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PFB preschool queries - help me oh experienced is v long sorry

(26 Posts)
regularwithinvisibilitycloak Wed 03-Oct-07 21:01:26

DD1 (3.5) has been attending her nursery since the end of September.

It is every morning Mon-Fri for 2.5 hours. They are outside for a good part of the session so lots of great physical play.

I like the nursery facilities staff ethos etc.

<you see how I am setting the scene grin>

DD1 is absolutely shattered at the end of each session to the point of lying on the floor at 3pm until dinner. She has a healthy diet and sleeps 11-12 hours a night.

She has huge dark circles under her eyes from about midday. She will not nap hmm which really is just as well because if she did she then wouldn't sleep until quite late 10pm or about 9pm if we take her swimming post nap lol. She is then even more knackered next day on the very odd time she has had a sleep.

I had a quick chat today with one of the staff because I am considering dropping her days if this doesn't get better. Maybe 3/4 fixed days a week rather than the five.

I was firmly told that this was nod a good idea a rod for my back was mentioned. (like a red rag to a bull that one to an attachment parent like myself - but hey I managed not to charge wink).

Apparently in many years of nursery this hasn't been an issue before hmm.

Should I be doing as suggested and getting DD checked out by the GP? She attended playgroup before this three mornings a week 2 hour sessions and was fine once I made the sessions mon, wed fri. When her sessions ere Wed, Thur Fri she was a mess. She concentrates really hard and I think it takes a lot out of her.

Couple of other things mentioned which suggest that DD1 is clearly wink not being seen in the exalted fashion she should be. At home Dd is desperate to read and write sounding words out to get the first letter trying to write letters and numbers. Apparently she does not do any of that there. Which is ok, I think we can do it at home and she can play there. i suspect I am just irked by her genius wink not being recognised.

She has also been described as "stubborn", personally I prefer strong willed which I like tbh, i and DH were pushovers and I like that she knows her own mind.

I am at a loss tbh. Not sure how to proceed. It isn't compulsory. Dd does enjoy it she is a great mixer.
<throws hands in air>

Theclosetpagan Wed 03-Oct-07 21:05:14

Why is dropping her hours making a "rod for your own back".

You are seeing the effects of 5 sessions a week on her and you are thinking it might be a bit much. You are her Mum and know her better than they do. I'd say reduce her hours if you think that's what she needs and ignore the nursery.

chocolateshoes Wed 03-Oct-07 21:05:40

Haven't any experience but am sure someone will. I think I'd be tempted to drop a session. I don't understand the rod for your own back thing.

LucyJones Wed 03-Oct-07 21:07:41

do you mean she started at the beginning of September?
If it was the end (ie last week) I'd leave it a bit longer tbh

TotalChaos Wed 03-Oct-07 21:10:31

I'ld leave it a bit longer for her to give her a chance to get used to the change.

prufrock Wed 03-Oct-07 21:19:28

On the hours - tbh I'd carry on - In a years time she'll have to do full days at school, so this is great training for that. It does take them a while to get used to it - could you consider putting her to bed earlier so she can get 12-13 hours sleep whilst she is doing so. What do you do post nursery? My ds (NSC) is also tired after pre-school, so we chill with a dvd and cuddles for 45 minutes when we get home , then have lunch - it recharges him for playing in the afternoon (Totally disagree with and cannot understand rod comment btw).

Stubborn, so what. Stubborn can begood. If you feel pre-school are being negative then say exactly what you said here - "we prefer strong willed" and offer them your tips on how o manage her stubbornness.

prufrock Wed 03-Oct-07 21:19:47

Pre-school is not supposed to be about any form of reading or writing. Formalising education too early can lead to real problems later on - if your dd is really interested then it is far better for her to do this at hoem with you than in a formal learning environment. Pre-school learning involves much more communication with others- if you ask them for a copy of the every child matters learning goals you can see the sort of things that they are trying (subtly) to teach your dd during this year.

In summary, in the nicest possible way, stop worrying.

LazyLinePUMPKINJane Wed 03-Oct-07 21:22:26

If she is sleeping a lot more and being exhausted then I would get her checked out by a GP simply so you could rule out anything like diabetes. Once you've had her checked and given the all clear, you can concentrate on the nursery stuff.

I don't understand how reducing her days is a rod for your own back? I know children that do not go for their full 5 days, surely its about adapting it to suit the child?

throckenholt Wed 03-Oct-07 21:23:46

None of mine would have coped with 5 sessions per week at that age - i think the social interaction exhausts them.

