What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbookFind out more
Should we send DS to a club where he has to stay on his own?(22 Posts)
DS is 3 (just). He's started playgroup 2 mornings a week. Week 1 was fine; week 2 was tearful; week 3 was better. He's not particularly used to going places on his own yet, and when he gets there he likes to watch for a while before joining in.
DH has been taking him to rugby training for a few weeks now, on Saturdays. In theory, DS should go and play while DH stays and does something else, but doesn't stay with him, IYSWIM. In practice, DS hasn't wanted to do anything but sit beside DH in the stands and watch.
I've suggested that it might be better to either just leave it a while or send him to something maybe indoors where DH would be close by or joining in too.
DH thinks we should send him to something where we just leave him there to get on with it. I think if we did that, DS would just scream the place down, and would potentially then be unsettled in playgroup too, just as I've got him settled in.
DH points out that "other kids his age go to things on their own". I pointed out that some do and some don't.
Has anyone else any experience of this? Should we just send him somewhere, let him cry for a few weeks and then hopefully settle and enjoy it? Or just leave it a bit until he's used to playgroup and being away from us, and then try again?
At age 3 definitely not! You can't make them interested in a hobby just because you want him to be. I doubt many 3 yr olds would actively engage 100% in a club type activity especially without a parent going it with them
DS is a young 3 and has just started swimming where he goes in on his own and I sit in the stands and watch. He took some strong encouragement and I had to sit on poolside the first week, but we talked about it a lot during the week and then he was fine the 2nd week. He has been going to preschool since 2.5yrs though so slightly
More used to being left. I wouldn't push it though if he's not into it. 3 is still a baby.
I wouldn't have expected a 3 year old to be left at clubs. I thought that came later, minimum reception age so 4 to 5.
Thanks for responses. Yeah, I'm inclined to leave it till after Christmas when he's well settled into playgroup, and then find something that one of us can do with him. I'm not convinced there are any activities that will take an unattended 3yo. And especially one who's crying - presumably they wouldn't have time to sit with him and calm him down.
I'm not too worried if he doesn't want to do anything, but we'd like to give him the chance to try a few things and see what he enjoys,
Just turned 3 is very young to expect him to join in with a new activity immediately, with strangers presumably.
Did DS ask to do rugby? Or is it something you want him to do?? If he is keen to take part, it could still take several weeks more, gradually increasing his participation.
I remember trying to instil a bit more independence in my DS the year before he started school. I called it Preparation For Separation(!) and took him to lots of new places. He did an activity class in the gym while I waited outside but he was nearly 4.
Far too young.
My ds was having none of that at 3. Now at 7, he's great at trying even when he starts nervous and can explain his nerves.
DD (just about to turn 4) started a ballet class at age 3.5 where I drop her off and return after 45 minutes. I was concerned that she would get scared and wouldn't participate, but she's done really well and doesn't even look back at me when she runs into class. The class is for 3-5 year olds so there are other 3 year olds who do the same.
However, she has been going to nursery since she was 13 months old so is used to being around other adults. I think you've made the right decision to let your DS settle into playgroup first, it might be too much for him to take on now. If he settles in we'll, maybe you could consider the class in another term or two.
It might be okay for an activity you'd done from birth and he had progressed through the various age groups.
At that age DD did football in a hall, the parents all sat in a line at the end so we were very much there but not actually kicking a ball ourselves. That's probably the best you can hope for at 3yo.
3 is so young. You will make them more confident by being there for them to return to - encourage them to have a go each time.
When they start proper rugby training at 5 you are required to stay for the whole of each session, if you have to leave to go for a wee or get a coffee then you have to ask another parent to stand in for you. So if rugby is the thing you want him to do then tell DH to get used to staying now!
Thanks. He's not particularly interested in rugby; it was mainly that we thought he'd enjoy running about, and it happens to be nearby. He's not really interested in anything in particular yet; I do think he'll settle more easily into something he wants to do.
3 is normal round here for activities without parents (gymnastics, ballet, music), but if he doesn’t want to go on his own there’s no point forcing the issue. I think it’s easier if they already know other children doing the activity - does he have a friend who could go along with him at all?
Now my DS is 3 I'm struggling to find classes where you don't just drop them off. It's annoying, I like seeing him having fun doing gymnastics, football etc and joining in with him
3 seems to be the age where you start leaving them here. DD does swimming lessons and gymnastics, but there's a seating area outside the gym and she can see I'm there if she needs reassurance, and the pool she's at is a teeny pool in a private house so I'm right by the poolside. Don't know how well she would cope not knowing I was right there, though she has been at preschool for a year.
I would give it some time and try something else later on until you hit on something he's more interested in and then work up to leaving him to do it on his own (if that's the done thing, I'm not really sure it is with most classes and clubs still for a bit). Mine was in nursery full days 9-5 five days a week from 2, but we are only really getting to the point now (at 4.5, she's in reception) when I would consider leaving her at an activity if she wanted. Really though, it's lovely to be there with them, not so much joining in, but it makes them happy to have someone there to cheer them on and watch. We are thinking about joining girl guides next year and I would leave her for that, but she'll be 5. I think 3 is too young for most to be confident to stay in a strange place with people they don't know on their own. Some may and that's fine. But most likely wouldn't, especially if they aren't that keen on the activity to begin with. I think you're right in just giving it some time and trying again another time.
Thanks. He's not quite at the stage of having friends yet (at least, not in the sense that he'd go to something with them and feel better because he's there).
What kinds of activities let 3yos stay unaccompanied? I haven't come across any yet, but I may be looking in the wrong places. I think we're going to leave it for a while anyway - he's settling down at playgroup, but it seems to take a lot out of him. Once he's more settled there and has a few friends then we'll maybe think again, but we're not going to push it if he's not interested.
My 3 year old goes to ballet unaccompanied (as does my 2 year old). They’re in separate classes. 3 year old does swimming unaccompanied too although I’m just in the cafe next door so not far away. Both are very confident and love their activities (and both have friends in the group).
If you think he’ll hate it then don’t do it! Plenty of time yet.
Is a 3 yer old interested in rugby, no. Take him to the park to run about or even park run.
Much too young. My dd is 6 and I still don't just drop her and pick up. Even if you're not in the same room they are reassured you are in the other room and do need you on occasion. Even at parties etc parents of her class don't leave and the one of her classmates who was left got upset and it was awful because he needed his parents and they were nowhere to be found.
I would leave it for a while. He's only three, there are plenty more years for extra curricular activities
and lots of cold weekends of sitting on the side lines and river banks watching your children in various sports
I wouldn't be leaving a crying three year old at a club, I can't see any benefit to it.
I didn't send ds to something on his own until 4. He seems a bit young. If he isn't enjoying clubs yet I'd leave him 6 months. Ds's social skills improved hugely between 3 and 4.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.