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Am I being precious or am I pushing her to do something she's not ready for?

(5 Posts)
ZuleikaD Wed 03-Oct-12 10:01:57

DD is 3.4 and for the last couple of years has been at home with me after a disastrous 6 months at nursery (I went back to work pg with DS so she was only there for 6m but it was awful). This September she became eligible for her 15 free nursery hours a week and there's a lovely nursery school just around the corner attached to the primary school for which we're in the catchment area. So she started there a few weeks ago, and the first couple of weeks were fine. The last few days, however, she's been saying she didn't want to go, though was fine when we got there and I handed her over to one of the staff.

This morning though, a completely different story - screaming and crying hysterically when we got through the door, clinging on to me as hard as she could. I couldn't talk her down from it, or calm her in any way. In the end I handed her to one of the staff and after peeling her off me I walked away. I've never been so close to crying myself, it felt like an awful betrayal. I could see through the doors as well (she couldn't see me) and for at least five minutes she was still crying hysterically. I had to leave at that point because DS was yelling for me from the buggy (and it was 'parents-out' time).

The thing is, she doesn't have to go - it's not proper school, and I'm working as a childminder at the moment so she could be at home with me. But I don't know whether to basically force her to go, or whether to be guided by her obvious distress and leave it for a while.

I asked the school if she could go for fewer days, because I thought it was a lot to go from nothing to five days a week but they weren't keen. Though I'm sure if I just said 'she's only coming for three days a week' they'd have to accept it.

mumah Wed 03-Oct-12 11:15:23

Hmm it is tough and really something that your gut will tell you what to do I think as each child is different. Pre DS I used to work in a nursery and I can definitely say that it is not uncommon for children to go through phases of not enjoying nursery for a while. Some may have been holding a grudge from a fall out with another child or after losing a gold star for being a bit naughty etc, or it could just be that they were feeling a bit insecure and wanted mummy/daddy for that week. As these parents worked though they had no choice but to plod along and 9 times out of 10 the little one would come through the other side loving nursery again. Whatever you do though, cutting down time at nursery drastically may just make it trickier. It was the kids who used to just do one day a week that would find it hardest to find their feet as it is such a long time between sessions and they and usually forgotten the fun stuff and the fear of being left was back. Could you try something like half days until she is up and running again?
What ever you choose will be right for you and your little ones. HTH x

BertieBotts Wed 03-Oct-12 11:35:05

If you put her in for 3 days a week against their will then she might lose her place, so I'm not sure about that one.

It seems odd that she's suddenly upset after having liked it before - perhaps something's happened? It won't necessarily be anything major, DS was saying he didn't want to go the other day (he loves nursery) and I talked to him and found out it was that at snack time, they have a little carton of milk and one of the reception teachers (they're a shared unit) had told him he had to drink it and it was making him anxious because he's having a little issue with his bladder at the moment where he's going to the toilet a lot and the milk was making him need the toilet more and because it was quite frequent, the time taken to use the toilet and wash his hands he was worried that they'd run out of paper towels (!) and he'd miss out on playing.

I had a word with his teacher in the morning and she reassured him that there were lots of paper towels and they could get more from the stock room and also that he didn't have to drink his milk if he really didn't want it. He was happy then and didn't seem worried but when I picked him up he was really ratty as though he was tired or upset about something, being really sensitive and crying at the slightest thing. Anyway he was screaming at me for something or other and then he burst out "And Mrs. X told me I had to drink my milk!" - and that was all it was, that a teacher had told him he had to do something and he didn't feel able to say "But I don't want to" even though another teacher had told him that was okay. Sounds minor but it had really upset him, so we had a cuddle and I empathised and then later he came up to me and said "It's okay actually, because I do like that milk in the carton." I guess maybe he was finding it confusing having more than one source of authority saying different things because in the past it's been me or his childminder only, he hasn't dealt with two or more adults at once being in charge.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 03-Oct-12 11:51:46

Haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to say what happened to us. DS was like this, as were a few of his friends. Luckily for us DS has always been a good communicator and kept telling us that one boy was hitting him repeatedly. The parents of the other children had no clue, just knew that their DC were crying and very reluctant to go.

We kept him there, but kept telling the pre-school what DS was saying and asking them to sort it out. It took them 2 weeks to even acknowledge there was a problem.

When DD came along we tried out the same pre-school, its the one attached to our school, but I stayed with her. Could not believe that they were so crap. Took her to the nursery around the corner from us and she did 2 days of 9 to 3 and absolutely loved it.

If I'd had my time again I would never have persisted with DS, I would have moved him as soon as he said he was unhappy.

TheArmadillo Wed 03-Oct-12 11:59:35

Ds was like this at 3yo. I took him out but took a year to do it (he still had a year before school). I wish I had done it earlier. He just got worse and worse. He kept asking when he had to go next and would then cry hysterically so it spilled out into our whole lives.
Started school fine at nearly 5yo - was better than 95% of the other children. Settled in straight away no problem.

Try to find out why she hates it and if it is something fixable then see what you can do. But she doesn't have to go and if nothing helps, pull her out.

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