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Any advice on what to tell child who doesn't want to go back to nursery after their first day???

(15 Posts)
monkey9237 Tue 12-Jul-11 14:32:43

Any advice GREATLY APPRECIATED!! My child started nursery today - one morning session. The month before he started, I started to speak to him about all the exciting things he would be doing once he started, that he would make new friends, I also bought him some "first day at school" books (Usborne, Topsy and Tim). He was calm and happy this morning, went in to the classroom, and whimpered a bit when we left, but didn't cry. I called the nursery later to see how he was getting on and they said he got tearful on and off (all to be expected of course) but that he was ok in general.

He got a treat after he we picked him up (meal in restaurant) and he is due to go back tomorrow. BUT he says he doesn't want to go back. I have tried telling him that the people at nursery all want to see him again and his new friends will miss him, that its only for a few hours in the morning a few days a week, that we can go on a nice day out on the weekend, but he gets a bit upset and says he doesn't want to go back.

I know there isn't much more I can say to him - or is there? I dont want to say "you HAVE to go" and turn it onto a 'resistance' thing, but is there anything else I could usefully or helpfully say? Does anyone think so? I know there will be a showdown in the morning to get him both into and out of the car, and I just wonder if there is anything I can do to make it a little easier for him tomorrow. If there IS anything....

Thanks for ANY advice and yes I am being PFB! I know he just needs to GO to nursery and get into the routine, and he will be ok in a month or so....

blabalalalablabla Tue 12-Jul-11 14:53:19

How old is he? And how many sessions is he doing a week?
Is he going to nursery to 'socialise' or because you need to go to work?

Has he been used to being with other carers other than yourself/immediate family?

Are you able to observe him without him knowing? It might put you at ease.
Does he have a keyworker to help him settle in? Has another child been nominated as his special friend to show him the ropes?

Tbh I'd just tell him that on x, y and z days he goes to nursery - just like how on x, y and z you do this, that or the other on certain days.

I'm sure he'll settle in quicker than a month - unless he is absolutely distraught about going then I really wouldn't worry about it too much...

monkey9237 Tue 12-Jul-11 15:59:59

Oh my - sorry, I left out a LOT of information there, sorry:

He is three (only just) and doing three morning sessions a week (9am-1pm) in order that I can go to work. We spend Fridays together - I dont work and he doesnt go to nursery on that day, and we have the weekend too. I haven't observed him as there isn't really a place where we can see him without him seeing us (too many windows), but when I phoned, they told me what he was doing and that he was ok but that he did cry on and off.

He hasn't been with anyone except me, DH or my parents up until now and yes there is a keyworker who "shadowed" him his first day and I will ask them how long this "shadowing" carries on for. And he has made some friends on his 'table' who seem to be his special helpers (I will double check that with the nursery).

Thanks for the tip of being somewhat "no big deal" and matter-of-fact about it - I think that is a good way forward seeing as the "ooh isn't it ex-CI-ting" has now worn off! It would be GREAT if he settled in less than a month and I would consider myself very fortunate if that was the case. Fingers crossed and thanks again - getting a bit teary now so will get it out of my system before tomorrow morning! Much appreciated.

pinkhebe Tue 12-Jul-11 16:04:11

Mt youngest bawled for about 20 mins the first 3 times he went (he was cuddled by his keyworker grin) then he was fine.

my friend used to go tell her son she was off to buy some sweets for him grin

monkey9237 Tue 12-Jul-11 16:14:06

Pinkhebe, could I ask how your son was before he got to nursery, eg on the walk there/in the car there? I am sure that once my son actually gets to nursery, he will cry for a bit then be generally ok, and will finally fully settle in a few weeks time, but my main worry is tomorrow morning, from waking to leaving the house - how do you handle that part?? I might tell him I am off to the shops to get him some bits and bobs.....

VeganMummy Tue 12-Jul-11 16:32:43

DD had a few wobbly times when she first started nursery. She started off going for just two afternoons a week in her first year and then increased to two and half days when the funding for three year olds was available for her. I think what helped her to settle in quickly was having a lovely kind keyworker, and discovering that they had painting tables and she could make as much mess as she wanted to smile.

pinkhebe Tue 12-Jul-11 18:43:07

D'you know I can't really remember! He's 8 now, and like your ds was nearly 3 when he started playgroup. Good luck grin

streptococcus Tue 12-Jul-11 18:54:26

has a similar problem with DS2..... took a few weeks.
Is there anything specific he doesnt like, or was it more general?

