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Dd is miserable. Is nursery to blame?

(44 Posts)
mrsnec Tue 14-Nov-17 10:24:15

We are not in the UK. There are no mother and baby groups here. I have no friends with children. I am a sahm.

We recently decided to put dd. In nursery. To prepare her for school which will be in the native language here not English and to help integrate with other children her age. The only place she can get a place will only take her from 8-4 every day. She has just turned 3. I am worried she might be burnt out. They are teaching her in both English and native language here but there are other children speaking other languages too.

Since she started she won't eat anything when she comes home. She has tantrums and has regressed with the potty training. She asked for the potty 5 times in 2 hours last night and I still had to change her clothes twice.

She's moody and in the mornings she tells me she doesn't want to go to school but won't tell me why.

Mil and dh are doing the drop offs and pick ups and are telling me dd loves it there but the staff don't seem to say much and she doesn't seem to have made friends. I am going this week to see for myself but how long does it take for a child to settle in?

Also feel a bit torn. Mil was very pushy over it but my dm insisted it's too early. I thought I had nothing to lose by trying it but I hate seeing dd out of sorts and worrying if she's ok.

She has an 18 month old brother who has adapted well to her not being around but he does ask where she is and it's nice to concentrate on him sometimes.

What would you do?

mindutopia Tue 14-Nov-17 10:43:56

I would persist. The transition is going to be hard no matter when you do it and I think as you've started down this path now I would carry on. Mine was younger when she started nursery, but I would say it took about 3 months for her to fully settle in. The first first months she was exhausted and sleep was disrupted and it was just a big transition for all of us. But after that, she absolutely loved it and it was such a wonderful experience for her. She just blossomed and I imagine that would be even more the case for your dd as she is having language exposure before she starts school, which will be so important. When mine did start school, she was ready and it was a lovely smooth transition. There is another little girl in her class who she is good friends with who didn't go to any nursery or preschool and the transition to school (they're 4) has been really hard. She is exactly as you describe your dd. Moody, exhausted, not sleeping well, really struggling. I think it's going to happen at some point no matter what you do. I would work through it now as you've already started and that will help her tremendously when the time comes to start school.

ownedbySWD Tue 14-Nov-17 10:45:13

Too young. Too much, too soon. She's barely 3? She's a baby! Keep her at home with you until she's older. She's trying to tell you that she's unhappy!

53rdWay Tue 14-Nov-17 10:50:00

You said the only place that’ll take her needs to take her 8-4 every day. Could you pull her out now and put her on a waiting list for somewhere that’ll take her for shorter hours, perhaps when she’s a bit older?

I do think socialising with others and picking up the language is important, but it sounds like she’s not happy here and you’re not happy with how she’s settling or what information the nursery are giving you about that. I’d take her out.

Poshindevon Tue 14-Nov-17 10:51:57

Your a sahm who sends her just 3 year old to nursery from 8-4. That is too much children should be introduced gradually.
Your child is unhappy and your ignoring it so you can concentrate on your son. Dreadful

Ausparent Tue 14-Nov-17 10:58:06

Is she bilingual?
If you only speak English at home and if you can bear it I would really stick with it. It will make school so much easier for her.

We were in the same position in a different country (we both work) and our DD was 1 and has found it so much easier than our DS who was 5 when we got here and went into kindergarten in a foreign language. If you plan to stay, the longer you leave it the harder it gets in terms of integration. Our DS suffered a lot of anxiety and paranoia as he was far more socially aware and felt left out because he couldn't understand what the other kids were saying.

It is a long day though so I would keep an eye out for places anywhere else.It seems odd that they have to stay for the duration. Whereabouts are you?

On the potty training thing, that is really common when there is any significant change. Our DS went through a terrible phase when DD was born. Wet himself 7 times one morning!

Good luck

53rdWay Tue 14-Nov-17 11:01:07

Not helpful, Poshindevon. She’s trying to do the right thing by her daughter, there’s no need to demonise her.

Adviceplease360 Tue 14-Nov-17 11:04:04

Definitely pull her out. She's very young, keep her at home till you can send her to a nursery with shorter hours and she'll be older too.

Lunde Tue 14-Nov-17 11:06:35

What country are you in?

Twofishfingers Tue 14-Nov-17 11:10:11

I would stick with it, but speak to the nursery and ask if she could do mornings only for a couple of weeks before going back to the full day.

It's not an easy decision, but in my opinion, the more you wait the more it may become difficult for her to adapt.

tibradden Tue 14-Nov-17 11:13:35

I was in same situation with DS .
My solution was to send him max of 3 days per week from 9 to 12. For the first 18 months.
The nursery said it was disruptive for him but he was happy. And enjoyed going in. As he got older he went in 5 days but never the full time hours.

Could this be an option for you

mrsnec Tue 14-Nov-17 11:30:26

Right, I need to clarify something, I am absolutely not doing this to concentrate on ds it's just a bonus that I can and how I have to justify myself to everyone who thinks its a bad idea which even on here seems split.

We don't speak the language here either and speak English at home. We have roots here and own a business and intend to stay for the foreseeable.

Most nurseries do the same hours. Apparently if they did part time places then you are depriving someone who needs a full time place and when I asked on a local forum how people get round this I was told they pay full price but send their dc part time which seems bonkers.

