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4yo DD refuses to go with me when I pick her up from after school care

(18 Posts)
Yika Mon 19-Jan-15 21:35:57

Thread title says it all really. DD has been in childcare since 5 months old. Ever since she was a toddler I struggle to get her to go home with me. I often have to pick her up and carry or drag her screaming and crying from the room. She hides behind or clings on to the furniture. It's embarrassing and upsetting. God knows what the staff or other children think. Once we are out of the room, she'll refuse to out shoes or coat on etc. I get frazzled and lose my temper. We have a good relationship otherwise. It's all fine once we are in the car. It's also fine if I pick her up earlier - straight after school or early afternoon on a non school day - but my working hours don't always allow that. Any tips?

holeinmyheart Mon 19-Jan-15 23:12:52

I think the key to this, are the words ' I lose my temper' and yet you are protesting about her losing her temper and she is only four. Who do you think she may be copying?

I would go to the nursery and kneel beside her CALMLY and join in what she is doing for a few minutes. Then Slowly you could put her coat on, all the time saying stuff such as ' I saw a lovely bird today on the windowsill at home. It might be waiting for you, would you like to see it? It is called a DIVERSION.
Or you can continue to enter the Nursery, wrestle with her and lose your temper, but that hasn't worked ,has it?
The more patience and kindness you show to your little girl NOW the more you will be repaid when she is older. She is only going to have one childhood.
I know what you are going through is hard. Working full time and being frazzled is not at all easy. However, your behaviour is the only thing you can change. The more frazzled you are and the more you lose your temper, the less likely it will be that she will want to come with you.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 19-Jan-15 23:31:40

Cripes, holeinmyheart, that's pretty harsh.

That said, I do think you need to try to remain calm. Is there anyone else who could pick her up from after-school club for a few weeks just to break the cycle? I would suspect that she is tired by the time you collect her and is therefore finding the transition from one activity (being at after school club) to another activity (going home) difficult to manage.

I used to collect my children from their GPs on my way home from work. It was always stressful. I was always the bad person who had come to stop the fun and take them home. Then we changed things round and I started going straight home and GPs brought the children home to me. It worked because there wasn't a sudden interruption to their activities. GPs were able to build up to going home time and then the children would be very happy and excited to see me when they got there. The change in the atmosphere was amazing.

Sorry, I'm rambling but hopefully you get the gist.

holeinmyheart Tue 20-Jan-15 16:52:00

Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh but it is surprising how many posts there are MNet saying my DC is two, or three etc and won't do what I tell it and so I lose my temper.
You only have to look at the Stately Home Thread to see how people loved being shouted at.
Childhood goes so quickly I just don't want to Yiika regretting her behaviour. When my children were young we didn't have the benefit of MNet and I know on occasion I behaved badly towards my children. I feel very guilty about the mistakes I made.
Children do remember the warm they got from adults all their lives.

Yika Tue 20-Jan-15 19:40:42

Thanks for your suggestions. I realise that losing my temper is not the best strategy! That's why I'm looking for ideas. I do take the point about diversionary tactics, and I'll try to keep a few good ideas up my sleeve (promise to play her favourite game/read her favourite book once we are at home). However 'kneeling beside her CALMLY and join in what she is doing for a few minutes' doesn't work if what she is doing is screaming 'No!!' and hiding behind the furniture. I usually feel exasperated but only actually lose my temper when I am tired and stressed myself (as was the case yesterday).

Permanentlyexhausted, your assessment is spot on - it is tiredness and difficulty with transitions. Also, she likes the after school care better than school so she's less willing to leave. Unfortunately there's no one else to pick her up. I'm a lone parent and live abroad. Her dad picks her up once a week (there's never any problem with him) and the babysitter picks her up occasionally (she resists). Otherwise I think your solution would work very well for me.

I have actually discussed nicely with her how we can resolve it, but I realise I haven't stuck to our plan (I asked her, instead of shouting 'No!! Go away!' to say 'Mummy, can you please wait outside for 5 minutes while I finish what I am doing'. I've also agreed that she can always have 5 minutes to finish.) I think I probably need to accept that managing the whole pick-up process will just take longer for us than it does for other people, and factor that in to my timing for the day. (sometimes even time doesn't solve it though)

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 20-Jan-15 19:45:58

Have you discussed the issue with the after school care? They may be able to do things to help, counting her down to pick up, talking to her positively about going home, maybe put some sort of reward system inlplace for going home nicely?

holeinmyheart Wed 21-Jan-15 19:49:30

Can I just say as an experienced Mum, that when the General Public of Mums witness a screaming child or a child in public behaving badly, they are mainly thinking, I remember that bit!
They may look and even stare at you, but it is because they remember that stage. They know what the poor Mum is going through and are just relieved that it is not them. Believe me 'The Mum' is always more embarrassed than the spectator.
I have the utmost sympathy with Yika and I know it takes patience to divert. If my child was screaming and carrying on at Nursery I would go in and sit down and ignore them for a bit. Then pretend to play with something with my back turned to them. I would make noises as though I was interested in whatever I was doing.

Your DD is expecting a confrontation and if it doesn't happen then she will be perplexed. She will also be curious about what you are doing . It is reverse psychology.

