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sobbing DS at pre school

(2 Posts)
normanthehairdresser Thu 01-Oct-09 22:05:35

DS is 3.4. We adopted him at 18 months so he has had huge losses and abandonments in his life already. He's a bright spark who has just started three mornings a week at pre-school. He's high as a kite after the sessions and seems to be really stimulated by the range of activities. Trouble is he is obviously finding the separation from us hard going ...

We have been staying the first half hour, then leaving about 9.30 and returning for normal pick up. He was doing OK but the staff noticed he was rather quiet and withdrawn in sessions the last week or two. Then today DH left and peered in through the window (unseen) to see DS sitting in a corner in floods of tears. Staff hadn't yet picked up on it. DH went back in and comforted him, then left again. Apparently he was a bit tearful at times through the session but seemed very cheerful all afternoon when DH picked him up.

I do feel he needs to be at nursery school - he is an only child who really needs that social contact with other kids, and he's also clearly ready for a greater range of activities. Any thoughts as to how, with all his memories of loss, we can support him through the separation bit?

I'm going to post this on the adoptions board too - hope this isn't a breach of MN etiquette (apologise if so!)

PandaG Thu 01-Oct-09 22:13:44

I work in a pre-school, so have plenty of experience re separation, but not re adoption particularly so sorry if this advice is not appropriate.

I pretty much always find that after the first couple of drops a child settles much quicker if the parent/carer leaves them very quickly after arrival, it seems to prolong the agony if they stay for an extended settling in, however hard it may seem to leave. I usually encourage parents to hand child over to keyworker, give a hug, say goodbye see you later and leave briskly. THere may well be tears but they are generally very short lived.

strategies you could try include leaving an object that you need on their peg or in their bag - your house keys (or spare key) or your hat or something, so the child knows you will come back for them and the object.

or child having a little cuddly in their pocketm that you can kiss and say teddy has a kiss for you from me if you need one.

if he is having fun at preschool it is likely that in reality you are more upset about the separation than he is. Hope he soon setles quickly!

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