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Very sensitive dd and starting pre school - any advice...

(7 Posts)
hazeyjane Thu 02-Jul-09 08:19:51

Dd1 is starting preschool in Sept (she is 3.4). She had a trial day on Tuesday, and loved everything they were doing, liked the teachers and is very excited about going.

BUT! She has huge separation anxiety, and wouldn't even leave my side whilst i filled out the forms. When we go to playgroup, she screams and gets really upset if I am out of sight, and doesn't like playing away from me.

She has been like this since she was tiny and I have tried gently to leave her, but it usually ends up with her being so upset she gets wheezy (she has asthma), or ends up being sick.

The teacher has suggested we go in today and I try leaving her for 10 minutes. I have talked to her about it and she was up last night crying about it.

She might be fine about it today, but I just wondered if anyone has any advice about how to help a 'sensitive' child deal with going to preschool?


whomovedmychocolate Thu 02-Jul-09 09:07:36

It's really hard - you just have to keep trying - eventually it works. It took DD a good ten weeks before we could reliably leave her (although she was only doing two sessions a week which didn't help).

We still do the 'when we pick you up <point at clock and show her the 12> at noon, we will do X and have Y' thing though. hmm Seems to help a bit though.

Acinonyx Thu 02-Jul-09 10:25:39

I have a dd like this who has always been the same. I held off preschool until she was 3.7. I stayed all the time for the first 2 sessions - but on the second went and helped wash and clean away in the next door kitchen area. The third time I left her and she totally lost it - on the floor wailing etc. I waited outside a few minutes until one of the carers came out and told me she'd calmed down. She's been pretty much OK since - but unlike all the other children, she always wants to wait in the cloakroom on my knee rather than play outsied when we get there in the morning.

Like your dd, I could see at once that dd was attracted to the whole idea but just found it hard. I read some other advice on here and one thing I picked up has really helped. Before I leave her I give her a 'special kiss' in the palm of her hand that will stay with her all the time I'm gone. Her face really lit up the first time and I've explained that it is speicial - and will stay in her hand and be there when she misses me.

Good luck - it is heartbreaking sometimes. I sometimes wonder if I've done something wrong to make her so clingy.

LeninGrad Thu 02-Jul-09 10:52:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hazeyjane Thu 02-Jul-09 13:27:37

Well amazingly I managed to leave dd for half an hour today (we were going to try 10 minutes, but she was having such a good time that the teacher said to try abit longer!)

The teacher thought it would be a good idea to tell her I was going to go and get her a treat whilst her and the teacher made a surprise to show me when I goit back(in a big stage whisper she asked dd if she would like to make a princess castle with her). It worked very well so might be something to try if they will do that at your prospective pre school Leningrad. It is a pain that the school holidays are in the way, because the teacher suggested coming in once a week to try leaving her for a little while at atime, just to get her used to the idea that i will go, but come back.

Acinonyx, the idea about the palm kiss is lovely, and one that I will definately try, our bedtimes were transformed by blowing kisses and catching them, so who knows! i know what you mean about feeling as though you have done something to make them clingy, people often make remarks about how they wouldn't put up with it, or maybe if I had sent her to nursery when she was younger she would be different etc. But I'm sure it is a mixture of her nature,the upheaval of moving 3 times in 3 years and the arrival of a baby sister when she was just a baby herself!

Thankyou everyone.

<now I just have to see if I can leave her at gymnastics, I'm the only mum who has to go in and last week when i went to sit on the bench she burst into tears and wet herselfsad>

LeninGrad Thu 02-Jul-09 13:47:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Acinonyx Thu 02-Jul-09 14:37:31

That's good news hazyjane. I think it is their nature largely - but sometimes I do wonder if I could have done something about it. Dd did go to nursery PT from 7 mo and I sometimes wonder if that was a mistake! It was up and down at nursery - months of seeming to be fine then months of wailing. We switched to a CM last year which has been so much better for her.

Good luck with the gymnastics. I tried dd with ballet back in Jan. She was crazy keen to go but absolutely could not stand for me to leave the room and we had to quit. We are hoping to try again in August but I won't be surprised (only VERY embarassed) if it happens again. It makes me look like some monster-mum who is forcing dd to go but she BEGS to do ballet!

And then it's school in September shock

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