Sit in the Nursery and calm yourself for a bit, after all you have had a hard day and you still have to work, making food, reading stories etc.
do some breathing and think about anything positive that has happened during your day.
We cope much better with stressful situations when we are relaxed. So I think you should work on de - stressing strategies for yourself.
Best of luck, but please don't shout xxx

firstposts Wed 21-Jan-15 20:56:41

My son went through a phase of doing this. I used to worry what the nursery staff must think of his home life blush he would give me a dark look and ignore me, then run around screaming.

In one way, console yourself he is happy in the setting. Definitely get nursery staff onboard, my nursery are happy to help chivvy DS along when he's creating.

It is just a phase. DS now runs towards me with delight shouting 'mummy my beautiful mummy' until the next phase starts of course wink

Think they have trouble transitioning from one thing to another when they're little.

Iggly Wed 21-Jan-15 21:00:41

My ds was a bit like this but much better now. They know the routine and I've explained if they get ready faster we get home quicker. He was actually tired and wanted to be home and I think was not happy at not being home (we recently switched from a nanny to a childminder(

yellowdaisies Wed 21-Jan-15 21:00:56

Have you tried calling the nursery when you're on your way and asking them to let DD know you'll be there shortly? Might help her to be prepared and more ready to go.

A bribe or distraction helps too - eg going via a shop to chose something for dinner/pudding/snack

Yika Thu 22-Jan-15 19:27:05

Great ideas. Really like the one about calling ahead to let her know I'm on my way.

Will also have some quiet time when I arrive there and let her come round to the idea of leaving.

Thank you!

HearMyRoar Thu 22-Jan-15 19:54:26

Did does this sometimes. On the bright side I figure it's better then her hating the place.

Really I think it's tiredness, which is why she is better when you get there a bit early. We always have a few snacks for the bus home. She almost always needs a small something to eat. Just an apple or a small sandwich really makes a huge difference.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 22-Jan-15 19:58:05

Does she like stickers? Id be tempted to try a sticker chart. Every time she does the shoes/coat/hometime well behaved she can choose a sticker for her chart. Five stickers = a treat.

If she is badly behaved one day, no sticker,then much later on in the evening "it is a shame you didnt get a sticker today but there is always tomorrow".

AnotherMonkey Fri 23-Jan-15 21:20:21

The irony of the first post from hole has absolutely made my evening (it's been a bit of a tough day all round in the monkey household).

Stay CALM, use what those of us who know what we're doing call a DIVERSION, for gods sake woman DON'T SHOUT and for the love of all things sticky show a bit of DAMN PATIENCE grin

Sorry hole, obv paraphrasing a bit there but it did make me chuckle.

DD is momentarily pleased to see me when I collect her but not impressed that we're planning to take her with us. It does make me hmm but I'm happy that she's happy there.

I like the suggestions to call ahead and to sit and play with her for a while before making the move. Talking about our journey home ('do you think we'll see the sheep today?'), what we'll do when we get there, and the lure of a snack in the car, always helps us. I'm not sure this would help much if she was really going for it. Tbh, it sounds like you're handling it really well on the whole. It will pass!

Yika Sat 24-Jan-15 18:23:18

Ha ha yes a bit ironic! I didn't mind though, I am aware that my description of my behaviour on that day (let alone the actual spectacle of it) didn't show me in the best light, so happy to take criticism as well as suggestions on board.

Stickers are a good idea - they really work. She loves to count them up (5 gets a reward).

The problem with sitting and playing, talking about journey etc. is that she goes off on one the instant I make my unwelcome appearance in the doorway - there's no opportunity to engage before the mood turns nasty!

Ultimately I think the key is just getting there earlier. In fact since I posted on Tuesday I've thought a lot about it and I ultimately plan to completely revamp our daily timetable and even my working hours (luckily this is possible for me), so that I leave earlier but do a little work from home in the evening.

holeinmyheart Sun 25-Jan-15 06:44:29

You sound really lovely Yika as quite a few Posts when they get a whiff of criticism or any behaviour that they have posted that is not rubber stamped, they go off in a huff.
I have just spent a few days with one of my GD age three.
She got into bed with me and her GD on our last day and hid under the Duvet saying that she wanted to stay with us. We were leaving to go home and she was supposed to be going to Nursery. My DIL was going to work.

She refused to take her PJ's off and get dressed. So I just started telling her a made up story about about a Princess , she got absorbed and I was able to get her dressed.

It is very hard work having children. I did use diversion techniques all the time with my DC. I know it takes patience and I do have a vivid imagination but I don't think it takes any more time that wrestling them to the ground, trying to rip their clothes off, leaving both of you a bit fraught.

Iwouldgoout Sun 25-Jan-15 07:01:04

I agrew its the transition that is hard for them. We also have this. I say that the nursery staff need to get ready for bed soon so it's time for us to go home and get ready for bed too. I always offer snacks for the journey back. I think the staff are a teeny bit flattered by it which is fine with me and the other parents really don't care so don't feel worried about that. Good luck I know it is very hard though at the end of a long day.

Purplehonesty Sun 25-Jan-15 07:27:27

Id be saying to the nursery staff to please have her ready when you pick her up. So she is already in her coat and shoes. And they bring her to the door for you. Hold hand, straight in the car. Job done.
(You call ahead so they know when it's going to happen)
Ds's nursery did this and it made a huge difference, otherwise I would be chasing him round the garden!
No chance to faff about and you can tell her that when she starts to behave nicely at pick up time that you will go back to collecting her from inside.

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