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3 year old struggling with nursery

(11 Posts)
BettyOBarley Thu 12-Jan-17 19:29:48

I'm not sure if this is a 'normal' level of anxiety at starting nursery or not.

DD turned 3 in Nov and started at a private nursery 2 weeks ago, plus 3 settling in sessions the week before Christmas. She went to a playgroup 1 morning a week since turning 2 and loved it there.

She's normally a bubbly, happy girl although sometimes shy. This week at nursery she has been very distressed. I struggled to get her to leave the house or out of the car, she screamed the place down when I left which apparently carried on for quite a while after, they said she has cried on and off all day each day (does 2 full days).
At home she has been extremely clingy, following me absolutely everywhere, crying if I even go out to the car, having terrible uncontrollable tantrums (never had them really before), she scratched all my face today while having one.

I'm really unsure what to do as it's so out of character. She says she doesn't like it there but would like to go to a new nursery. We are looking at another tomorrow which is more of a pre-school but maybe she just isn't ready at all.?

Has anyone had a similar experience?

Hohumming Thu 12-Jan-17 23:24:24

Full days sound too much for her. They would be too much for my almost five year old.

Can I ask what are the reasons for sending her?

Can she do mornings only?

TBH if it was me, I would take her out of the nursery and wait until she is three and a half and start again with two mornings only before extending it to five mornings.

But...I have to say that I believe in starting children at an older age if at all possible and I know this isn't always possible.

ExitPursuedBySpartacus Thu 12-Jan-17 23:25:44

Eek. We had this. Go with your gut.

BettyOBarley Fri 13-Jan-17 07:13:07

Yes I'm thinking the full days were a bad idea (9.00-4.30). Also she is the last to start so all the children are already sat eating when we arrive and leave before her and that upsets her.

She could do mornings at the moment as I'm on maternity leave but when I go back to work in Sept it will have to be 2.5 days so we just thought to get her ready now.

We sent her because she was so very excited about it and loved playgroup so we thought she was ready. To be honest the nursery is very full and loud and mainly younger children which we didn't realise would be the case so I think the smaller 3-5yr pre-school could be worth a try otherwise I think waiting 6 months may be a good idea...

Hohumming Fri 13-Jan-17 15:20:35

Six months is a huge amount of time at her age. Do you think she may feel upset at being sent off for long periods of time when she knows you are at home with a new baby?

There is a little girl at my kid's pre-school who was sent at barely three. It is so obvious the little girl wasn't and still isn't ready. I got the impression she was sent because she was toilet trained. Her mum is at home with a younger sibling so there was no real need to send the child when she was sent. Every morning she cries and she is first to the door to be picked up. It is actually very sad to see, particularly when there is no need whatsoever, for it.

BettyOBarley Fri 13-Jan-17 21:40:03

You might be right about the new baby...

I really thought she was ready and it was what she needed as she has been talking about it a lot, she loves to be out at groups/classes andcasks every morning what we are doing today / who we are seeing and needs a lot of stimulation / activities. The nursery said it was the easiest new starter drop off they had ever done on Day 1 but it didn't last.

We have been to see an absolutely lovely much smaller pre school / nursery today where DS will go in Sept when I am back to work, so we are going to move her there on 2 shorter days see how she goes and if she's still not happy we can wait until Sept. She kept saying today I want to go to the new nursery not my old nursery so maybe it felt nicer to her too.

Thanks so much for your thoughts

Hohumming Fri 13-Jan-17 22:41:29

Do remember that while she likes groups and classes, she is able to relax and enjoy them because the person who thinks she is the most wonderful girl in the world, her security blanket, her hero, you are right beside her.

Eastie77 Sat 14-Jan-17 08:22:11

I would try mornings only to start with and a pre-school nursery is a good idea. Perhaps the private nursery is a bit too boisterous? Some children thrive in those types of environments but a smaller setting might suit her better.

DD (3) started 5 mornings a week at pre-school nursery last September. I was amazed at how quickly she settled. She was an extremely clingy toddler and I placed her with a Childminder when I returned to work 2 years ago as nursery was out of the question - she wasn't ready. The pre-school nursery has been (in my opinion) a calmer, easier option than a private one. This term we have moved her to a full day until 3.15pm and she loves it.

By the way, I don't believe there is anything wrong with keeping an older child in childcare they enjoy when you are on mat leave. DD went to her childminder whilst I was on leave with DS last year, it was good for her to keep her routine and I struggled to manage two of them every day for various reasons. I was judged by a relative (who had no idea about my personal situation), told that it was unecessary and DD would feel 'pushed out'. I couldn't be bothered to even respond to this guilt trip nonsense so I smiled and nodded while DD continued to happily spend several days a week with her CMgrin

BettyOBarley Sat 14-Jan-17 19:38:43

Thank you both

Mornings would be a bit of a pain as their morning session starts at 7.45 which is hard with a toddler and a baby but I think i may consider it to ease her in. We have decided to take her out of the old busy one with immediate effect and not do anything until after Feb half term to see if she settles at home a bit (she refused to even stay on her own at her grandma's today who she normally spends the day with every Saturday, so she's definitely not happy sad).

I do agree Eastie I don't feel bad about her being there will on mat leave (if she's ready of course) as I think it will be good for her in a lot of ways. It sounds like I'm wanting to push her into it but I genuinely believe if she can pass this little hurdle she will love it, as playgroup always said she was very happy there without us.

Hohumming Sat 14-Jan-17 19:50:32

I'm unsure what kind of set up you are referring to, I think my advice is irrelevant as my kid goes to a private preschool from 9.30-12.30.

I also kept on our childminder/nanny who came to our house everyday when DC2 arrived so really did not mean to imply you were pushing out your DD at all.

I was at home with both children and a full time nanny and I saw the impact the new baby had on DC1. If I'm honest I ended up spending far more time with DC1 than with the baby. Of course that affected my bond with DC2. A mum's guilt eh!

BettyOBarley Sat 14-Jan-17 20:00:29

Oh no sorry I didn't mean that you were implying that, just thoughts whirling round in my own mind really!

I've realised today it is more to do with the new baby than I thought by things she's said. She's never shown any jealousy but she adores him and I think she just wants to be at home with us.

I think we'll give the new place a try as we had our doubts about the old place anyway, see if she settles any better and go from there until nearer September.

But yes, mums guilt indeed!! I keep wondering if we have caused this somehow as she is the last child I would have expected such an extreme reaction from. Then again I was very quiet and timid in school when I was younger so maybe she just takes after me. I didn't go to nursery either - maybe that is why I'm keen for her to go and socialise. Maybe I overthink things a little too.... smile

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