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DS 3.5yrs hates nursery school

(27 Posts)
rogan2001 Sat 23-Apr-05 16:13:50

my ds started nursery in jan, and was'nt keen from the beginning, he was just settling down a bit before the easter hols, but since then he has got worse he's been crying whilst he's there and saying he wants to go home. the last couple of days before we leave the house to go he has been begging me not to take him and getting very upset. I hate seeing him so upset so i said to his teacher that i was thinking of pulling him out and trying again in sept, when he was due to start, he only started in the jan,cus they had some spare places.She said not to do that cus he's just being stubborn, and he'll have got his own way. anybody else had a child this age take so long to settle in at nursery?

KBear Sat 23-Apr-05 16:46:05

My DS was ok but there was a little boy who took a whole term to stop crying when his mum left him so you're not alone. Only you can decide whether it's too early for him to go to nursery not for the teacher to just say he's stubborn IMO. He might settle in beautifully in another six months. Horrible for you as well as him though.

sahara Sat 23-Apr-05 16:58:38

Rogan2001, Have you thought about the possibilty that their is a deeper reason for his not wanting to go. Like the nursery staff, or the other kids. I'm not saying it to frighten you but it does happen and you need to at least think about it.

I only say this because my Ds1 went to a childminders when he was younger and he never thrived at all. He hated it there so I changed childminders as even I had my suspicions.

In the new childminders he thrived and he never wanted to come home when I picked him up.

I have even found some schools not suitable because of this.

Hope it is just him being stubborn as he will get over it.
take care

rogan2001 Sat 23-Apr-05 17:27:38

Hi sahara, the nursery staff seem lovely, but they are rather strict IMO, i'm a very laid back person and so is dh, tho there is one teacher who i'm not keen on, don't know why, just something about her, I don't think any other kids are picking on him, he seems well liked when i drop him off or pick him up there is always some child saying hello and bye to him, he isi'nt interested in the other kids tho, and won't join in much. His teacher has put him on the SEN register because she says he lacks confidence, which he does'nt when he's out of mursery, so he has a lot of 1-1 time. He says he cries for me and want's to stay at home with me.

aloha Sat 23-Apr-05 17:30:25

Take him out asap. If he is crying when he is there and not just when you drop him off It clearly does not suit him and frankly I would take my son out of any environment where the staff spoke about him in such an aggressive and hostile way. He's not 'just being stubborn' - he's a small child who is clearly distressed. Tbh I really think this is not the right place for him at all. In the right nursery he might really thrive. I've seen this happen before. Please don't force him to go.

aloha Sat 23-Apr-05 17:31:06

He's on the SEN register because he doesn't like it there??? This is madness.

rogan2001 Sat 23-Apr-05 17:40:55

aloha, i was a bit shocked when she said she was going to put him on the SEN register, she said he's a very bright boy, BUT i'm going to put him on the SEN register because he lacks confidence, my sister who works in this line of work says they've just done that so they can get more money, and that's maybe why she does,nt want me to pull him out cus then they will lose that money.

rogan2001 Sat 23-Apr-05 20:45:35


Pinotmum Sat 23-Apr-05 20:52:50

My ds is at a play group at the moment and may get a place at the local nursery in January. As my dd has attended both I find the play group so much more relaxed than the nursery. I suppose as the Nursery is attached to the primary school they have the job of preparing them for Reception. Knowing my ds as he is now I don't think the strictness of the nursery will suit him and am thinking of declining his place until next September. What you are going through is what I fear for him as sitting quietly is not his thang I hope you find a solution.

Kaz33 Sat 23-Apr-05 20:56:08

Does he go every day ? Is it mornings or all day?

My 3 and a half year old ( August born ) so probably slightly older would have started full time nursery in January if he had got in. However, he was so not ready for it then.

Now a few months down the line he goes twice a week to a small nursery. He is bright, articulate and a huge talker but finds other children his own age a bit intimdating.

It is amazing what difference a few months makes, in January I didn't think he was ready for nursery Full Stop, in March he started twice a week and in September he will be going to school for reception ( and I believe he will be ready )

If he isn't ready don't make him go, personally i think that its important for kids even at that age to believe that there feelings are important.
I don't think the fact that you remove him now will affect his ability to settle at nursery in September, 4 months is a long time in the development of a 3 and a half year old.

sahara Sat 23-Apr-05 21:00:21

Rogan2001, You have said that you don't have warm feelings to a member of staff. Your instincts as a mum and a woman are usually right in my experience.

