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Helping almost 4 year ds to deal with disappointment

(9 Posts)
lozster Tue 16-May-17 22:20:34

My ds is at nursery 4 days a week. They do a 'special helper' kind of star of the day thing. This week he has been distraught just before bed that he has not been chosen despite being 'really good'. This is real tears rather than a strop. He says that he never gets picked and no one notices him. I've tried reassuring him that his turn will come and to keep on trying. I suspect starting school in September will bring more of the same. I know it's part of growing up but any tips on helping him cope and bolstering this confidence?

BackforGood Tue 16-May-17 23:17:41

At pre-school age, I'd have a quiet word with the Key Person or room leader, letting them know how upset it is making him. Not from a "I demand you give the title to my ds" sort of way, but from a "Is this really worth it if it is making 15dc upset, to make one feel good" sort of a way, at an age where children are developmentally very much 'in the moment' and 'impulsive' etc.

Trifleorbust Wed 17-May-17 06:03:35

Definitely don't ask the nursery to stop doing this. This is an essential part of learning for your DS - sometimes others will be praised/win the prize etc. Just tell him they can't pick everyone at once, and not being picked just means it is someone else's turn this time. If he keeps being good (which he should do anyway) he will eventually be the star of the day.

lozster Wed 17-May-17 08:13:42

I think what I am worried about trifleorbust is that the staff don't keep track of who has done this because to them it isn't a big deal, just another tool to try to get kids to behave. So he may never get a go even if he is angelic forever grin To my ds this is a big deal though. The first thing he said this morning was I'm going to be extra good so I can be special helper. To him it's cause and effect and if he does the behaviour and gets no results that is what causes the upset. I've told him that if he is good today he can be my special helper tonight at home. If I see his key worker I think I will have a word about how he is taking this to heart.

BackforGood Wed 17-May-17 18:47:46

Once they are older, I'd agree with you Trifleburst but there is a massive difference developmentally between a 3 yr old and say a 7 yr old. Some 3 yr olds might cope, but, at that age, most "feedback" about behaviour needs to be instant, not 'looking back over the whole day' (or previous day?)

IamHappy1976 Wed 17-May-17 18:52:58

I would mention it. Say "name" is really trying to be be super good to be special helper. He's so excited :-) And remind them he is there! Give it a week and then hint some more. Everyone likes praise!

Miakaru Sun 21-May-17 09:28:39

Maybe you can implement something like that at your own home, letting each of the family members be a special helper for the day if they've been good. That way when he does get the chance at school, he will be very happy but it's not his total main focus of happiness.
On weekends you could say "By a certain time, I will decide who my special helper is for today. So be on your best behaviour until then." Make a badge and a list of all the fun things they get to do to encourage it. If no one is good enough for that day, pick your SO or pet. Even if it's a fish or rabbit to show someone did get picked and explain there's always tomorrow to be extra good and get picked.

Miakaru Sun 21-May-17 09:32:22

Also, I always tried to explain to DS that he should be excited for the person who got picked because maybe they've never been picked before. That he should clap and tell them they did a good job to be picked.

Astro55 Sun 21-May-17 09:35:20

Wait till school - because the naughty kids get all the praise prizes and rewards -

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