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Toddler and pre-school

Discussion in 'Personal' started by mrsfabmoretti, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Hiya, I know this post strictly belongs on 'Baby and Toddler' but thought it might get more eyes on here...
    My little boy is 26 months old and last month, I started him at a pre school for two hours per week (Tues 9-11am). He goes to grandparents during the three days I work (Wed-Fri) and I thought it would be beneficial for him to socialise with other children, get used to a pre school enviroment before nursery, etc.
    It's been 5 weeks and he still hasn't settled that well. He cries blue murder when I leave him, and cries on and off for me.. His keyworker say that he is improving each week, and he seems to know I'm coming back for him as we talk about it.
    The pre school manager has suggested putting him in for another morning a week (Fri- when I'm at work- seems like the best option), saying that he should settle better if he is going for another session. As he doesn't strictly need to go there for childcare reasons, I'm wondering if I've done the right thing.
    I know that taking him out would probably be the wrong thing to do right now, as it may cause more anxiety when he starts nursery for 15 hours next year. But can anyone offer advice, or what your experiences are of this? Not sure what to do next.
  2. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    I think you're wrong here. Next year he'll be a year older and more able to cope with separation anyway. It seems such a shame to be forcing him to do something now that he doesn't need to yet - he's still a baby! Meet up with other mums and toddlers round on your day off work to help him socialise with them.
  3. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    2 hours a week for 5 weeks is nothing! It's difficult to get him used to the pre-school when he's there so little, so I'd persevere and maybe put him in one more morning as advised. To pull him out now would undo everything and only make it harder to leave him in future.
    He's upset because separation anxiety has kicked in, as it often does in older babies, and is only used to family members looking after him.
    It's difficult though, isn't it?! Good luck x
  4. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Just wanted to add that he WILL settle eventually. My daughter took 2 full terms to properly settle into her pre-school and then loved it so much she a) didn't want to leave and start school b) still raves and reminisces (sp?) about it now she's at school!
    Some pre-schools here will ONLY accept children five mornings or afternoons a week, others three at a minimum, because any less will hinder their ability to settle.
  5. I would take him out and start again next year. He is still a wee babe.
  6. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I was encouraged by friends to get my son into playgroup at as young an age as possible. It was really stressful, he didn't like it and looking back I think I was mad. Your son is going to be in institutions for most of his childhood. There is nothing to be gained by putting him in one so early.
  7. Thanks for all of your advice. I agree with everything that everyone has said- and that's why I'm so torn!! Suppose I need to have a long, hard think about what to do next.
  8. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    There is no need for him to socialise with other children on his own yet. Your parents could take him along to some kind of playgroup and support his social development. As could you, rather than leaving him to do this alone.
    However, he will come to no harm, so long as you wave goodbye in a cheery way and leave with a smile. Do not let him sense your anxiety. Little kids can't deal with this!
    You could get your parents to take him so that he is not having to seperate from you. That might work.
    Just chill. He will not be permanently damaged by this experience but you could leave it a while. He does not need an extra day.
    3.4 was the age we sent kiddlies to nursery because this is the age at which most children are able to seperate securely from main carers. 40 months.
  9. He will cope in the end - but if you really don't need the childcare, I think you could think again about taking him out, though. They are only young for such a short time.
    Mine didn't start nursery until they were 4 - they coped fine at that age. We socialised in playgroups and the like up until that age.
  10. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    He is so young, still a baby. It's too much for him at the moment. That's normal. Wait until he is ready for it. Let him grow up happy.
  11. He isn't going to grow into a loner who cannot socialise if you wait another year - on the contrary, having some more time with you (and your parents) will make him more secure and able to cope with separation later.
    Enjoy the time you have with him - it never comes back.
  12. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I would take him out if you don't need the facility for childcare.... I say that as someone whose little girl has been in nursery care since she was 16 weeks old - She is perfectly happy and well used to the routine, plus the nursery is onsite at the secondary school I would in so I am never far away - but I have to say I would find it hard to concentrate if I knew or felt she wasn't happy and spent the whole day in distress. At that young age, I personally feel they should experience as little distress as possible.
  13. I run a pre-school and we accept children from 2. I will not accept children for only one session a week. It is not enough to get them use to it and the gap between sessions is too long. I would try him with 2 sessions now, I'm sure that would make a huge difference. People on here are saying that he is too young to start and in the past this may have been so but now children are starting nursery and school so much younger. I have been working in pre-school for 25 years and our age entry has dropped from rising 3 to just 2 in that time. At first I wasn't happy about such young children starting but to be honest our little ones do really well and come on better than children who start later.
  14. No - everyone has said that he will adapt eventually but most of us are saying that as the childcare is not necessary there is nothing wrong with keeping him at home. There is absolutely nothing wrong at all with a child spending the first few years of life at home with their main carers - it doesn't delay their development in any way.

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    I would look for somewhere you could take him together - or his grandparents could - so that he can start to socialise at his own pace and with the security of his carer around. Church playgroup, Mothers and Toddlers, Tumbletots - wherever!
    He's only little and there is plenty of time for independence.
    Nursery used to be seen as prep for school and now we have pre-school as prep for nursery?
    I know it's hard to decide what to do for the best - in the end, trust your gut instincts!
  16. Surely it would be better for him to get use to a few hours away from his carers rather than being thrown into 15 hours of nursery in a years time? From my experience, those who start late find it harder to settle.

    In my area pre=schools were here before nurseries and I believe that our local school nursery find it a lot harder to settle children if they hadn't been to pre-school first.
  17. I would disagree - as I said, both mine did not start nursery until they were 4 and had no problems at all settling in.
    We do not have pre-school here!
    In a year's time he will have a whole year of further development behind him - why is it a bad thing to allow him that time at home?
    Why force him now when there is no need? There are plenty of other ways for children to learn to socialise and to ease them gradually into the phase of separation.
  18. Some children are ready and some are not. I gave up with my daughter kept her at home for a bit then started again later on and she was perfectly happy. He is only little once, there is no need to rush unless you have to!
  19. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    Your child is telling you he's not ready. I really don't understand this rush to separate from him.
  20. I think the OP had good intentions - thinking it would help him learn to socialise.
    But obviously it is too early for him yet, so I would advocate finding other ways he can socialise with other chidren - with his carer/s with him.
    What ever happened to old-fashioned play-group-come-coffee-mornings where you ended up finishing off the glittery thing on magic foam they had started to make and then gone off to play with the other kids as it was more exciting? My whole Christmas tree is full of them ;o)

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