Think about it. They like money and for some that is all they are there for. I love the idea of thos CCTV nurseries. You know the ones that you can log on and view online to see what your kids are getting up to. It feels safer to me.

I watched a program that showed what sometimes happened in nurseries and childminders, TBH it sort of put me off, yet in September I'll have to because I'm returning to Study.

But if my gut tells me to worry then I will remove my kids because their are some nasty people about. What do you honestly think about the situation? Sometimes it really is as harmless as attachment issues. He is used to you and he loves you what child wouldn't be scared, and some kids do take a while to settle.

So what do you think then?
I hope you get this sorted out for your sake.

zebraX Sat 23-Apr-05 21:02:12

I agree with Aloha. Really strongly.
Dd is also 3.5yo, she goes to nursery 2days/week... sometimes. I don't force her. She often doesn't want to go, I don't think she's that ready... She doesn't start school until October 2006 & honestly, I don't feel she should be forced to go to preschool or similar until then.

Gonna stick my neck out (as usual?), please forgive my rant....

There is a big push in this country to get our children in preschool certainly by 3, even 2.5yo. If they cry when you leave them many people will say "Don't worry, they're fine after you left". As though that makes up for having to hear them cry desperately every single time you leave them...

There's a big pressure on us parents like our children must go to nursery or they will be horribly behind when the start school The head of one preschool basically has said that children who don't start at 2.5yo will be behind, that she sees it as her duty that the children starting school already know all their letters, numbers, & can write their names. I'm glad she passionately believes in her work, but.... DS couldn't do all those things until now, most of his way thru his Reception year. And yet, all the feedback from his teacher has been extremely positive -- basically, she is very happy that he is where he should be.

I also think that learning at this age should be fun & if he's not having fun then the nursery isn't doing him any good.

Kaz33 Sat 23-Apr-05 21:07:27

zebrax - I agree totally, all the children around me seem to be sent off to nursery at 3 either full time or every morning/afternoon. If my son had got into the local state nursery he would have gone 9 - 3.15 every day at the age of 3 and a half. Thats madness IMO.

One of the reasons I sent him to nursery was so that he could interact with some kids his own age, couldn't find any anywhere else.

zebraX Sat 23-Apr-05 21:11:48

Same here, Kaz, I do in fact coax (rewards) DD to go to nursery 2x/week just so she gets some "group" activity, there are no mother+tots groups around here set up for children over 2.... seems like they're all shipped off to preschool. The staff at DD's nursery/preschool think it's very strange I only want to take her 2 days/week, not the full 5 sessions she's entitled to (she also goes to childminder 15 hours/week, so 5 sessions would be much too much for her!)

rogan2001 Sat 23-Apr-05 21:17:33

He is supposed to go every afternoon, 12.45 to 3.15, he's only done one full session since he started, he was doing 1 to 2.30 before the easter break, but last wk he was only staying for 45mins and crying, on thursday i thought is it worth it, upsetting him like that for 45 mins, on fri dh was home when i was getting him ready to go and he kept saying he did'nt want any of the t shirts i got out for him on (trying to delay it as long as he could)and getting upset, so dh said he's not going so we kept him home

Kaz33 Sat 23-Apr-05 21:24:05

He sounds desperately unhappy. At the end of the day he doesn't need to go and hes not missing out on anything he should be doing.

Maybe you should give it a break and then reapproach the issue, different nursery perhaps.

rogan2001 Sat 23-Apr-05 21:33:43

sahara, the teacher who i'm not keen on, a couple of things put me off her, they may sound silly, she came to our house for a visit before he started at the nursery and she asked what he liked, i said he loves animals, a few questions later, she asked if he was afraid of anything i said yes, he's a bit scared of dogs, so she said oh i thought you said he liked animals, i said yes he does, he loves elephants,but if he met one walking down the street i think he might be a bit afraid of that too. also when i saw them doing circle time she was all the time saying to the kids sit up, sit like this, they have to sit cross legged and if one kid had a foot out of place she would be straight on to them. so petty.
my ds is a only child and i've never been one for the mother & toddler groups, i'm a sahm, we have mainly done everthing together and when we have gone to groups, he prefers to play with me than other kids, so i think it could be he's not ready to do anything without me by his side, but i would like him to have a bit of independence and make some friends.

foxinsocks Sat 23-Apr-05 21:39:54

I think before mine went to pre-school I would probably have told you to persevere. But having been through pre-school with both my two, I would say definitely take him out.

My youngest is the same age as your ds (3.5). He loves his pre-school - he cried on the first session but after that, he ran in. He's not a confident boy at all but the teachers/helpers in his pre-school are so lovely that he just adores going. They are full of cuddles when he needs them and are very encouraging.

