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How to prepare a nervous child for nursery?

7 replies

BertieBotts · 12/11/2011 11:28

(Reposted from Preschool because I'm not getting replies there)

Got DS' nursery (Pre school) place confirmation through the post today - he starts in January. He asked me what it was so I told him, and he immediately looked worried and said "I don't want to go to nursery."

Is this a normal thing they go through? We went to look at the nursery some months ago - probably in the spring or summer, I think, definitely this year, and he really liked it and when I asked if he'd like to come when he was a bit older he said yes. Since then though he's become really nervous about other children if he doesn't know them, especially in large groups, for example if we are at the park or if we go to a new toddler group. He literally will not go near strange children and it's only if we are in a very small group with one or two other new children and they have a particularly exciting game he wants to join in with that he will be interested.

He goes to a childminder and is fine with the other children there, though they are usually the same children each time. CM asked me the other day about the other children in the park situation because she wanted to know if he was the same with me, and she said she is going to start taking him to a regular group when she has him so that he gets used to being with new children especially without me around.

DS has picked up from other children at the CM that when you go to nursery, Mummy doesn't come too, and this seems to be what he is worrying about. He said that he doesn't want to go by himself. (This was unprompted.) I'm now wishing I'd signed him up to another nursery when he was 2.5 as he seemed so much happier and more confident in new situations then - he seems much more nervous now! This one is quite big, as well, it's a combined preschool and reception class. Before I'd thought this was a good thing as he seemed to like older children, but now it's older children who make him more nervous.

Please tell me that I'm worrying and they are all like this and they are fine!

OP posts:
MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll · 12/11/2011 22:56

My older DD was like this....but my younger isn't. They vary..in retrospect I wish that with DD1 I had gone to the nursery and asked for a couple of visits...perhaps just the two of us opopping in for ten minutes....then aound a week before the start date he could go alone for an hour.

See what the nursery say...they'll probably tell you that he's going to be fine. And he is....he may be hard to settle or he may not.
I didn't mention it much to DD2 as DD1 had been very hard to settle...but DD2 was fine, they forget things so fast that it's not worth stressing them out weeks in advance with talkiing about things.

When he mentions it, or says about Mummy ot being there to, just stay upbeat nd gloss over it....say thing like "Oh they have lots of bikes at nursery and you can paint!" or whatever he loves best....don't try to reassure him as he'll think he's right to worry!

Pancakeflipper · 12/11/2011 23:02

Settling in visits are good, build up the time slightly each visit.

Tell the staff about your concerns. They will have seen this before and will help him adjust to the new setting. And as MABRD says keep happy about it, chat about what happens at a nursery mentioning bit he likes (playing outside, painting etc).

Alot of kids are abit wide eyed and 'whoahhhh what's going on here then? about starting nursery and that is very natural. It is a big leap. They do react in different ways. My DS2 reacted with his behaviour going into serious decline - he was testing the staff, me and every adult he came across for a few months.

If he's been happy with a childminder I think that will help him settle at nursery.

DioneTheDiabolist · 12/11/2011 23:07

Speak to him. Ask him what he is afraid of. Most nurseries have a settling in time, where you leave him then stay on the premises for longer and longer times. Also, he should have a key worker: The person who will be his main "Go To".

Emphasise the good points and try not to stress right now. I am sure that you will be able to deal with any issues as they come up. If not, MN will be here to help you at the time.Smile

MrsShrekTheThird · 12/11/2011 23:10

also agree that visits are the way to go - preschool usually organise them too, and another idea that I did with my very sociable but worried ds2, was that we got two little keyrings with a furry creature on, identical, he chose it (a duck!!) and he had one and I had the other. We talked about it a lot, and said that if he missed me that he would go and give his keyring toy a cuddle, and when I missed him, I'd do that with my one. When we got home they had to sit side by side in the hallway. During the day, they were to be attached to our bags. For whatever reason he got the idea very well and looked forward to the two little keyring folk meeting up each afternoon, and it kept him happy.

SirHumphreyAppleby · 12/11/2011 23:10

I got a really good book called "Maisy goes to nursery" and I think it really helped ds to know what sort of things to expect when he went. At first he didn't want me to read it to him, but he gradually started to ask for it, and it helped us to talk about it, and he asked questions about anything he wasn't sure of. He settled in fairly easily.
here it is you can get it on amazon cheaper I expect, but don't want to link in case I out myself

SirHumphreyAppleby · 12/11/2011 23:12

My ds also said he didn't want to go, but he loves it and has made friends. He had never been to any other nursery or childcare before, so I was worried he wouldn't settle in, but he has been fine and was really ready for it. Hope it goes as well for your ds.

BertieBotts · 14/11/2011 15:26

Oh brilliant, thanks all :) I was thinking of getting some books and have found a few on amazon now.

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