I would be tempted to drop the Wednesday session - that way she gets a break mid week. Maybe earmark a Wednesday session say after Easter (so go back to 5 days in 6 months or so).

regularwithinvisibilitycloak Wed 03-Oct-07 21:54:29

Sorry ladies. DH wanted to discuss it hmm grin

Lazyline - Not sleeping more. Sleeping the same as always. Sleeping has never been her forte<bah>. hard day easy day, 11 to 12 hours and that is that.

Prufrock - She won't attend school for two years, scottish softies. She will start in August 2009.

We do chill for a while, early lunch - she is starving then feet up with books, tv for an hour. She is still pretty knackered by 3 4 o'clock but not lying down knackered. Sitting down knackered smile. I have offered tips on managing the strong will but don't want to come across as too pushy. Thanks for tips re reading/writing. they are quite keen on it at the nursery though and I don't want her to miss out.

I suppose I am concerned about her being labelled as stubborn, non-cooperative not doing x,y,z. sad

All other ladies - thank you for the tips and support. This is what we think we will do.

I came out of the chat with the staff member with the agreement to do the gp thing and review at the end of November. I felt a bit rail roaded though and if I hadn't pushed I don't think there would have been a follow up. Which hacked me off a bit tbh. I actually found my pre SAHM work brain engaing when I set out objectives and tasks and follow ups grin.

Dh thinks if Dd is no better (assuming no health issues) at the end of November we tell not ask the preschool that we are dropping a session until further notice.

I think the staff member envisiaged dd regulary saying "i'm tired" followed by me rushing towards her with my economy pack of Coddler's cotton wool and calling the nursery to say she wasn't coming in.hmm

<am trying not to worry>

HonoriaGlossop Wed 03-Oct-07 22:44:26

regular, i agree that dropping a session sounds a great idea. As you say, it is not compulsory! My DS never went to pre-school for more than 3 sessions a week. I wanted him to have some days where we had complete freedom. there are so few years of their lives when that is possible...

and I don't feel that you have to keep to five to 'train' her ready for school. That's a long way away, and when the time comes, she'll do it because a)she has to and b) she'll be older and more mature and more able to cope anyway.

Go for dropping a session, or even two smile

throckenholt Thu 04-Oct-07 08:31:28

I would may just not take her on say Wednesday next week and see how she goes. I wouldn't wait as long as the end of November - that is quite a way away.

I honestly don't think there is any need for her to be going 5 days per week if she is exhausted.

chocolateteapot Thu 04-Oct-07 08:36:14

My DS who is now just 4 would not have been able to cope with 5 mornings at that age. He has got a lot less tired during the afternoons over the summer. Before that he used to be awful. He's now coping fine with one day of 9-3 and 3 mornings of 9-12. But he defininitely could not have coped with this at 3.5

I would drop a session then reintroduce it when you feel she can cope. DH read this over my shoulder and said cynically " of course the nursery don't want a session dropped, less money for them" I can't help feeling he has a point.

moopymoo Thu 04-Oct-07 08:37:27

drop a session. my ds has just started a similar 'regime' - he has just turned 3 - and is shattered. Im not taking him this morning for that reason. I was very flexible with ds1 about what days he went at the same age and was told by mil 'rod for own back, he will think he doesnt have to go to school when he starts.' rubbish, he now loves school and easily understood the difference. follow your good instincts and enjoy your little girl.

seeker Thu 04-Oct-07 08:38:20

Does she have to go 5 days a week? If she doesn't, I would drop to four or even three - and I would also resist any attempt by the pre school to do anything except play. Pre school isn't about learning to read and write - that's what school's for. She's only little!

moopymoo Thu 04-Oct-07 08:38:54

agree chocolate dh re funding for nursery. might be a bit cynical but they tend to operate on very tight margins.

bozza Thu 04-Oct-07 08:49:11

I think that the "rod for your own back" expression might have been a clumsy way of expressing what prufrock mentioned about how she will have to cope with full days soon. Although as you have subsequently pointed out (and my DD is the same age but will be starting full days next September) with you being in Scotland that is less of an iminent issue.

I did wonder if it was possible that their reluctance for you to formally drop a day might be related to funding. That they will only get 4 days funding for your DD, but not be able to fill the extra session. Someone with more knowledge (I would say pru but it might be different in Scotland) will be able to say whether that is correct or not.