I'm doing this just for intergenerational reasons and language skills nothing more. Changing nursery might cause even more upset maybe?

And those of you saying give it a chance, how long for? This is week 3. Still early days isn't it?

LovelyBranches Tue 14-Nov-17 11:39:06

OP, I started school at 3. I live in Wales in a deprives area and schools begin at 3 to help parents to work. I am now in my mid 30s with two children of my own, a masters degree and a full time job which I am planning on returning to in a few months time. My Dd will be 1.

Family life is tough, there are lots of adjustments and it’s not going to always be perfect. My DS is 3 and is going to attend a Welsh medium school, we are not Welsh speakers and I imagine there will be a big period of transition for us as he learns the language alongside developing his English.

For your dd I would relax a little, maybe do an activity with her, just the two of you without DS. Give her some special time every week so she can enjoy being your centre of attention.

Ausparent Tue 14-Nov-17 11:50:22

3 weeks isn't very long for something so new. She needs time to built trust with staff and relationships with other children.

If I were you, I would reduce the hours for a couple of months. I know that is a pain if you have to pay for full time but if it helps her settle in, it will be worth it. It will be Christmas soon so there will be a break so I would stick with it until then.

Are you able to do the pick up sometimes? My DD never wanted to go in but then I could never get her to bloody leave at the end of the day and would be trying to root her out from under the furniture! Seeing for yourself if she is happy or not could make you feel more at ease.

Maybe take her in at the same time each morning so she has the routine and expectation that she will go, and pick her up earlier for a few weeks?

If you plan to stay, it will really help her in the long run.

Moving to another country is tough on the whole family and you are going to feel guilty about a lot of things when the country you live in is different to home. For example we have a lot of stress at times because we feel we might not advocate for our son as well as we would be able to do at home. I am afraid it is the price we pay for being an immigrant.

mrsnec Tue 14-Nov-17 12:17:43

Thanks lovely that makes me feel better
I was going to ask what I can do to help her and I'm going to take her to a Christmas Market on Saturday morning and leave dh and ds at home.

mrsnec Tue 14-Nov-17 12:22:30

I would also add I feel like an immigrant but my dc aren't as they were both born here and even I even gave them names used in both languages because I wanted them to belong from day1.

Yes we have been dropping her off the same time. I can pick her up early a few days though that may help.

Seeline Tue 14-Nov-17 12:23:55

I should think part of the problem is she is completely exhausted. That is very full on from nothing to 8 hours a day, particularly f she is having to deal with a foreign language.
I agree that maybe doing less hours each week for a while might help.
When does she actually start school and what hours would that be?
Are there no other activities for young children available that you could perhaps go to together?

mrsnec Tue 14-Nov-17 12:42:01

She will start school at the age of 5 8-1. She might do state pre school before then but I don't know the hours.

Re local activities, there are swimming lessons. But they are on the army base and are children of serving British army personnel, and there are dance classes in the tourist resorts run by ex pats and again in English to English children. The village s where I live have dance lessons in local language only taught only to local children.

Before she started nursery I would just look out for local events in both languages and take her to soft play when I can as that has every nationality.

Seeline Tue 14-Nov-17 12:49:58

As she is such a long way off school yet (and school hours are so short) I would definitely cut her hours at nursery - even if it's just for the first few months until she is settled, and not so tired.

MadeForThis Tue 14-Nov-17 13:06:37

Don't prioritise money over your DD's happiness. If you need to pay for full time hours but only send her part time until she settles in then do it.

It's still costing you the same money but your daughter will be happier. Start with mornings and then lengthen the day. Or even skip a day or two per week if she is exhausted it won't help her to settle in if she hates going every day.

Nothing to 8-4 is a big leap. A couple of days per week could be fine but 5 is exhausting.

She can eventually go full time but at her age it's a very long day especially if she is being taught and not just playing.

Does she nap whilst there?

mrsnec Tue 14-Nov-17 13:16:17

They have cots there and do encourage naps but I don't know if she is napping or how long for. She was out of having naps at home so that is another change.

She is going to bed earlier than normal at the moment too.

I should also add she calms down way before she's even got in the car in the morning. It's when she first wakes up and first gets in when she's at her worst.

waterrat Tue 14-Nov-17 18:30:10

Ok honestly OP i think that is too long in terms of hours. That is 2 hours more than my 6 year old does at school.

I have a 3 year old and i think you really need to trust your instinct here if she seems unsettled then take her out.

waterrat Tue 14-Nov-17 18:31:37

So she is 3 and doing longer hours than a school aged child if they do 8 til 1?

Cut back her hours so you are still gettinf quality time with her - sounds like you have lost all the time with her except when she is exhausted

waterrat Tue 14-Nov-17 18:33:05

I also agree dont put money above her welfare and time with her ...they are at school so much once it starts..i would keep her having time with you while you can.

Mamabear4180 Tue 14-Nov-17 19:06:38

I personally wouldn't even consider 8 hours of nursery, 5 days a week for a barely turned 3 year old but I get the impression that you want everyone to say it's ok and she'll get used to it. She might but nobody knows. The thing is she's not happy now so if you leave things as they are the risk is she will become more unhappy. At the very minimum I would cut those hours right down. She needs a settling in period and a much slower start. It's like diving in at the deep end.

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