Ds3 getting upset about going to preschool after months there....

(6 Posts)
Tory79 Thu 30-Apr-15 20:44:43

It's really beginning to get on my nerves because he actually loves it.

He's been there since January, and does 3x3 hour sessions a week. He struggled to start with, we had about a month where he was getting really really upset but we persevered and he settled down. However, he often still gets upset before we leave the house and when I drop him off.

So today is a prime example. Getting ready to go and he's crying saying he doesn't want to go, he wants to stay with me etc etc. get to pre school and he's a bit teary although he does go off reasonably peacefully (sometimes he sobs and clings to me) When i arrive to pick him up he's listening to a story and barely gives me a second glance, just gestures that he wants to stay until the end. Then skips over to me happily, goes around saying goodbye to the girls there, tells me what fun he had doing x,y and z. Asking if he's going tomorrow because he really wants to etc etc.....
It's driving me crazy because I find it so hard to see him get so upset (not every time, but maybe 70/30) and yet the staff all say he's fine within minutes, and he always comes out happy.

When he gets upset I always remind him that he does actually enjoy it once he's there, he always denies this though (no I doooont mummy, I only want to be with you sad) I give him cuddles and lots of reassurance but I'm actually wondering if I should start to take a more matter of fact slightly less sympathetic line?!?

Any thoughts? Pre school did say it's actually quite common and they think a lot of children do it on purpose to make us feel bad!! (This may have been a joke grin)

Tory79 Fri 01-May-15 09:22:54


TheEmpressofBlandings Fri 01-May-15 09:29:23

My DD is doing exactly the same. She loves preschool but every morning she's due to go, she sobs and sobs and says she's too tired to go, she wants to stay with me, she refuses to get dressed etcetc. She's fine once there and skips out at the end of the day. She has just started going for three days, she will be starting school full-time in September so she has to get used to it really.
I have no help or advice, but you are definitely not alone!

Goldmandra Fri 01-May-15 09:30:51

they think a lot of children do it on purpose to make us feel bad!! (This may have been a joke)

I hope it was a joke!

It is common because some children just find it hard to cope with transitions, especially transitions that involve leaving a parent.

I've worked in Early Years for 15 years and with children before that and I've never seen a child get upset just for the pleasure of making a parent feels bad.

Have you talked to them about how they could support the transition time? Do you hand him over to a consistent person with a clear role for him to carry out immediately afterwards? If it is just free play when they are all coming in, a little job to do with an adult could help him feel calmer and give him something else to focus on.

Sometimes talking a child through what will happen when they arrive helps too so chat on the journey there about the routines they have to help him prepare for the transition.

Acknowledge his emotions and remind him at the end of the session that he didn't want to stay but now he is glad he did. This will help him to understand the emotions he is feeling and realise that they can change.

Try to avoid rewards or praise for not crying because that will just teach him to hide his emotions rather than changing them or helping him to understand them.

Tory79 Fri 01-May-15 09:54:19

They were joking goldmandra, they're very good with him. They know he's often upset when he's dropped off so there is always someone available to give him a cuddle and distract him with something to do or to help him wave out of the window.

It's just so frustrating to see him get upset like this over something he actually enjoys!

LemonYellowSun Fri 01-May-15 10:08:21

My DS was similar. He hated drop off and cried and bawled every time even though he has been in nursery since age 1. He was always fine very soon after.

Literally from his 4th birthday he has been fine, more than fine in fact he is smiling, waving. We are all stunned grin His reasoning is that he's a big 4 year old now !!!

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