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Nursery Want a Meeting about 3YO DS. Any advice?

(13 Posts)
LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 23-Mar-16 14:07:34

Sorry, this will probably be long.

DS turned three at the end of January and moved up to the Preschool room within his nursery the following week. He's been in that nursery since 11 months old.

Since then his behavior has been rapidly deteriorating. A staff member has to report an incident to me every time I pick him up, now - everything from biting other children, snatching toys, intentionally tripping over children and adults and refusing to join in (especially with tidying up). When he left the toddler room his key worker said how much she would miss him, how lovely he was, how much the other children looked up to him and so on, so this has been quite a dramatic turn around.

At around the same time as he turned 3 / moved up, I started suffering from hyperemesis and ended up being signed off work for a month. I could do very little for DS for that time, and he spent a lot of time being cared for by grandparents. Sleepovers with grandparents have been happening for a long time, but not as frequently as he had for that month. I don't know how much this has unsettled him.

Just to add even more complication, our lovely dog died a week before DS' birthday. He was very young and it was obviously upsetting. I don't know how much it has effected DS - we've not had any tears etc directly related to losing DDog, but DS does still ask when he'll come home. When we look at other dogs (we will get another as our remaining dog is not coping alone), DS gets a bit upset and says he doesn't want another dog, just our DDog back. So this might be playing a part, too.

At home, his behavior is certainly not as good as it has been (he was a dream throughout the "terrible twos"), but nothing like as bad as it seems to be at nursery. We're seeing a lot of tantrums, but no biting / hitting etc.

I have been asked to go into nursery to "discuss the situation" tomorrow. I need to prepare a bit, I think. I've had a couple of chats with DS about nursery, does he have fun etc. He says it's "yucky" and that the two main adults in the room shout a lot. He has mentioned one other child who I know cries a lot, DS says he doesn't like that.

Thank you if you managed to get through all of that! I think, what I'm asking is:
1. What can I / should I talk about with DS?
2. What can I suggest to nursery?
3. What can I realistically expect nursery to do?

And if anybody has any ideas / suggestions I'm willing to try anything!

SirVixofVixHall Wed 23-Mar-16 14:14:25

Three can be really tough, certainly I found it harder than two. He is still very small, and has obviously had a difficult time recently. Clearly he isn't happy. I would ask the nursery what could have changed there that may also be having an impact on his behaviour. When do you start maternity leave? As perhaps he really could do with some time out of nursery for a while, and some time at home with you instead? I think you just need to listen to what the nursery have to say tomorrow, and then make another time to talk through plans again when you've had time to mull over it all. Then you can make a joint plan of action between you. It will also be clearer tomorrow what you need to say to your ds. Good luck.

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 23-Mar-16 14:35:38

Thanks for replying, Sir.

I'm hoping to finish work at the beginning of August. DS is only in nursery 3 morning a week. My mum has him one afternoon a week and the rest of the time he's with me. I can't really take him out of nursery as it would be too much for my mum to have him for that amount of time. His nursery is very popular and attached the primary school he will almost certainly go to, so if I take him out he'll lose the continuity between the two which I'm very reluctant to do. I'd be very unlikely to find him another nursery space to fit around my hours that will accept the 3 year funding.

I bumped into his old keyworker the other day and mentioned the issues we've had - she was really surprised. Whenever his new keyworker tells me about the latest incident, there's always a really awkward silence where she seems to be expecting me to come up with an answer, but I just don't have any.

You're right, I do need to just wait. I'm just worried that they're going to ask me what I think the problem is and I'm just stumped.

fuzzyfozzy Wed 23-Mar-16 14:41:18

Id ask if he can back to the previous room until he can move up with a friend?

Booboostwo Wed 23-Mar-16 15:30:07

Sounds like he is not ready for the new room. I think it's much better for children to move when they are ready rather than be very strict about age. I'd ask the nursery if he can move back to his old room.

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 23-Mar-16 15:54:01

I'll suggest it to them, though suspect there will be an issue with ratios. He has a friend 2 weeks older than him, they held her back so the 2 could go up together but they don't seem to have stayed friends in the new room.

His old keyworker said that he was very ready for preschool but I think she meant from an intellectual point of view. Just stuff like him wanting to know about numbers / letters etc. Emotionally it's obviously a different matter.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 23-Mar-16 20:10:26

I agree he does sound as though he isn't read for the new room, or maybe he needs more help and support to settle in. My dds didn't go to nursery, but in school I think sometimes the emotional support can shift slightly as they move up a stage, they are expected to be able to cope with it, so i wonder if it is similar in nursery? Does he get less practical and emotional support now he's in the older grouping? Do they expect him to "be a big boy" or anything similar? A new sibling on the way is a big change, and with your being unwell for a while and his dog dying he's had to deal with some very grown-up feelings, which he may be a bit overwhelmed by. My smaller DD was terribly upset when our dog died, she was nearly 4 at the time and she took a very long time to process it. She is 8 now and she will still get upset about it, and ask to see photographs of him. I hope that the nursery have some ideas of how to make him feel happier and more settled.

grounddown Wed 23-Mar-16 20:20:48

You could ask what the nursery do when he behaves badly? Whether its similar to what you would do?

