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Can anyone give me advice/suggestions about DD and pre-school? She still cries most days at drop-off :(

(5 Posts)
JessiCake Thu 23-Mar-17 11:39:05

I shoudl start by saying perhaps the most important thing: she really, honestly does love it there. It's a fab place, she has lovely friends, they do amazing activities, she is only there 5 mornings (3 hours a time) and she has been there since she was 2.5.

She is now approaching 4 (next month) so will be starting school in Sept.

Drop-offs are frankly dreadful. She is fine as we leave the house. OK on the short walk there. It's as they all start to go in that it starts. She sobs and often refuses to let go of me. Nice staff members will come and try to distract her, get her to tell them things she's been doing that morning etc - all very cheerful and upbeat - but she still cries and cries.

It's basically 'but I just want to be with you, Mummy'.

There is no suggestion from her at all that she doesn't want to go in because of a negative reason there, if you see what I mean. Quite the opposite, in fact. In frustration the other day, I actually said, 'OK, fine, we'll go home, then' and she looked horrified and didn't want to (!!!)

I know that she stops crying within about 30 seconds of me leaving, absolute maximum.

So what can I do?? It happens, I would say, 3 mornings out of 5, minimum. Sometime she actually sobs, other times it's 'just' a few tears.

I have tried a reward chart for going in calmly but it hasn't worked.

I do all the things like focus on the fun she'll have, tell her the boring things I'll be doing, talk about stuff we'll do together later etc... it doesn't have any effect.

I have a strong suspicion this will taint the entirety of the new school year too and I really don't want that. She is a highly emotional child and in all honesty all the crying doesn't actually HELP her at all - people try to intervene and it just makes her more and mroe upset! I've told her that of course it's OK to miss Mummy and that I miss her too but that we need to work together to find a way not to get so upset... she just can't seem to hold it in at ALL, and works herself up.

It's almost become like a self-fulfilling prophecy now - a habit if that makes sense?

Gah!!! Any ideas???

metalmum15 Fri 24-Mar-17 14:14:25

DD1 was exactly the same! She did 4 mornings a week for a year and literally screamed blue murder every time I left her. I felt so bloody embarassed when everybody else's kids trotted happily in! Her pre-school teacher used to have to physically drag her off me then I'd make a run for it. Once there, she did enjoy herself although still refused to join in with anything like singing/dancing, so the PS manager would take her off to her office and have her helping in there! (Which probably didn't help matters, to be honest).

We had similar when she started school (at just turned 4), she had to be dropped at the gate and wouldn't go in until she had a friend to walk with, so we made sure we were there early every day so she wouldn't be on her own. Some days she'd still be crying but the teacher on the gate would be very no-nonsense and take her in. I think it can be quite different for younger summer born children compared to older ones (DD2 is an older one and went in happily without any fuss)

Just stick with what you're doing, being calm helps, she will get there eventually and when she starts school and makes friends she might be more than happy to trot off without a backwards glance!

(I'll just add DD1 is now 12 and and definitely doesn't cry and scream in the mornings any more!!)

isupposeitsverynice Fri 24-Mar-17 14:22:48

Is there another child at preschool who has overcome this that can buddy up with your dd? Mine was like this at first but they'd get her to go to the children who weren't bothered anymore and they'd tell her how fine it was or something (I don't know, I'd legged it by this point!) - now she sits with the newer ones in the same way, it seems to work well. You have my sympathy, it's horrible leaving them all tearful cake

stuckinny Fri 24-Mar-17 14:25:26

I don't have any great advice but completely understand how you feel.
I had to peel DS off me everyday going into nursery. It was heart breaking but I was determined not to let him see how much it upset me. Fast forward a few years, he's 10 now, and he barely glances back at me getting on the school bus.
He's still very sensitive but realises that he has a better time at school than he would at home. We do still have the occasional day where he says he wants to stay home. I still send him in as I need to work but let him know if he's really not feeling well I'll come get him (the school nurse is fairly strict so I know he's not coming home).
Hugs to you. It's not easy.

Walkinglikeazombie Fri 24-Mar-17 14:29:59

My DD was like this when she started nursery last September. Every morning she would cry when I drop her off and this went on till January.
What I found helped was to settle her with someone, either one of the staff members or children, or start an activity with her, say drawing, and leave after few minutes telling her how I can't wait to see how it turns out once I come to collect her.
I realised that before if I just say bye and leave, she would just cry, whereas this way she was occupied with something and I'm able to make quick escape.

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