my son hates play school what should i do???

my son who is 3 in july was due to start playschool in january but everytime i try to leave he screams the place down and doesnt stop
the assistants advised me to sneak away without saying anything but i just wasnt happy to do that,as he is wary of strangers and very shy i felt cruel running of without a word to him
i told him twice that i was popping to the shop then spent an hour at home feeling sick with worry when i phoned school he was still crying hysterically in the background so they advised me to collect him as he just wasnt settling
but what do i do now when his brothers mention school he just says "dont like school me stay here with mum" i just feel awful about it and dont know what to do
he is due to start cylch meithrin in sept (half day)
so i just dont know what to do i already stayed with him there for a week but i felt a bit in the way especially as i have a young baby
anyone else been through this?my others seemed to settle in fine

30 Comments

Banned

how do the staff say he behaves once you leave? whoops sorry i missed a sentance there whilst reading

I havent had any probs with either of my two so cant really offer any advice other than maybe he just isnt ready yet

What they said about sneaking away without saying anything is usually the thing to do.

i've not really had this problem,and when Connor was nervous at school,my partner dealt with it cos he always does morning school run b4 work.

I WAs always told not to lie and that i needed to tell my son that i was GOING BNUT WOULD BE BACK IN AN HOUR but then you need to make sure that you are. if a whole afternoon is too much try going and saying i will be back in 5 mins then be back in 5 mins and slowly build up the time that you leave him. hopefully when he realises that you are coming back then he will settle better.

You always need to reassure that you will be back.

Banned

My mum had a similar problem with my little brothers a couple of times. In my opinion, stay with him for a couple of weeks in playschool until he feels comfortable with you around. Then, just say you are popping to the shop for 10 minutes and watch him from a place where he cant see you. If hes still crying after 4 or 5 minutes go back to him. Repeat this process until he stops crying (hopefully) while you have popped to the shop. Then try to take it a step further and leave him for half hour and watch him for a place where he cant see you.

Worked for my mum and many other mums and dads I know. Hope this helps

My mum used to work in a nursery and has encountered many similar problems she says. This was all her advice.

But as always look on the good side of it,least he adores you to kick up such a fuss of being left without you.

Banned

Is it a bit far fetched for me to remember my time at nursery 21 years ago. I hated Nursery, I hated Sunday School, I hated summer school, I hated primary, I hated secondary, I hated sixth form and I hate 10-20% of the time I'm at work. Sorry no useful advice but I had my younger brother with me so we kinda looked out for each other.

I'm not a big fan of lieing to children and sneeking away sounds a little like that to me.
AM used to crack up if I sneeked away but eventually came to realise that I always came back when I said I would. The only prob with such young children is they can't tell the time so telling them you'll be back in 10 minutes means nothing. I always reassured him I wouldbe be back after lunch/snack/dinner ect.

Banned

just stay with him, until he is comfortable enough to be without you. I was always glad my two where happy to be making new friends and felt safe enough that they knew i would never have left them somewhere they werent safe, theworst thng you could ever do is sneek off or lie to them this will only bring in more issues to your child, trust between a child and parent is what its all about

Been to school with my daughter and son.

Duaghter took it better, son not so well.

B U T both wanted attention and the only way to break the cycle was to leave it to the staff and as someone else said, run away!

My kids now go into school without a fight and now enjoy it.

(hard love. but it sometimes works!)

Good luck!

There might be something there there he really hates. Or does he just not like you leaving him? Does he cry all the time he's there? Find out from the staff what they are doing to try and settle him (maybe you can spy on him after you leave one day!). He's unhappy ...you're unhappy...don't feel he HAS to go. No point in you both being miserable...it's not THAT important that he goes I don't think. Best of luck to you :thumbsup:

Original Poster

yes thats why i say popping to the shop
it just makes me feel ill leaving him upset sobbing he is usually very shy but they say when im gone he is kicking out to be freed so he can get to the door to run after me
it just makes me worry he feels a bit palmed of now the baby is here,i suppose im just reading to much into things but i could not leave him tjhere without saying anything
thanks for advise guys

Original Poster

scabbers;1981451

There might be something there there he really hates. Or does he just not … There might be something there there he really hates. Or does he just not like you leaving him? Does he cry all the time he's there? Find out from the staff what they are doing to try and settle him (maybe you can spy on him after you leave one day!). He's unhappy ...you're unhappy...don't feel he HAS to go. No point in you both being miserable...it's not THAT important that he goes I don't think. Best of luck to you :thumbsup:



hesnt like me leaving,yes he cries kicks out the whole time
the thing is my partner says u should just leave him so that causes an argument in itself
i suppose i feel worse because he is very shy
i would prefer him to stay at home but i want the best for him and i know he has to go to school at some point :-(
it awkward when i stay there with the baby as he is very whingey and i still breastffed and now he is getting to the nosey stage he will be feeding one minute then looking around the next leaving me exposed and a few of the children have been watching as kids do
ive been waiting for the "what u doing?" :oops:

Banned

i think you just have to make a decision and stick to it, whether that be him not going yet, to taking him and leaving him there, but you have to be consistent

I was an INCREDIBLY shy person as a young child and i went through this very same thing (from the child's point of view). MY mam did exactly as the assistants are telling you. I can say from experience, i didn't like it at all at the time but looking back i'm glad she did because it helped me to be less shy in later childhood. I don't resent my mam and he won't resent you if he's anything like i was.

