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DS has behavioural issues "because I did not put him in nursery" BUT, if I had put him in nursery...

(21 Posts)
hereidrawtheline Fri 11-Sep-09 15:09:28

Just want to relieve some frustration here.

DS has been undergoing evaluation for various behavioural/emotional problems for a while now. He is lovely and wonderful of course but like all children has some problems and some are bigger than others. 2 to note at the moment are his major attention seeking and meltdown if you are not paying that attention, and also his general hyperactivity which of course combined is rather wearing! DS is 3.

Anyway lovely play worker was here today - I do like her very much but sometimes she says things and I just dont know how to take it. We were in conversation about those 2 issues and how the pead has remarked on them mainly and I said something like "I know no one can say really but why do you think he is like that?" and she answered without missing a beat that it was because I have always stayed at home with him and we've been very close so he has come to expect all the attention.

I have worked nights off and on most of his life, after DH gets home but yes he has always been with a parent until Feb 09 when he started pre-school which he goes to 2 mornings a week. We dont have much family around so he doesnt have days with grandparents etc. I really dont know what else we could have done or how that could harm him. Plenty of SAHM's have the same set up.

So I said all of the above and also said would it then have been better if he had always gone to nursery? DISCLAIMER this is NOT about anti-nursery - it was not the solution for US for many reasons including income but I was trying to get her to clarify - she then said "well yes it could have been because he would have been more independent, or on the other hand he could have ended up with attachment issues"

So clearly it is all a nonsense because no one has a crystal ball and can know precisely how each move will effect their child but can you see why I was banging my head a bit??????

randomtask Fri 11-Sep-09 15:17:51

I think it's back to the old thing of 'professionals' giving advice but not wanting to be backed into a corner!

DSS is 8 and an only child. TBH, up until I married DH last year, having lived with 3 adults (2 indulgent grandparents and 1 Daddy who'd just lost his wife) he was very attention seeking and thought the world revolved around him. He did go to nursery and pre-school and obviously school.

What I'd say is my Mum's advice about 'a little healthy neglect' not doing any harm. With DSS we purposefully stopped dropping things to answer him, made him wait to speak if we were talking, made sure we were 'busy' whilst washing up or whatever to make him have to get used to his own company. As a result, he now doesn't bother us in the mornings (a miracle), is much more fun (and less stressful) to be with and he enjoys drawing/reading on his own. His teachers have commented on how much more confident he is and he now has more school friends.

I know he's 3 so it's more difficult to not pander to his every need but my niece is 3 and knows she has to wait if Mummy is busy. She stropped at first, but now she appreciates Mummy Time more.

Good luck, I really feel for you. I'm still worried about what DSS will do when he's not an only child....

hereidrawtheline Fri 11-Sep-09 15:22:12

thank you.

We do encourage all the healthy neglect we can manage. We constantly try to strike a balance between pandering and teaching him to wait and that he isnt centre of the world. Sometimes though it seems he is unable to learn. I mean, he learns so much, so well. He actually understands biology and the human body and can talk about the soldiers in his immune system etc! And he is funny and affectionate and kind. But teaching him things like waiting 5 mins or playing alone for 5 mins we have been running in place for a year really. We're still working on it though as clearly giving up isnt an option.

GoldenSnitch Fri 11-Sep-09 15:26:42

She's talking absolute rubbish IMHO!

My DS is 2 and a half and has been at home with me his entire life. If I have had to leave him, he has been with his father and on the rare occassion DH and I both go out together, he has had sleepovers at his grandparents house.

We're living on one wage so spending money on sending him to a nursery we didn't absolutely need was out of the question.
I am not anti-nursey either. DS will be going in April when he gets his free place, we just couldn't justify it while I was at home.

DS is happy and outgoing and is no more attention seeking than any of his friends - others of whom are at home with Mums 24/7 too. In fact, I took him to soft play this morning and he was running off playing happily on his own for ages - I have hardly seen him! (I am 25 weeks pregnant with a low lying placenta so I couldn't really follow him in)

Lots of children stay home with thier Mums full time. They're certainly not all hyperactive and attention seeking!

It is not your fault for not leaving him!! Don't let her make you feel like that!

pagwatch Fri 11-Sep-09 15:26:48

My eldest son was loevely and charming and well behaved. My DS2 has ASD, OCD and all sorts of behavioural issues. DD is lovely and well behaved and polite and charming.
I parented all broadly the same.

Stop worrying about the why. It will only drive you crazy and feeling guilty makes you a worse rather than a better parent.
Three is very young which means you have lots of time to address most of his issues ( regardless of cause). Don't be distracted by this guff - it is drainning and pointless.

FWIW I was told when DS2 was 2 that had I just taken him to a good mother and toddler group .... by a Paediatric Consultant. 6 months later his disnosis was severe autism.

