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DS DOESN'T "JOIN IN" AT PLAYGROUP

(12 Posts)
mumtoboys Fri 07-Mar-08 10:53:09

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dippymother Fri 07-Mar-08 16:59:42

He is still very young and has only just started playgroup. Give him time, he's making lots of adjustments in his life and has now taken the step to becoming independent, which is very hard for many children, especially if they haven't left their mums before. A playgroup has to have "rules/routines" in order for a large number of children to play safely, but may not be something he has come across before, and young children often find it difficult to sit still for any length of time, before they want to go off and play. I am a keyworker in a pre-school and we also have a sit down time when we do register and singing. Believe me, we have had many children find this difficult but they all get there eventually, some just take longer than others. Your son is learning about routines which he will soon pick up. He may well be overwhelmed by the amount of children at the playgroup which will affect his confidence and self-esteem, but I am sure that with the right support from staff, he will soon understand the routines and be able to show any newer children that join the playgroup, how it's done. Best of luck.

FranSanDisco Fri 07-Mar-08 17:06:47

This is how 2.9 yo's are at play group. The Pre school I was at have started to move away from structured activities and children who don't want to sit down and listen to a story really don't have to. It's all about choice and decisions these days so perhaps they could do something more interesting with him at this time. I am sure he isn't the only one. Where I work out of a group of 30 about 15 opt not to listen to stories or sing and go off to a side room to play with toys of their own choice at the end of the session. This means the children who do want a story can listen without interruptions. Everyone is happier smile

hattyyellow Fri 07-Mar-08 17:15:04

I think it's a hard thing for them to grasp. My twin girls recently started at pre-school and at the end they all sit on little chairs for a story whilst the teacher perches on the edge of the sofa with the book.

One of my girls is always sat on the sofa next to the teacher whenever we collect them! Teacher said she tried leading her back to her chair a few times but she just didn't get it - I can see why, at home she sits on the sofa with us to read a story so that makes sense to her.

My other girl just runs around and carries on playing whilst storytime is going on - at home she is allowed to do this if she wants whilst her sister is being read to so it makes no sense to her to "have" to sit still.

The teacher said it was quite common with new starters at pre-school and they learnt to be sitting in the right place at the right time by practice and repetition so I'm not worrying too much about it.

I think toddlers of that age (my girls are 2.7) are used to doing what they want when they want when it comes to choosing what toy they play with or what book they read and in a "free play" environment they assume it will be the same..

mumtoboys Wed 19-Mar-08 22:21:14

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jollydo Thu 20-Mar-08 19:16:17

Maybe he just isn't ready for a large group like at preschool yet. Does he behave aggresively in other situations? My ds has always found toddler groups etc. difficult and at that age it sometimes showed in him being aggressive or tantrummy. He is a bit older now, still not keen on big groups but can tell me a bit more rationally ("I want to go home") Could that be the problem? I think at 2.9 children can be aggressive / tantrummy when they are feeling anxious.
If your ds doesn't need to go, maybe you could put if off until he is a bit older. You could try taking him to toddler groups to help him to learn how to behave "nicely" and try preschool again later.

neolara Sat 22-Mar-08 23:33:27

I have a DD who is now 3 and all her little friends (and especially the boys) began to act agressively at about two and a half. At three and a half they are now reverting to type and are becoming more charming, delightful and sociable by the day. In the height of this aggressive phase there were occasions when our mummy-group would go out en masse and every single child would be screaming and crying because they had hit someone or had been hit. It was HELL. We abandoned meeting up for several months. Now we it is incomparable better. The kids play together much better and the random acts of violence happen only occasionally.

I would say your DS's behaviour sounds well within the bounds of normal. Give it a few months and I'm sure he will calm down.

Niecie Sat 22-Mar-08 23:57:00

He sounds a lot like my DS2. He would refuse to join in and sit still. They have something called folder time at his nursery where they all have 10 minutes one-to-one time with their keyworker, down and working on something together quietly and he refused to do it and would get quite upset. He didn't like circle time or joining in with group singing and dancing.

He is also very shy with people he doesn't know, but boisterous, bossy and noisy when he is has settled down a bit and he wasn't comfortable in a large group doing things together.

The way his teachers got through to him in the end was to warn him about everything, using an egg timer. He was told what he had to do and then told he had until the egg timer ran to finish what he was doing. This meant he had some warning so he could start to prepare himself to stop what he was doing and he wasn't interupted mid game, which he hated. It also meant that he wasn't being led from one thing to the next without any idea what was coming up and how he was supposed to behave. It worked for him and in the end he didn't need his egg timer.

I am not sure that it is a question of not being ready for nursery yet. I think it is something they all have to learn and that sometimes, for some children, the teachers have to spell out. It may be like my son, that being good a speech and being bright he questions things more than others his age and has more of mind of his own.

I wouldn't worry too much. Your DS will 'get it' in the end. He will come reaslise what is expected of him and do as he is asked.

Blueblob Sat 22-Mar-08 23:57:25

He may be a little young still to expect him to fully fit in with pre-school. I know you don't expect him to but I don't think it's unusual behavour at that age.

My youngest started around 2 years 10 months and is very happy to sit still and join in. I'm not saying that to be smug, to me he was a fairly compliant baby and toddler. He's always been on the calmer side and a joiner in. I was almost in shock to see him singing and clapping along with the other children. For his personality it's been easy for him at this tender age and pre-school has fitted in with how he is.

My eldest started at around 3 years 3 months. Luckily he had just started to enter that next social stage, so he was appreciating how other children reacted to him. However the whole doing what he was meant to for group time? He found that much harder, he's 6 and in year two and still can't sit still. Pre-school could rarely persuade him to do the cute craft to send home. They did it for him so I wouldn't feel left out grin He did eventually get the group sitting down bit in the end but never acted as my youngest does few months younger.

But I can remember the eldest at toddler groups shortly before he turned 3 and he was shoving, pushing and trying to get his own way all the time. He was and isn't a compliant person grin but a few months later and you could see a big difference in some of his behaviour.

I agree with jollydo. Little ones can be aggressive when they're anxious. My 6 year old can still be like this, if he's embarrased or insecure he tends to act like he's lashing out.

I suppose it's one of those age old balancing acts for parents. If you think pre-school are handling it well and you appreciate the break, then that's fair enough. If you feel child is getting too stressed then probably time to wait a month or two.

Don't worry about him standing out. Every day I walk out of pre-school there's a few parents grabbed for one reason or another. I've helped out before and usually it's to do with keeping the parent informed rather than anything else.

mumtoboys Tue 25-Mar-08 15:48:07

Thank you everyone smile. I've decided to pull DS1 out of pre-school and try him again in September. I think he's just not ready in terms of what they seem to expect of him. Hopefully we can have some great fun together over the summer in the garden as it's his favourite place at the moment!!

jollydo Tue 25-Mar-08 21:00:06

Enjoy it! There's plenty of time for pre-school / school later smile

Blueblob Wed 26-Mar-08 09:34:22

Have a good summer with him It's amazing how much they change in a few months.

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