How to deal better with ds and pre school(3 Posts)
Ds is 4 and has been going to his pre school for a year now.
Periodically we go through phases of him crying and screaming that he doesn't want to go, that he hates it, that he just wants to be at home etc etc. He refuses to get out of the car, to take his coat off, to go in to his room, all the while crying. The thing is, he loves it. It's fab, they're brilliant with him, he's always settled down within a few minutes of me leaving and then always gets a glowing report when I come to pick him up. He's usually bouncing around, the picture of happiness and sometimes I can't get him to leave
I am finding it really hard work to deal with him going on about how much he hates it, begging not to go and to stay with me and the effort involved in getting him in. I know this is probably fairly normal behaviour, and sometimes he'll go for weeks trotting off quite happily, but when he goes through these phases I find myself getting really cross with him and I don't know how to handle it because there is not actually a problem to solve if that makes sense. It's not that there is anything wrong with pre school it's just that he gets the idea in his head that he doesn't want to go. I just end up getting cross and frustrated and shouting at him to just get on with it, which I hate.
He does 2.5 days so does have plenty of time at home as well.
Any ideas firstly on how I can keep my patience a bit better and secondly on how I can encourage him not to get in such a state about something he actually loves?!
Poor you that sounds extremely stressful. If you're confident that he's happy there then it's probably just transitions (moving from one situation to another) that he struggles with. So do a few things to make your life easier.
1. Get him to bed nice and early and get a fairly early night yourself too - it always helps if everyone has plenty of sleep. Get up a bit earlier if it helps you to have more time to play with so you're not rushed. I find if I've showered and had a coffee before my daughter wakes up I feel much more in control of the day!
2. Give him some control over the situation - allow him to choose his clothes, his breakfast, his pack lunch, a toy to take with him, what he wants to do after preschool etc.
3. Count down to each stage of getting ready. I find it helps to get my daughter dressed as quickly as possible before she even leaves her bedroom. She likes to ease into the day with a bit of CBeebies so I say things like "when Hey Duggie has finished it's breakfast time", ""when Octonauts is finished we are brushing our teeth" etc etc. If you don't like using the tv, maybe an alarm going off on your phone would work.
4. Add a bit of fun to the day - make up some games to play in the car or while walking there.
5. Perhaps have a reward chart so he gets a sticker each time he completes a stage of getting ready in the morning.
6. Try your hardest not to get mad at him - sometimes they feed off these reactions. Let him cry it out and tell him you're turning your ears off!! Stay calm and leave the room if you need to. Once you've got him there do a brief drop off and walk away. The performance is for your benefit and will disappear as soon as you do. I'm sure the preschool staff will understand and support you - they may even get him breakfast if you've not been able to.
Hang in there - at least you know he's happy there so this really is just a four year old's power struggle. Once he learns that his tantrums don't get him anywhere I'm sure he'll drop them eventually. At his age he may benefit from a few more hours at preschool if it's manageable.
Good luck and don't worry it will get better xx
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