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Why does DS hate going to nursery, but has a great time when there? How can we help?

(7 Posts)
elsiebear Tue 26-May-09 15:16:47

DS is 3.1yo, and has been going to nursery two days a week for about 6 months.

While he's there he is apparently happy, joins in well with activities, and talks happily about nursery when he's back home. We're confident that he's being well cared for.

But the problem is getting him to nursery in the morning. He sobs inconsolably from the moment he wakes up until I hand him over. I have a struggle getting him into a buggy and he howls as I walk down the street. He can't tell me why - just that he doesn't want to go to nursery.

Staff at nursery say this is not uncommon, and will pass, but does anyone have any words of wisdom? It is so against our parenting principles to force him to do something he doesn't want to do - but he does really seem to like it once he's there.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 26-May-09 15:21:11

Most of the little darlings give their parents a guilt trip like this. I would just be firm, say that you know he's there and that you will be back for him. They worry about their carer leaving them and never returning but have the attention span of a newt so couldn't give a dogs monkeys when you've gone and will happily go and play. It will pass, he's just making you feel guilty!

nickschick Tue 26-May-09 15:30:54

Its a seperation thing,hes only 3 and at this stage children cannont understand timescales and events past and coming therefore he is at home with you in a familiar surrounding and feels safe and content,as soon as the routine alters slightly it upsets him- he cannot understand what will happen and he probably is a bit scared and unsettled.

As you know he gets there and has a great time so clearly this period will pass,in my experience there are 2 ways to handle this

a/ continually reminding him that on xxxx day we go to nursery and we see xxxx and play with xxxxxx then when mummy comes for you we come home and do xxxxxx- that way you are preaparing him for the event ,at the event and reassuring him that after the event he is back with you.

b/ you build up a familiar route and use the tactics oh look theres the red house ,wave to the ginger cat,the lollipop lady is waiting etc etc and talk all the time about a familiar member of staff who will be waiting it might be handy to borrow a toy he can return or have something to show xxxxx at nursery.

I personally find plan a more succesful its not hinging on the staff member being there or the co-operation of others and its very personal to you and your situation.

This will pass and when he trots into nursery school with barely a backward glance at you - you will be the one crying.

Its not forcing to do something he doesnt want Im sure that you would if nursery called and said he was inconsolable that you would go and pick him up - its about being a 'responsible' parent and preparing your ds for life.

M1SSUNDERSTOOD Tue 26-May-09 19:48:46

My Ds2 went/is going through this. He gets a sore tummy just before and sometimes won't go into nursery. However it is connected to time he was sick at nursery. Just tell him all his friends are there and plan treats for time off. He know wednesday is our day off and always cheery on Tuesday nights. TBH it has to be a day off completely as he won't even go to crèche at gym or with anyone else as it's "our day off" and reward for going to nursery IYSWIM

AnybodyHomeMcFly Tue 26-May-09 19:59:26

My DS has been doing this ever since going up to the over-twos' room from baby room. He howls for the first five mins and then has a great time but it still makes me feel guilty for making him go.

We've found that talking to him on the way there about what he's going to do and who he's going to see does help.

amandamacg Tue 02-Jun-09 23:16:06

My DD is exactly the same, and she is over 4 now...some days she is fine, other days she doesn't want to go. She seems to have a ball when she gets there though, so generally i'm ok about it. Usually by promising to do something afterwards if she's been a good girl (baking or painting), she does ok. Hope it gets better for you, its hard for mums / dads as well.

elsiebear Wed 03-Jun-09 20:02:15

Thanks for all your suggestions. I realise we have tended to avoid talking about which days are nursery days, so as not to upset him, and that may be backfiring on us.

But we've also found out from him that he really doesn't like the toilets at nursery, and since being offered a potty instead, he's been much calmer. So it's probably now over to Nappies/Potty Training section for advice on dealing with toiletphobia!!

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