and cake
and gave him a slice of cake every time he went to pre-school grin

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