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Please help me with school drop off management

(7 Posts)
tortoisefairy Wed 21-Sep-11 12:51:55

I have DS1 - 5.5yrs Year 1, DS2 - 3- Nursery, DS3 - 1 year.

I am having a nightmare on the school run and it is really getting me down. DS2 has just started Nursery and although he is fine once there, is screaming and crying all the way there (half hour walk). He says he doesn't want to go, doesn't want me to go etc. He loves it once there and I know I'm only 3 weeks in but I thought it would have become a bit better by now.

This is having an adverse reaction on DS1 who loves school but starts to copy DS2, so this morning I had to carry DS1 into his classroom, kicking and screaming, whilst a friend held DS2 and rocked a screaming DS3. DS1 was fine once separated from DS2's upsetting behavior and settled in well like the great child he normally is.

I could then get DS3 out of buggy (to stop him screaming) to get DS2 into Nursery, who is just awful at me leaving him. I don't know where he has learnt it from but he screams I need to go to hospital, I am ill etc. and it is just so heartbreaking. He physically shakes he gets himself so upset.

I have tried leaving him with keys/cuddly toy and always promise I will come back.

Any other ideas greatly appreciated. I am tired of being the Mum leaving the school in tears because the children are so upset. Where have I gone so wrong?

jassinkernow Wed 21-Sep-11 14:53:40

You haven't gone wrong. It's a phase (OK, so a stressful and upsetting one by the sound of it, but a phase that will pass). Wish I had some good solutions for you - I don't, I'm afraid, but didn't want to leave it unanswered.
The first thing is that this is incredibly early days. 3 weeks isn't that long to have been going to nursery - and he will settle, especially if he's fine when he's there. DS1 is just settling into a new year as well. It will get easier.
In the meantime, some things you've probably thought of but have worked for me to an extent transporting my 3 to nursery and now to school as well...
Can you break the pattern somehow? Different route, use bikes/scooters/double buggy/leave DS3 with someone else for a couple of goes so you can concentrate on DS1/2? Can you drop DS2 off first while DS1 waits with DS3 and friend? Then DS1 can go in in a happier and relaxed way (perhaps).
Distraction on the walk has worked to an extent with my most reluctant nursery-goer - with him it's spotting cars/counting cars etc, we've also done flowers/holes in walls/house numbers etc etc. Songs/stories/talking brightly about the favourite stuff at nursery he's going to do when he gets there (in conjuction with the nursery staff so he doesn't get there all fired up and then the cars aren't out!).
Sorry, that's probably all pretty obvious and school-run approaching. But it's not you, and it will get better...

ByTheWay Wed 21-Sep-11 14:59:45

Are you positive there are no problems when he is there??? That level of refusal - screaming and crying for half an hour whilst walking there seems a bit OTT for just being left. Could you go home in between and deliver DS2 some way into the morning to begin with? Can the nursery not work with you to help find a solution? If not, I would not be that happy leaving my little one in that situation, not if it has not got ANY better over 3 weeks.

Elk Wed 21-Sep-11 15:02:14

Dropping children at school can be heartbreaking. I have lost count of the times i have left in tears.
I think you should talk to the nursery staff to see what they can do to help you. Would ds2 respond to a reward system for not crying/screaming in the morning e.g. a sticker, choosing a favourite activity, being 'nursery helper'. For one child in dd2 nursery a nursery assistant came to the car each morning and took the screaming boy (still in his pj's) plus a bag contatining his clothes into nursery so his mum could then cope with her other . It didn't take long before she could take him in herself.

I do think the school ought to be able to help you through this.

It is not your fault and repeat - it is just a phase.

lovingthecoast Wed 21-Sep-11 15:07:17

Firstly, don't beat yourself up, it's just the way some kids are. SEcondly, can you drive some mornings? A half hour walk can be quite exhausing for some 3yr olds. It could also be giving him too much time to anticipate what's coming and allow the dread to build up inside him.
What does his teacher say? Do you think it's because he knows you are going home with DS3? Maybe extreme separation anxiety? Sorry, not really much help.

tortoisefairy Fri 23-Sep-11 18:53:20

Thank you all for replying. Sorry not to post thanks sooner I have been home alone all week!

You have all made me feel much better and DS1 has been going in well with the promise of a book at the end of this week.

DS1 and 2 scooter already, and DS2 is only crying when we get 2 minutes from school now, but is no better with screaming once there. I am going to talk to the staff at school as the behavior is just so extreme and like you say 3 weeks is early really because he has become slightly better each day over that time.

A big, big thank you for taking your time to reply though. I may be back next week with an update.

tortoisefairy Tue 27-Sep-11 17:52:12

Massive improvement this week with loads of bribes on offer hmm but short term needs only. Although he is crying on the way there he actually managed to suggest he waved goodbye through the window to me today and then did NO crying and went off and played.

I am so happy.

Thanks again for your advice

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