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Settling them into playgroup without tears?

(6 Posts)
zebra Fri 27-Feb-04 12:56:29

There are sort-of threads on this before, but maybe not quite what I'm after.

Does anybody have any tricks/advice for settling in a child who didn't want you to go, but you did it (eventually) without tears?

I know the standard advice is just to dump them, kiss goodbye & run (to sounds of despairing wails, IME). I did that for 2 years with my son at nursery, and I'll never do it again. DD will be just 2.5yo when she's due to start 2 mornings/week at playgroup. I know she'll love the activities, routine/ceremony and people. Her big brother (4yo) will be there to anchor her, it's just being left without Mummy that will probably upset her! What can I do to coax her into staying happily?

emkaren Fri 27-Feb-04 13:14:28

If you have the time then I would stay with her initially, being around in the background. Then, after a few sessions, leave for half an hour or so - and then increase the amount of time, depending on how it goes. That's what I did with my daughter, and after two weeks she was very happy to be left.

LIZS Fri 27-Feb-04 13:25:19

Similar advice to emkaren. I stayed for about an hour at dd's first session and remained within easy access if there was a problem. She cried for about 10 minutes but was bribed to stop when she wanted a drink. Played happily the rest of the session. Next time I stayed about 30 mins until all other kids had settled, she cried as I left but had stopped by the time I'd driven around the corner. Then I stayed just until all the other kids had arrived so that there was no continual opening of the door and she could see all the others being left. She had by then stopped crying as I left and was easily distracted. Now it doesn't seem to matter whether all the kids are there or not , as long as she is not on her own.

aloha Fri 27-Feb-04 14:24:33

I've just taken my son out of a very good nursery - only three mornings a week because he's never really liked it (been going since Sept) and recently cried a lot - I'd arrive to pick him up 20mins early and he'd be looking out of the window for me, crying. I couldn't bear it. Other children were perfectly happy from day one - just had their mum or dad with them for a couple of hours, and after that just enjoyed themselves. I think it just depends on the child personally.

WideWebWitch Sat 28-Feb-04 05:11:37

Hi Zebra, agree with Emmakaren, stay for a while while she gets used to the place then tell her you're going and look very happy while you're leaving. This worked for me anyway with ds when he was aged 3 - I think he was ok because he saw I was, iyswim. You could also leave something of yours (jumper?) if you think it might help. I didn't do this but saw it work well with other children.

Tillysmummy Sat 28-Feb-04 07:46:39

hi zebra i have just settled dd (2.5 years) into nursery too. She cried every time I left for the first 2 weeks but now is absolutely fine. At first I think she was really upset and took a while to calm down (only a matter or minutes though until she got distracted into playing) but then after that I used to listen outside the door and she had stopped as soon as I had left. It's v hard at first with the settling and I must admit being 8 months preggers at the time hasn't helped with my hormones all over the place I spent many a morning recently during the settling period in tears in the car park but it does get better. I found a couple of things helped. I talked to her a lot about the children she plays with and we identified a few 'special' friends who she mentioned a lot and I used to say to her on the way 'won't it be nice to see so and so etc' and she would normally be saying I don't want to go and I just ignored it and carried on talking about her special friends and carers. Then I would also say to her before we went in that she would have a lovely time playing while mummy was just down the road doing boring shopping and that I would be back very soon so if she felt sad or missed me to remember i'd be back very soon. Gradually after a little while she stopped saying she didn't want to go and stopped crying when I left her and now she loves it. I don't think there is anything you can do to coax her into staying happy as such because for the first couple of weeks while it's unfamiliar she is bound to have moments when she feels sad and misses you but im sure she will soon forget once she starts playing again and once she's reassured that you are coming back always she will be ok. Maybe you could try shorter sessions to start with ? I think with dd I stayed the first time and then the next time left her for half an hour and the next time an hour and after that I left her for two hours regularly for a couple of weeks (the session is actually 4 hours with lunch but she didn't do that at first) and then after that I asked her if she wanted to stay for lunch with all her friend and she said yes so I left her for lunch for a couple of days as well and she seemed fine.

Good luck! Thinking of you !-

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