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APers, Help me manage ds's recent determination not to attend kindy any more

(10 Posts)
phdlife Sun 14-Aug-11 12:35:42

4yo ds is doing a 5-day fortnight at a small kindergarten (the year before he should go to reception). Although he took a while to adjust to all the other dc's, he has enjoyed it until very recently. Now he is giving me "I don't want to go to kindy, trust me, I just don't want to go!" starting the day before he has to go, and fiercely resisting every attempt to get him out the door. Once there, of course, he has a great time.

Both the teachers and I are fairly confident that he doesn't have a problem with anyone there; certainly he hasn't said anything at all. The only thing he will say is that he's played with all the kindy's toys 140 times and he doesn't want to play with them any more! I am sure that the real issue here is a pull towards home rather than a real push from kindy, iygwim.

The only other thing I can think of, is that his best male friend, a child with a remarkably similar temperament, has been crying that he doesn't want to go to kindy ever since the last term break. He has a big cry every day and the only thing that helps (a little) is one of the teachers and my ds. His mum doesn't know why either, though I trust that she is sensitive and concerned to manage it. Maybe we've done the wrong thing encouraging ds to support the other lad?

Any thoughts on how to get through this?

nickschick Sun 14-Aug-11 12:44:43

If you know he's ok once he gets there and there doesnt appear to be any reason to his distress then as he's only 4 I think you need to 'pander to him' .....if you speak to the nursery nurse she may help you come up with a plan such as (rough idea) the fish/hamster or whatever pet is at kindy needs a special person to keep an eye on it,so he has a very important job and he needs to check the pet every morning - so even though he doesnt want to go he needs to go because he has a 'job' - perhaps he could be keeper of the key ( any random key will do ,just thread a ribbon through the top and make like its a special key)and he can hand it to the nursery nurse in the morning.

I think he's just gotten himself into a 'habit' and by diverting his attention you may well break it - hes only 4 though and must be so confident to find reasons to reinforce his unwillingness to attent kindy.

nickschick Sun 14-Aug-11 12:45:40

Whats an APer?

BertieBotts Sun 14-Aug-11 12:51:11

I think AP just means in this instance OP isn't interested in replies along the lines of "Just make him go, don't be so ridiculous!!"

camdancer Sun 14-Aug-11 14:48:50

When my DS decided he didn't want to go to preschool I said fine, but then found a job I had to do there. Once there he still had the choice to come home with me but never did! We also talked about the things me and DD did while he was at preschool. Once he realised our days weren't filled with endless sweets and toys (or whatever other thing he imagined) he stopped asking to stay with us.

It was important to me that he chose to go on his own - which I know lots of people disagree with - and I would have kept him with me if he'd asked.

phdlife Mon 15-Aug-11 11:50:21

thanks camdancer. I'd tried two variations: "but I'm not staying at home, I've got my job to do at kindy and then we're going to supermarket", also emphasising that I had jobs to do so wouldn't be available to play with him (his dearest wish) while he could go to kindy and all their fun stuff, but neither had washed.

I think in this instance the teacher herself may have done the trick (we shall know in the morning!). He had last week off with a cold, and first thing this morning she sent him a text asking for his help at somethng. When we walked in she made a fuss and (after a day and a half of "I don't want to go") he went straight over and cuddled up to her. Then - and this was her genius move - she got out the biggest bucket of lego ds had ever seen. Fingers crossed, I think he may want to go more often now...

the "just make him go" approach not only goes against the grain, but also meant that in addition to sorting myself and dd I was having to wrestle him out of/into each item of clothing, feed him, brush his teeth, sunscreen him, and gather his bags, all to a constant refrain of "don't want to" that ranged from whingey to roaring to tears. It was, shall we say, wearing a little thin.

camdancer Mon 15-Aug-11 12:48:36

You can't beat a big bucket of Lego. grin Hopefully things will calm down a bit for you now.

camdancer Mon 15-Aug-11 12:48:54

I meant grin grrr

missymayhemsmum Mon 15-Aug-11 20:36:31

Go with your instincts. It may be that there is something badly wrong at kindy, (it sounds like he and his friend are genuinely very distressed about something they can't verbalize, which rings some warning bells?) or it may be that he just doesn't want to go. He isn't ready, doesn't like it, and needs to be at home with you. Is that an option, or is the bottom line 'you have to go to kindy, I have to go to work, that's just how it is'?

It doesn't mean he won't take to school happily when the time comes.

phdlife Tue 16-Aug-11 12:37:53

found out today the other mum had got to the bottom of it.

the kindy teacher has been doing interviews with parents about school readiness, at 2pm, when the dc's are supposed to be asleep. only this other little boy doesn't sleep, and apparently he'd seen his mother and young siblings come into kindy, then go into office and shut door - instead of coming to collect him. they had been in there until the other parents started coming to collect their dc's, until he was one of the last few left, until he became convinced she'd left him. (half an hour can be an interminable amount of time for a 4yo, can't it?) hence, every morning, the terrible fear that she wouldn't come get him that day.

the other mum has now promised her ds that she will be first to collect him each day, and hey, presto! happy kid! and happy my ds, who had been terribly sensitive to his friend's anxiety (which, unconsciously, he shares, as I found out, discussing it with him tonight. suffice it to say I've had to promise to be there first, too.)

ah, a happy ending.

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