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DS not settling - please help me get through this!

(16 Posts)
Blu Fri 04-Feb-05 13:26:10

OK. I'll admit it now - this is as much a 'get it off my chest' as a plea for help - but I really would like to know what people think.
DS, 3.5 has been with another child in a nannyshare for 3 days a week since he was tiny. Started nursery 4 days a week in January (nanny had baby). We thought he would settle well and quickly, he is a confident and communicative child and highly sociable with children and adults.
But he has been really miserable. We can leave him ok-ish, but by lunchtime (or sooner) he is crying and asking for me. He doesn't join in or play with other children - not his chracter at all.
After 4 weeks, and he was getting worse noit better, the nursery asked us to re-start an induction programme, and stay with him. So we have been staying there, mostly in the corridor, until he re-gains his confidence.

The problem now is that having seen what goes on and what a zoo it can be, I'm not surprised he hasn't settled. It has been understaffed due to illness (they have the right numbers in the room, but not of staff who actually ENGAGE with the kids), and under pressure the only children who get any individuak attention are those causing complete havoc.

I have been clear and direct with the nursery manager about this issue, and am waiting for her response as to how they will address it.

Now DS appears to be quite enjoying it - but he's cock-a-hoop because we are hovvering. He told someone that 'daddy doesn't go to the office now, he works in the corridor at nursery!' So we are going to have to start withdrawing for longer and longer sections of the day.

Is it going to work? Am I being too soft? Should we up sticks and find another nursery and go through another upheaval for DS? (there isn't anywhere local that has places atm, thogh). Can you be fierce with me and get me to stick at it til he settles?

foxinsocks Fri 04-Feb-05 13:47:28

If you think it's the right place for him, then you have to stick with it. If you don't think it is (understaffing, not engaging the children as you said), then I would find somewhere else even if it meant being on a waiting list.

Before I had kids of that age, I would have told you to stick with it. We have a friend with a little boy the same age as my ds (also nearly 3.5) and he went to a nursery and was so unhappy, they also told the parents that they would have to come in with him as he was so miserable. They went in, saw it wasn't the place for him and took him out (the school even went as far as saying he had special needs he was so distressed). They found another nursery, did a more gentle settling in and now their child has completely transformed. He runs into school and absolutely loves it.

lalaa Fri 04-Feb-05 13:55:44

I have what my childminder calls a challenging child. She's not badly behaved but it took me nearly a year to settle her into the childminder as she hated to be left and would cry all day. It was very distressing for both of us. My dd is actually younger than yours but I've already postponed her starting nursery because I'm anxious about her becoming distressed again.

My cm is an 'accredited' childminder and that means that she is as qualified as a nursery to 'teach' the foundation stage of the national curriculum and I can use nursery vouchers to pay for her care. If the nursery thing goes completely wrong, I know that dd can stay with my cm for as long as I like and that her development won't suffer. The additional benefit of her going to a cm is she gets the security of the same adult caring for her, and there are times for hugs and reassurance when it is needed. I do want her to get used to a structured environment so that she settles into school when the time comes but as she's only 2 and a bit, I've got a bit of time. So you could consider looking for an accredited cm as an alternative.

Another thing to consider is whether there is anything or anyone or an activity at nursery which particularly upsets him? My dd, for example, hates robots, remote controlled cars and hoovers with faces on them! She also finds a particular trike toy at toddlers group disconcerting. I have to listen really really closely to her to pick up what it is that upsets her, and when it's dealt with, or we approach it together, usually that helps.

I think in time, with reassurance from you and additional attention from nursery staff, he may well settle, but I'd consider looking at the alternative options in case he doesn't and review it at Easter. HTH.

Blu Fri 04-Feb-05 14:03:34

This is really helpful. Thank you FiS and Lalaa.
I'm going to put his name down for a nursery which is smaller, gentler, (but not so good for transport) I think, but not panic.

Blu Thu 10-Feb-05 22:35:18

Have just printed out our letter withdrawing DS from nursery.
Didn't like what I saw last week, we wrote a letter and had meeting with manager on Monday - everything inproved for a day, right back to squre one today.

No - no alternative place - but am seeing two nurseries in the morning.

Bite your nails for me once mine are all worn out, please!

HunkerMunker Thu 10-Feb-05 22:45:12

Biting away, Blu. Fingers (with bitten nails) crossed your DS is settled soon.

soapbox Thu 10-Feb-05 22:54:49

Blu - I'm glad you've followed your gut instinct - I think the nursery jsut didn't sound right for your DS.

I've had lots of experience of children not being happy to be left at the beginning of the nursery session but not being unhappy all hte way through

I'm biting away for you, in the hope that you find somewhere where DS will be happy

batters Fri 11-Feb-05 12:24:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Fri 11-Feb-05 15:03:58

This whole thing has really upset me, but I think we're on the right track, now.

I have seen 3 nurseries in 2 days, and each of them has demonstrated in a different way what was wrong with the 'old' nursery.

I have 2 top choices, both with no more than 8 children in a room, and each with 2 workers per room, each with Montessori approach, good range of indoor and outdoor activities etc tec and both cheaper than 'bad' nursery.

I just can't understand how we can ever have thought the old nursery would be ok, and dreadfully guilty for putting pressure on DS to endure it. Has taken the wind out of my sails as a confident parent, I can tell you..

He's told us in so many ways - yesterday he told DP that 'I like havinhg lots of freinds daddy but i don't want them all together'. There were just too many kids in one room, and not enough continuity of staffing.

It came to a head yesterday. DP witnessed a child really distressed because her Mum was leaving her - kicking, screaming and hitting her Mum. When the Mum finally left, the nursery nurse said to the little girl 'Your Mummy's gone and left you now because she dooesn't want to look after such a badly behaved little girl'.

So - induction in a new nursery some time over the next week or so.

HappyMumof2 Fri 11-Feb-05 15:20:43

Message withdrawn

batters Sat 12-Feb-05 12:45:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Tue 01-Mar-05 10:02:56

Happy ending - new beginning!
thanks for your support, everyone.
DS has settled really happily in a lovely new nursery. he tells us that he likes it, and skips up the path.
Anyone want a recommendation for an excellent new nursery handy for Hrixton, Herne Hill Streatham, Tulse Hill, West Norwoood etc, take babies, have spaces....

Marina Tue 01-Mar-05 10:08:22

I cannot believe I missed all this, Blu - so pleased you had a happy ending. PLEASE do not reproach yourself about not immediately identifying the old nursery as definitely unsuitable...IME every household with recourse to daycare gets it WRONG once in their career - we persevered with a manifestly unsuitable childminder for a couple of months with ds and only once we had decided the upheaval had to happen and got him settled in nursery could we see why our first choice was never going to work.
Am sure he will go from strength to strength in his new place

braid Thu 03-Mar-05 11:23:16


Very glad your ds is happily settled. I'm looking for a nursery in Brixton/Herne Hill area at the moment. Would you CAT me your recommendation?

many thanks

Blu Fri 04-Mar-05 10:29:25

Braid - Hi - my CAT didn't get through - CAT me and I'll e mail you back - or if that doesn't work, I'll just put the name on here.

braid Sun 06-Mar-05 13:39:01

Blu - Site is telling me you have opted not to receive CAT messages. Maybe the simplest is if you include name here.

many thanks and happy Mum's Day

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