I am a mean mummy but when I dropped him off I HAD to leave for work. rather than talking about it too much. I just would get him up and dressed. If he asks if hes going to nursery I would just say " yes but tomorrow we will have a stay at home day" and not make a bit deal out of it. Then deal with any ensuing tantrum as you normally would (either ignore/ positive reinforcement that kind of thing).
Try and detach a bit emotionally from the situation ( easier said than done) if he sees you upset at drop off it makes things worse- and children at this age can be quite atuned to mums emotions

If he still isnt enjoying it in a couple of weeks you then have to think about if its the right place for him. would a childminder/ nanny 1:1 setting be better.

good luck

monkey9237 Tue 12-Jul-11 20:59:25

Thanks so much all for the advice. I appreciate it so much. DS has just gone to sleep, i told him we would be popping to nursery for a while tomorrow, and he said no and cried. I have asked him twice why he doesnt want to go, but he doesnt say anything, just that he doesnt want to go. I offered to buy him a toy and told him about the nursery having paint and a sandpit, etc but that was no use. But his ears pricked up re: the toy so I may mention that again in the morning.

Next question: DS is super-clingy with me, and less so with his dad. Should perhaps just his dad drop him off at nursery tomorrow, to ease things for him? Then when he is more settled I can take turns as well?

Thanks for the tip re: giving it a while. I will see how its going after 3wks or a month and take it from there. I would happily choose another type of setting eg 1:1 but I have found that people tend to look at you in horror if your child isnt in full time nursery by 2.5 years old!! (people are like this where I live, anyway!).

Thanks again! I know DS has only been to nursery for one day so far and I need to give it time....!

princesbold Wed 13-Jul-11 16:04:38

How good is the nursery ? Paint and a sandpit doesn't sound too exciting, do they have cars and bikes outside in a secure safety surfaced play area with swings and slides and climbing frames, do they have computers and I-pads for the children to use ? The place could be just dull. Try to find something in the nursery that floats the boat, if its not there you could supply it yourself. Soon enough the other children will themselves become the attraction as he makes friends and learns to socialise

suzikettles Wed 13-Jul-11 16:14:27

I'm fairly upfront with ds if he doesn't want to go to nursery. He goes because I need to work to pay for things like food and clothes and electricity and toys and [insert things your ds likes here].

Ds knows he goes to nursery to play and have fun and learn while mummy and daddy go to work. And also that it's not an option. He does love nursery though - but of course has days where he'd rather stay at home, or rather stay and play with whatever he's doing at that moment.

It takes them a while to settle, make friends, get used to the staff and their new surroundings, so I agree - take stock in a few weeks.

babbi Wed 13-Jul-11 19:25:10

What Suzi kettles says is exactly right.
Also maybe don't ask him about what he doesn't like, offer toys etc as that is almost making it negotiable iyswim in his little mind.
Present it as a fun fact of life that he has to go and I would be very surprised if he didn't settle un a couple of weeks.

good luck, I was very emotional sending my little one off to nursery at 3 for the first time, but she settled after a couple of weeks.
Occasionally she would say she didn't want to go on the odd day but I just told her her friends would miss her and she had to go!

Quinquagesima Wed 13-Jul-11 19:34:16

monkey, I think it might be a good idea for your DH to try dropping him off. My DS was desperately clingy to his father when he started doing one morning a week at nursery school (at 3.5), and it was better when I dropped him off. (Though in the end, he didn't settle regardless of who dropped him off, and we kept him at home instead. The staff did say, though, that he was the only one in all their long entire careers who hadn't settled - which means that the overwhelming majority of them do!)

As for other people's views on nursery: ignore, ignore, ignore. I had all sorts of things said because my children weren't at nursery at the age of two. I personally thought they were having a far better time at home in every possible regard.

princesbold Thu 14-Jul-11 16:43:24

All goes wrong when at four and a half they begin school full time, if they have mastered it at an earlier age it's better for everybody.

monkey9237 Thu 14-Jul-11 22:51:26

Hi there, and thanks again for all this input, it's really so helpful.

quinquagesima - my DH has dropped DS off alone the past two days and despite the odd whimper, DS goes into nursery well and has no major clinginess issues. But of course, at only day 3 now, he is upset on and off throughout the session. Will keep an eye on that and hope it improves. I agree with you that he has been SO much better off at home with 1:1 care and has a great, fun interesting time. If it wasn't for the need to learn to socialise with other children (he is an only child) and prepare for Reception next year, he wouldnt be in nursery if I had my way.

princesbold - you know, my impression was that the nursery did look duller than I remembered it (we were first looking at nurseries over a year ago). There is a computer, but the outdoor area is small-ish and has no swing or climbing frame, it has one double-bike and one sit-in car, smaller cars, some sort of tenty/housey thing, a play kitchen area and that's all I think. Indoors there is a book area, puzzles, blocks, the usual but on balance it looks somewhat sparse. He loves books so I have been playing that up, but as you say I hope that his companions will become his main interest soon. This was by far the nicest nursery around when we looked, and the waiting lists locally are such that I think moving him would take ages.

suzikettles, Babbi - thanks, I have tried to be matter-of-fact about it and say that mummy and daddy go to work while he is at nursery to earn money for x, y and z. He did the 'classic' today of asking me what I did while he was at nursery so I told him I was working to get money and he didn't question it any further, and seems resigned to it (in a good way, not in sadness) so that's working well for now. Will keep on with those the lines!

Thanks so much for all your advice, he is doing better than I expected, and your tips are helping make it as trauma-free as possible, so I am immensely grateful.

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