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Shy, introverted child dislikes preschool

(6 Posts)
eversomuch Tue 04-Mar-14 10:35:49

DD's quite shy and doesn't like big, noisy groups. She'll be 3 this month. She started preschool playgroup in September and recently started getting very upset every morning before going to the playgroup. She told me that sometimes there are so many kids running around that she can't find her key person, to whom she's very attached.

Usually, once she's there, she plays and seems fine and is usually happy when we collect her, but I think it is a stressful, overwhelming experience for her in general.

It is a noisy, chaotic environment without many quiet corners to retreat to and the key people have several other children to look after, so I know it would be unreasonable to expect constant one-on-one attention.

We have a meeting with the key person tomorrow morning and plan to discuss this further, but in the meantime does anyone here have suggestions or advice on how to make the process easier for DD?

funnyossity Tue 04-Mar-14 10:53:07

Does she have to go?

eversomuch Tue 04-Mar-14 11:05:01

No, but we thought it would be good for her to start getting used to being with other kids her age. She'll start nursery 5 days a week in September, and going from zero to 5 days seems a bit harsh versus transitioning via preschool.

Eletheomel Tue 04-Mar-14 11:10:16

I'm not sure there is much you can do, it may just be a case of her having to get used to it (and suffering a bit in the meantime until she settled). DS1 is a bit shy and he was always telling us that he didn't know anyone at playgroup (started when he was 3) there and that he would spend the day playing by himself.

Clearly we were a bit worried about this, but after speaking to his keyworker it turned out that was complete nonsense, and he would socialise with kids in all the other key groups as well as his own and they never saw him playing by himself...

When he started nursery (just before he turned 4) for 4 months he never wanted to go, every weekend he'd ask to stay home and get upset about going, and every morning in the house he'd want to stay with me or he wanted to go back to playgroup. But one day he just stopped saying he didn't want to go, and said he wanted to see his friends.

It might just take her longer than other kids to settle in (and look forward to going) but if she's happy when there and playing then (for me) that is the key thing to focus on, her dread of going in should alleviate with time.

funnyossity Tue 04-Mar-14 11:22:01

Ok there are lots of ways of doing this but I have known people pull unhappy children out from one playgroup and wait a few months until the next phase in a new setting started, with no ill effects. Obviously you can still socialise with others at a music group or library storytime : whatever activities are available to you.

The best confidence booster for my introverted child was building up a couple of one-to-one friendships with children who he did then meet up with again at school nursery. That and taking him to parks on his own and modelling interacting and chatting to the other kids and parents.

missmagnum Tue 04-Mar-14 13:11:31

My ds can be quite shy and quiet and wasn't happy at his old nursery for a number of reasons, but I think mainly felt a bit lost in such a large, busy environment. I pulled him out and found a much smaller one, now he absolutely loves it and the change in him over the last 6 weeks has been great.

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