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Why does my toddler misbehave when I attend her preschool/outings

(12 Posts)
Starr79 Fri 11-Jul-14 20:59:18

I'm new to this so I hope I'm doing things right!
My daughter will be 3 in September. She is currently attending preschool 2 mornings a week and loves it. She is very well behaved, interacts well and thrives while she's there. However, I attended her school sports day today and she became very defiant, refusing to join in the activities and was hysterical. She wanted to take her turn at the events but despite all of us encouraging her she remained hysterical and refused to participate. Had I have not been there I'm pretty certain she'd have joined in and enjoyed it. There have also been occasions where there have been preschool trips I've taken her on and she's behaved in a similar way. I feel terrible and don't know why she's reacting this way. When I try to talk to her about it she completely ignores me. We have a very close relationship so I can't understand why I seem to make her so unhappy in these situations.
Any help or suggestions appreciated.

findingherfeet Fri 11-Jul-14 21:05:44

Could it be just the difference to her routine? She's used to being there without you (which may or may not of been a hard adjustment) so having you there throws her a bit?

I suspect my DD (a month younger) will be exactly the same, have our first trip next week and I'm sure my being there will stress her out.

Flisspaps Fri 11-Jul-14 21:08:00

Don't try to understand a 2 year old. Or a 3 year old.

4 year olds aren't much better grin

Iggly Sat 12-Jul-14 07:25:04

She's only 2. Maybe she doesn't want to do it so let's her guard down with you. Trying to talk to a 2 year old is futile as she won't be able to quite articulate her feelings.

tumbletumble Sat 12-Jul-14 07:29:15

Don't worry OP, this is very common even among older children. I went on a class trip with my 4yo last week and all the parents who came were saying the same. Who knows why!

CheeryName Sat 12-Jul-14 07:33:51

I've helped on trips, and at clubs, and DS turns into a total moaner. DD becomes a limpet. When I am not there they are charming and enthusiastic and get on with it (I have sometimes turned up early when they didn't realise, so have seen this for myself!)

steppemum Sat 12-Jul-14 07:53:54

It is because you have crossed the divide between home and school and that is confusing for her. She is upset by the change, mummy isn't 'supposed' to be at school.

It is pretty normal, it is why when we help on class trips (school age) we are usually not given our own child in the group.

EatDessertFirst Sat 12-Jul-14 09:56:12

My 5.5yo DD does this. After the first trip with her nursery where she was part-time I just stopped going to help.

I haven't been on any of her local school outings or her big trip coming up because I know she will behave badly. I agree with steppemum. To my DD, it crosses the line between school and home, and she doesn't know which 'behaviour to use'. If it makes it easier on everyone of I am not there, then so be it.

Starr79 Sat 12-Jul-14 19:37:01

Thanks everyone. It's reassuring to hear I'm not alone with this. I've convinced I must've messed up somewhere along the line but what steppemum said really makes sense. Thank you.

CheeryName Mon 14-Jul-14 11:29:44

We quite often have children for tea (iyswim!) that are well behaved until their parent turns up to bring them home and then they won't put their shoes on etc etc - I think the line crossing and 'combining two looker-afters' is quite a challenge for children.

DeWee Mon 14-Jul-14 11:53:08

Very very normal.

I used to volunteer at a creche, where we had 4 volunteers and required one parent to stay.
Week after week the parent would come and apologise at the end and say something along the lines of "I'm so sorry for my child's behaviour, I didn't know they were so bad. They're the worst behaved child here!"

And they had been-that week, but when their parent wasn't there they were delightful. True for most of the children that regularly came.

MiaowTheCat Tue 15-Jul-14 07:58:30

Fairly normal - also normal are the parents of the most utterly angelic kids going coming to parents evening and telling you how they're total nightmares at home!

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