I do think, though, that it is very normal for children to be tired when they start a new level of education. My DS was hopeless for the first term of reception - constantly tired and grumpy. It was very hard for all of us and something of a surprise since prior to this he had been doing 3 long days at day nursery so school hours didn't seem like much.

bozza Thu 04-Oct-07 08:49:52

Ah I see I am not the first one to pick up on the funding aspect.

CheekyGirl Thu 04-Oct-07 13:25:57

If the funding is the same as England, the nursery will be funded for the five days whether she attends or not. That's what happened with us. Dd started nursery at 3.5 and we only sent her mon, wed and fri for the whole of the first term. This was with complete support of the nursery (attached to primary school).

Niecie Thu 04-Oct-07 13:40:27

I think I agree with Chocolateteapot - money may well be an issue for them. They won't be able to fill the extra place that easily now the school year has started.

My DS has just turned 4 and does one full day (9-3) and 2 mornings and it is plenty. He will start next year at Infants and I want to enjoy my time with him as much as possible before he has to be out of the house 5 days a week. I really don't think it is up to the nursery to judge whether 5 mornings is too much for your dd as they don't spend the afternoons with her. I think, putting it bluntly, that you are paying them (or you are getting the funding) so you can decide when she attends. Reduce the mornings she does and see if it makes a difference. Don't let them make you feel bad - 'rod for your own back' indeed. Makes it sound like having your own child at home is some how something you want to avoid.hmm

Niecie Thu 04-Oct-07 13:43:25

Cheekygirl - I think that in England you only get funding for the sessions your child attends up to a maximum of 5. I seem to have to fill in a form every term to say how many sessions DS will be attending and whether he is going to any other nursery/pre-school (and therefore the funding would be split). I could be wrong but that was the impression I got.

nimnom Thu 04-Oct-07 14:01:55

You have to do what is right for you and your child. You know her much better than the nursery. Don't worry about them and their finances it is not your problem (& I say that as a committe member of a very cash-strapped pre-school), I would be horrified if our staff were giving advice on what was best for a child based on financial worries.
Having said all that it's still very early days and I would give her a few more weeks(maybe until half-term) just to see if she settles down a bit more.
Personally the thought of having a child that is worn out by nursery is only something I can dream of. Nothing seems to tire my two boys out - they are on the go constantly!!

Vikkin Thu 04-Oct-07 14:20:28

Of course, get her checked by the GP.
I think you need to give 4 clear weeks for any significant change of routine in a child to settle down. So if your dd began towards the beginning of September, that period will be up at half term. To leave it until the end of November seems quite a long time.
If you and dh feel that the quality of your dd's family life is being adversely affected by this, tell 'em firmly that while there is no legal requirement for her to be anywhere, you prefer to remain flexible and will only be taking up 3 sessions a week until next Easter (which will coincide with dd's 4th birthday). I did exactly that nearly 10 years ago, against the nursery's advice, and my only regret is that I did not have the strength to do it weeks earlier.
Of course, you may find over the next couple of weeks that her 'body clock' adjusts itself and she is coping better or you could get by with her having a duvet day once a fortnight!

regularwithinvisibilitycloak Thu 04-Oct-07 20:12:38

Sorry for majorly long post.

Thank you all so much for all the posts.

I picked up dd from nursery today. She was flopping about and requested carrying to the car. I was then nipping in to get a few bits at the supermarket. Normally you cannot get her to sit down always on the go but she requested to go in dd2's pushchair. shock

She curled up in it with her head resting on the side so I went in to the GPs first and got an appt for 5.20 today. The receptionist was fab I mentioned what I was concerned about and she fitted me in at the end of surgery time.

The GP was lovely. Agreed there may or may not be a problem checked her over, weighed, measured etc and then prescribed a liquid multi vit and and iron supplement.

She made a point of ensuring that the supplements were additive free(dd does mental if certain ones go near her and ended up having to prescribe the ones for prem babies shock.

Apparently under 7's have to go to hospital for blood tests so we are going to see how she is after 4 weeks then review. In the mean time we have to hand in a urine sample and the Gp will do all the dip tests. Found out she trained as a paed at this point - def got lucky

So we shall see. I must admit i think I will be cutting her sessions down, regardless as it just seems the entire week is taken up with nursery and the aftermath.

I'm not sure if the nursery is concerned about funding or not. I would hope not. I do know that they do different things structured on a weekly basis so missing days would mean missing some activities that might be why the staff member wasn't keen. I certainly hope so.

Thank you all it is fab to have the benefit of your experiences. smile

Niecie Fri 05-Oct-07 09:30:38

Glad the doctor is being so helpful. I hope your DD is OK and gets her bounce back soon.

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