Don't get drawn into those conversations

plimple Fri 11-Sep-09 15:33:48

I don't think she's saying he'd be better at nursery, she is saying that you have spoilt him! I don't know which is worse, but certainly if he does have some sort of condition then it's not fair to lay all the blame at your door.
That said I do (perhaps unfairly, perhaps not) blame one of my nephew's behaviour issues on the fact that his Mum and Dad gave in to him all the time and he was spoilt rotten - this was out of guilt as they'd sent him to a childminder full time.

hereidrawtheline Fri 11-Sep-09 15:37:50

sigh... plimple I havent spoilt him though. Truly we have not. He is extremely strong willed and a very full on child but not spoilt. He is the only 3 year old I know who says "excuse me, may I come past" and "of course you may" etc in easy flow of conversation.

Thanks very much though everyone for the support. I know in my head there isnt loads of logic in this whole argument it is just frustrating.

buy1get1free Fri 11-Sep-09 16:55:44

The play worker is talking out of her a** - sorry, but if it was something as simple as that all our kids would be 'perfect'. I agree with Pagwatch - don't go there

nellynaemates Fri 11-Sep-09 21:27:30


Maybe he wouldn't be attention seeking if you had put him in nursery, but I would doubt anybody's credibility if they suggested that this was a fact.

It is my non-scientific opinion that kids are designed to be around other kids and a variety of adults from an early age. I think we have developed to live in a communal, extended family environement and that the most common ways of bringing up children (either in nursery with employed adults or at home with mum) don't fit in with ideal developmental conditions for children.

I don't think either are bad though, nothing is ever going to be perfect and I think we all have to make our own choices about what is best for our family.

My son was at home with me until he was around 14 months and I really felt he was in need of some time socialising with other children (I know very few other mothers and disliked mother and toddler groups for their cliques). I feel he is thriving at nursery but I also feel he misses time with me. It's a balance and I always comfort myself with the fact that I am trying my best and that he has a really strong culture of love, affection and stability in his family. After all if we show our children love and let them know that they are safe in their environment then that is the very best we can do.

I think many of us are guilty of analysing the minutiae of our parenting when we really are doing our best by our kids just by loving and respecting them.

Melody4 Fri 11-Sep-09 21:53:07

Was she just explaining rather than criticising? Having seen different family situations, she may just be giving an honest answer that isn't intended as a criticism. My dc1 was an only child for a bit with lots of positive attention and he still expects it. He sounds a little like your son, in fact, classic first child. My subsequent children have been looked after by various relatives and are different. She is maybe not saying you were wrong to do what you did (you had no choice) but that y led to z. (I hope you understand my nonsense).

plimple Sat 12-Sep-09 08:35:50

Sorry melody, she was certainly not explaining, just giving her opinion. She's a playworker not a psychiatrist. I've been a playworker too and while it could be true that OPs son plays up with OP as he is allowed to - this would happen no matter what the childcare arrangements.
Since the OP says she doesn't allow her son to misbehave, he could just be the way he is because that is the way he is- end of.
My child stays at home with me, sees plenty of other children and adults and while being very strong willed and mischevious, she is well behaved and polite as that is how I teach her to be and she has no additional needs.

hereidrawtheline Sat 12-Sep-09 19:23:51

hey! sorry for slow response. I'm not bothered about it anymore tbh. I know she doesnt mean to cause harm so I wont choose to find any but it does annoy me a bit. I have decided not to go too much in depth about DS's issues here on MN anymore as I'm not really comfortable with it but I can very honestly assure you he isnt spoilt. He is loved to the moon and back and as indulged as any PFB I am sure but not spoilt. He has ishoos.

ICANDOTHAT Sun 13-Sep-09 13:32:00

HIDTL Very wise wink

BrightShinySun Sun 13-Sep-09 18:31:08

I'm sure he is not spoilt HIDTL, he is your 1st and sounds similar to my DD1 who is also 3. I just wondered what made you decide to start investigating his issues? I would say all the things you describe are very similar to DD1 and I have never thought anything into it. I'm sure he is just a healthy 3yr old testing the boundries and learning about life and will change as he grows? smile

longtermfamilyplanning Sun 13-Sep-09 22:22:17

Message withdrawn

BrightShinySun Mon 14-Sep-09 07:59:14

Gosh, yes that really does seem like my dd1! She doesn't ever sit still...ever! She demands a lot of attention and can be quite disruptive if shes not getting it. Obviously like you we just lay down all the normal rules and boundries needed as do all the other parents we know.

We have quite a few friends with children her age and DD1 has always been a lot more umm... spirited than them! For example since she started walking (at about 9/10mo - its been relentless!) we have struggled taking her anywhere, all our friends could take their children out for lunch etc and pop them in the highchair and keep them entertained, dd1 would have dismantled the thing just to get out then spent the rest of the time running riot. Even just walking around town was a nightmare. In the end we stopped doing things like that because she just didn't cope well with it.