My DS was also 3 at the end of Jan and I have definately noticed his behaviour changing now he is in preschool compared to the 2-3 room. He is with much older kids (they would be 5 in September so only a month younger than my summer born DD who started reception last september) and he does come home and tell me about the 'bigger boys' and that she's scared of them or that they are mean.
I did mention this to my nursery and they agreed with me, 6 newly 3 year olds all moved up together so they decided to section off a small part of the room for them to do more age appropriate activities and did more sit down school preparation for the 4+ aged kids. Worth a suggestion?

grounddown Wed 23-Mar-16 20:24:52

Oh and don't forget the ratio of child:carer changes when they get to 3 doesn't it? So there are fewer adults in the room to help them. My DD found that hard as she is quite clingy. Never bothered her at school though.

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 23-Mar-16 21:08:37

Thank you all for your advice.

Yes, the ratio has gone to 1 adult for 8 children, although theu don't often go right up to their ratio. The nursery likes to have a spare staff member in each room. The room is quote busy and noisy though and DS has mentioned the noise a lot.

The goalposts do seem to have moved quite suddenly, he seems to have gone from being treated like a baby to expected to fend for himself. One week he was in the toddler room and doing everything they expected, the next he was in preschool and I was given a list of things he couldn't do.

Love the idea of a quiet area, there are a handful of only just turned 3 year old then a big gaggle of older children. I think about 75% of the class will start school this year which will leave the room very quiet unless any others start.

Naty1 Thu 24-Mar-16 21:04:54

sounds like my dd.
i think they can pick up the biting etc from the other kids - she never did anything like that till nursery.
she had 1-2-1 with me ttill jul (3.1) then 1:2 (due to dd2) till sept and then bang up to 1:8.
she plays up when her key worker isnt there.

so maybe your ds hasnt bonded with his?

im interested in what they say at the meeting. as i wouldnt be surprised if i need to have one. i also feel they are waiting for something when they tell me she did something wrong. but imo they need a strategy there, they deal with dc everyday and should have 'seen it all'. i would just need to support the punishment they decide on.
i dont feel comfortable saying it may be to do with key worker absence as it sounds
an excuse
like i dont want her to have days off.

im hoping school in sept will be better as teacher is there all week (i hope)

headinhands Fri 25-Mar-16 12:02:09

Hi op,

Could you list the concerns you have about his behaviour at home? Does he have any issues with food, sleep, toileting? What's his gross motor development been like?

LetThereBeCupcakes Fri 25-Mar-16 20:21:04

Well, the meeting was a lot more positive than I was expecting. DS' Keyworker asked me to detail exactly what had been going on at home - she was aware that I'm pregnant and have been ill, and that DDog had died. However she didn't know the full extent of things - how ill I'd been and the unfortunate timing (DDog was diagnosed in October, DS knew he was ill and then DDog died. Then Mummy got ill so I've been worried he might think I'm going to die, too).

His keyworker then went on to say that although they wouldn't be labeling DS as "Gifted and Talented" at the moment, he's certainly "on their radar". I think she might have been wondering about Autism or something? But she seemed quite satisfied that it's probably my illness etc that's causing the problems. They are going to move him into the group of children that are starting school in September so he can start a bit more structured learning, which he seems to respond very well to. He's apparently not very good at "free flow", which is how they set up their room so they're going to create a loose timetable for him. She is also going to speak to his old keyworker to see if she has any suggestions. Since a lot of children are out for Easter next week she's going to see if he seems to improve.

She also said his memory is (frighteningly) good. To the extent he can remember exactly what X child was wearing a week ago last Wednesday. We've seen this at home (e.g. he can tell you exactly where each of his toys came from, and if they were presents will tell you who gave them to him and what paper they were wrapped in. hmm The way she mentioned it made me think it might be indicative of something but she didn't elaborate. I should have asked really but didn't think.

Naty I think you can say that your DD hasn't bonded with other members of staff, and is maybe more insecure when her keyworker isn't there. When DS first potty trained we used to get a lot of accidents on days when his keyworker wasn't there. Nursery managed that very well very quickly.

head no other concerns - he eats anything (and everything!) sleeps pretty well (had a rough start but when we took him off dairy everything settled down). Potty trained last May (I think) aged 2.4 and has been dry day and night since (never even had an accident at night). Gross motor skills all fine as far as I know - does a sports club at nursery which he loves, rides his balance bike no issues, swims etc. He's very active so I think we'd notice if there were any issues. Out of interest, what are you thinking?

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