Your son has a whole 12 odd years of school ahead of him when he'll be nagged by teachers. Pre-school is certainly not the place to worry about whether a child is not sitting correctly. As for the special needs thing, that sounds barmy. I would start looking for other, more caring preschools and dump this one asap.

KatieinSpain Sat 23-Apr-05 21:42:23


My niece refused point blank to go to playgroup, nursery, M & T, despite her elder sister having gone to all these activities very happily. My SIL allowed her to stay at home. At the time, some eighteen years ago, we were all shocked and felt my SIL was making a mistake. My niece is now training to be a doctor .

Yes, education and socialisation is important but every child develops at their own pace. You know your DS best. Pull him out if that feels right. Let him be happy and if that is at home with you, go for it, if you can.

foxinsocks Sat 23-Apr-05 21:43:19

my eldest (now 4 and in reception) hated leaving my side and it took her much longer to settle at pre-school (a few weeks) but I must say, I never doubted the care she got there and I knew (from staying for a few sessions, and watching from outside) that once she got over her 'separation' issue, she would love it.

I think you should find somewhere quickly because you mustn't let him think that you are letting him stay at home because he's kicking up a fuss just that you are finding him a nicer place to go.

suedonim Sat 23-Apr-05 21:43:50

Aloha, Zebra etc, I so agree with you all. I truly don't believe that nursery at such a young age is the be-all-and-end-all of childhood. My dd2 was unhappy at nursery when she was 3yo and even more so after she was bitten by another child. I withdrew her and then restarted her elsewhere about 6mths later and she settled in very happily without a murmur. But she still remembers her first nursery and being bitten, even after six years.

aloha Sat 23-Apr-05 22:20:58

I also think he is on the SEN register for the money. Deeply dodgy. Take him out. Agree with whoever said it is important that children realise you take them seriously.
I think you know in your heart what to do. You sound in tune with your ds but the nasty nursery workers have knocked your confidence. Nursery ISN'T essential. And not all nurseries are the same - far from it. A nice, play-based environment with cuddly, mumsy staff might be a totally different experience for him, or he might simply not be ready. Don't think you've done anything wrong.

rogan2001 Sat 23-Apr-05 22:58:55

I looked at the ofsted report for the nursery after the teacher put ds on the SEN register at it said "higher than average amount of children on the SEN register for a nursery", hmmm. I had never looked at it before because this nursery is about 10 houses down from where i live so it was always going to be my first choice, and a couple of people i know had took thier children there and rated it highly, thanks for all the advice and i think i will take him out and try again in sep and if he won't settle then just wait until he goes to school.
I just hope he does'nt turn out like me I hated school with a vengance from my very first day and when i was 5, i thought i've had enuf of this i'm going home so i hid in the tiolet until everyone had gone in after dinner and i was off out the gate, only to bump into my nan coming along on her bike who took me straight back again. so glad they keep them locked in now days.

tigi Sat 23-Apr-05 23:09:41

Not the same, but my ds is 5 and at school (reception), and he still cries most mornings when I leave him. His teacher is lovely, and it's not that he doesn't like school, but he just wants me there as well! Must admit though it still breaks my heart when he clings to me. I have no choice to leave him, but if it were optional, such as your nursery, I would leave him at home with me. I would definatly look for an alternative nursery place for him. The SEN issue sounds ludicrous!

Blu Sat 23-Apr-05 23:22:59

Rogan - I agree wholeheartedly with Aloha. I have recently been through this with thread is was 'Help me get through this, DS not settling at nursery' under nurseries, from jan or feb.

Crying for a while as you leave is one thing, not settling and crying later in the session is another. My DS was doing this - and in a different environment, hiis new nursery, is as happy as larry - practically drags me up the path.

Take him out, and spend the time before he starts school gradually building up his familiarity with group situations. He will not thrive at school if he starts miserable and with his confidence undermined by a bad nursery experience. And there is nothing he needs to 'learn' at 3.5 that he can't learn through play and in his domestic life with you.

PLEASE take him out - I want to murder the damn woman who talks about 'getting his own way'. DS knows we took him out of his last nursery because he was unhappy and far from turning him into a spoilt brat, the experience has given him the confidence to embrace a new situation with positive choice. Why shouldn't he get his own way if he is enduring something that makes him unhappy?

Sorry if this is a v overbearing post - it is an instinctive reactio to your post, and i think you want to hear that your own instincts are spot on!

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