To be honest it has eased slightly literally the last month or two, both me and DH have been saying how nice it is being able to walk around a shop with her for five minutes without her causing chaos! She is still full of energy and we have decided that as and when she starts showing interests in different things we will encourge any positive outlets of that energy. We both agree that her having that amount of energy could go either way, in that if we can channel it into something that she loves she could use it to excel at something (we both agree that this will never be anything that involves sitting down or being quiet!) but obviously there is the other side of that whereas we will need to try extra hard to steer her away from anything desructive.

DD1 has now started playschool, not because of childcare reasons, I'm a SAHM but because she will be starting school next year and she needs to start getting used to being in that sort of environment. She has dealt with it fairly well, is finding her feet and is already know as a very confident child. Shes only been going for a couple of weeks so it will be interesting to see how she progresses.

Sorry didn't mean for that to turn into an essay about my DD1. I think it may be worth trying not to worry too much about whats wrong for a while, I know you should trust your instincts but three is such a young age and there is still so much time for him to change as he gets older and ventures off into the world of school etc. With dd1 she also has little rituals and is obsessive about a lot of things, to the point of it being like an OCD kind of thing but I think a lot of children have these tendencies. The whining I tend to try and tune out of but I know so days thats easier said than done.

The only thing that has made it a bit easier for us to deal with is getting her into a good sleeping pattern. We never ever ever let her drop off to sleep in the day and at 7o'clock DH sits on the sofa with her and reads to her as she has a bottle of milk, when she asleep we put her in bed. Its not ideal but after driving ourselves mad driving to get her to sleep in her own room, (she just got up and started playing and running around) and dealing with the evil that is being overtired this is what works for her and also allows us to have a couple of much needed hours to ourselves.

Oh and lastly don't think its anything you've done, I could see the look in peoples eye when they looked at dd1 that said ^oh you two really don't know what you're doing, shes a right handful and its always the parents dontcha know!^ Well now dd2 is here and at 9mo is already a totally different child, she is calmer (its amazing how much difference we've noticed already) goes down like a dream at night and I am sure is going to be a completely different toddler to dd1.

Sorry for going on. smile

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 14-Sep-09 08:03:57

No, no don't listen to her.

My DD and I are very close and she doesn't pay attention to me, probably because she has ASD.

But still someone said at playgroup the other day "it makes you wonder what interaction they have at home if they don't mix with others here".

People are so ignorant.

Please don't blame yourself.

flimflammum Mon 14-Sep-09 08:19:57

The playworker was obviously talking nonsense. I stayed at home with DS and we were very close, he started doing two mornings at nursery at age 2, and was certainly no more attention-seeking than average and definitely not hyperactive. I think some studies have shown that children do better at school if they have attended some kind of pre-school (hence the government vouchers) - but that is before the age of 5 - not saying that 3-yr-olds must not be at home with their mothers. Of course you haven't 'spoiled' him. A strong bond with you is the most important thing you could have given him. Don't let her make you doubt yourself.

hereidrawtheline Mon 14-Sep-09 09:13:24

thanks very much everyone for your support, and also sorry for my juvenile namechange faux pas on my last post blush I did ask MNHQ to delete it as soon as it was done but they havent hmm So much for me trying to compartmentalise then hey!

I am really "over" that comment. I know DS is who he is for many reasons, some are surely "my fault" but that is the nature of the beast, no matter how wonderful I was he would surely have some issues that were my fault. One could argue the Madonna gave Jesus a god/martyr complex by going on about his conception and birth. (I am sorry I didnt mean that to offend anyone. Am debating deleting because I am sooooo tired my filter hasnt kicked in and started working yet) I just meant you know the archetype "mother" but by our standards her son's life wasnt terribly happy or healthy really was it. But I get if you are a Christian that isnt the point so I will shut up now. Really I am very tired blush

Anyway back to my DS... I so passionately do not want anything to be "wrong" with him. It seemed for a long time something definitely was, we seemed to never have a normal, nice day. Now I see this strange pattern of almost 2 months on 2 months off. But, BrightShinySun as it happens I am following your advice for an indefinite time period - not looking for problems and trying not to worry. And he does sound just like your DD1!!!! We are exactly the same with all the things we cant do!

Stephief Mon 14-Sep-09 13:36:09

I wouldnt pay too much attention. My 6yo son has behavioural problems. No idea why, no one can find a cause for it, its just him. He was in pre school the day he turned 2 and a half (the earliest they took kids at) and went three times a week until he was 4, when he went every day. It made no difference to his behaviour at all, other than giving me a bit of a break from it!
Everyone will have their theories as to why kids develop problems, the truth is half the time no one actually knows!

BrightShinySun Mon 14-Sep-09 13:42:02

Definately the best way to go I think HIDTL! It may be as simple as him going through periods of growth making him more irritable or maybe its just that hes like all of us and has times when hes feeling more 'up' and times when hes feeling more 'down'?

Who knows? You could analysis for ever more but whats the point, if it does turn out one day that a problem has become apparent then so be it and I'm sure you will deal with it in as best a way you can as we all would try to. But in the meantime have fun with him enjoy him and come on MN and hide when hes driving you crazy!! Thats what I do!! grin

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