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Can anyone help me with how to break my very sensitive DD into pre school gently?

(6 Posts)
notmuchofaclue Mon 20-Jul-15 15:49:30

My DD is 3 and is a very sensitive little lady. This is particularly around people and places she doesn't know - she's never been left with anyone who's not family, and reacts badly if anyone tries to come near her even if they are familiar (friends of mine for example). She got really upset last week when a friend tried to help her off a swing! She also has a tendency to be very negative about places we're going, with the exception of the playground or any similar places she will always say 'I don't want to go to [insert place]' as soon as we tell her, and will sometimes get in a bit of a paddy about it. She had a heart murmur and had to have 6 monthly checks with the same doc, as soon as I told her where we were going her face would drop and she'd get really upset.
So my problem is this - how do I possibly make starting pre school in September a positive thing for her? She has been going to regular stay and play sessions there so is familiar with the place but has never wanted to be left there, even for a minute. I don't feel like we should just drop it on her by going one day and leaving her for a few hours, but if I start to talk to her about it now, it's very likely that it will get the 'I don't want to go' treatment and she could end up even more upset in the build up to it. I honestly think that she will really benefit from going but I really don't want the early days to be traumatic for her. I know there will be some element of upset at the start, but how do I handle the run up to it? Tell her about it or spring it on her? Any advice would be really appreciated.

UniversalTruth Mon 20-Jul-15 20:35:38

I don't have any answers for you, but I thought it might help you to know that some of what you describe is normal ime - my ds is 2.6 and even though he goes to a childminder part time, he still doesn't like people he doesn't know coming near him. He'd be the same about the swing as you describe. We try to be bright and breezy about things like preschool (he starts in Sept too) and focus on bits like the toys they can play with etc. I think that the anxiety of the parent leaving them somewhere is worse than the reality so I will be dropping and running!

UniversalTruth Mon 20-Jul-15 20:39:46

I should clarify - I meant the child's anxiety about the parent leaving but the parent's anxiety can't help either smile

PosterEh Mon 20-Jul-15 20:42:50

I've started talking to my dd about "when she goes to preschool" - about how I'll drop her off and pick her up at lunchtime. I'm not sure it has helped much. She now asks me if I'm going to stay with her every time I suggest we go somewhere so she is obviously a bit anxious about it.

I think I'm going to let it go for now and wait until it actually starts. She is starting 5 mornings a week so it will be total immersion and I expect it'll be awful at first (she is very stubborn when she sets her mind against something) but it will quickly become normal.

Maybe I should focus a bit more on all the fun stuff she will be doing (especially painting which I hate doing at home) and less on preparing her to be left.

TravellingToad Mon 20-Jul-15 20:46:17

I would give her lots of notice that it will happen. Maybe make an advent calendar type think so she really understand it's coming up

Does she have a favourite teddy/comforter? that really helped my son. Also can you pick her up early the first few days. So just leave her for about 90 mins then return?

We kept saying to our DS "mummy will pick you up afterwards because you don't LIVE at nursery do you? <cue laughter and "silly mummy"> "you live at HOME! so mummy has to come and get you. It really really helped and then for ages afterwards on the walk to nursery he'd say "and mummy will pick me up because i don't live at nursery!! i live at home!! (giggle)"

It's like he suddenly felt confident that i WOULD come back... whereas he didn't quite believe me before!

good luck, it's really hard.

I have a very painfully shy sensivite DS but he loves it now, and he started at easter.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Mon 20-Jul-15 20:48:39

1. Bring it into conversations a lot, with out making a point if it IYSWIM
2. 2. Take her to taster sessions and try the "I'm just looking to the corner shop, I'll be back in 5 mins" trick. As long as you ARE back in 5 mins the first few times, this is a good way to build confidence.

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