Oh I understand how you feel, of course you want the best for him but keeping him at home with you sounds like the best thing for BOTH of you right now. And it's very easy for your partner to say those things..he doesn't have to do it does he? I'm sure the time will come when you feel able to try again with your little boy. Enjoy the time you have with him now.

I will try and word it best I can, please don't take anything i say in a bad way.

I don't think it is strictly lying to sneak off for a bit if your son is happily playing.

He needs to get used to being without you and getting on with playing in his playschool, they are separate from you and your home life and he needs to get used to it - sooner would be better IMO as he may get too used to you being there which may make it harder in the long run, and harder on yourself with your little'un. Also, I would have thought that if he is screaming till you come back for him, then in his mind he might have realised that that's what he has to do to get his own way and have you back.

If he is involved in an activity and you 'intrude' (for want of a better word) to remind him that you will be leaving him for a while, then - in my mind - that will create a situation.

My suggestion would be to slip into another room for a little while, say starting at 5 minutes and see how he goes with that, then maybe make it longer and start popping out to the shop.

I hope this helps and you get what I am trying to say and please take it all in the kindest way. Haven't been through this myself, as such. My son just started nursery in January and he sometimes plays up for them, probably because he is used to my one-on-one attention. If I was in your situation though, then I think this is the route I would take if your way isn't working.

Apart from this, maybe your son just isn't ready to go to playschool yet, he is still young and you can always try again when he is a bit older. I did consider taking my son out for a while until he was a bit older, but he is getting on better there now.

Original Poster

thanks your right about being consistent that is why i have kept him home till now trying to make a desicion either way
i know there is a mother and baby group on a monday so i am thinking of taking him there for the time being as he likes playing with babies and im hoping that can be a 1st step towards approaching playschool again
yes it is easier for him to say that i think he would feel different if he was with him,he does the school run normally but i took other the job when there was 2 of them to drop of as playschool dont let them in till 9,and my other son could go at ten to leaving him time to get to work

Original Poster

mrszerrouk;1981650

I will try and word it best I can, please don't take anything i say in a … I will try and word it best I can, please don't take anything i say in a bad way.I don't think it is strictly lying to sneak off for a bit if your son is happily playing.He needs to get used to being without you and getting on with playing in his playschool, they are separate from you and your home life and he needs to get used to it - sooner would be better IMO as he may get too used to you being there which may make it harder in the long run, and harder on yourself with your little'un. Also, I would have thought that if he is screaming till you come back for him, then in his mind he might have realised that that's what he has to do to get his own way and have you back.If he is involved in an activity and you 'intrude' (for want of a better word) to remind him that you will be leaving him for a while, then - in my mind - that will create a situation.My suggestion would be to slip into another room for a little while, say starting at 5 minutes and see how he goes with that, then maybe make it longer and start popping out to the shop.I hope this helps and you get what I am trying to say and please take it all in the kindest way. Haven't been through this myself, as such. My son just started nursery in January and he sometimes plays up for them, probably because he is used to my one-on-one attention. If I was in your situation though, then I think this is the route I would take if your way isn't working.Apart from this, maybe your son just isn't ready to go to playschool yet, he is still young and you can always try again when he is a bit older. I did consider taking my son out for a while until he was a bit older, but he is getting on better there now.



no i dont take it in a funny way at all i appreciate any advice
he is 1 of 5 so im not to sure why he is shy as at home he plays well with the others and his mates its just a different story when he goes there
i suppose it would be better if he knew someone there as at least then they wouldnt all be strangers
he is the kind of boy who would get upset quiet easily if anyone upset him or were nasty to him so i tend to worry about him i think i worry to much to be honest

i know i should try harder to leave him i think i just need convincing and be really focused about doing it rather than come home feeling sick and just wanting home
i actually enjoy his company as he is a lovely child so i prob have buckled to easily as in my heart i wish he was home
should i start now though or wait until after summer hols until he is due to start in his new class?

You say that you wish he was at home, maybe he's picking up on you not feeling 100% about leaving him there - kids are funny like that.

Could you try taking him for an hour a day and staying with him just up until the summer - I think if you just wait until after the summer then trying to get him to start from scratch you might have the same problems you are having now.

It's obviously gonna be hard on both of you because up until now you have been together all day every day but he's going to have to start going to school at some point so I think it's better to work through it sooner rather than later.

Taking youngsters to pre schools or nursery's is the modern way of life, and nothing more than an excuse for parents to dump the kids.
We all went to school, BUT, school did not begin until we were 5. 2 and 3 is too young. They should be at home, and with you, and playing with friends.

No doubt there will be a multitude of people now saying we can't do that, we don't have the time. My answer to you is you should not have had the kids, if you don't have the time.

Leave it until the last 6 months before real school, and then introduce him a day here and there just to try. Enjoy them whilst you have them as they are. It never comes round again.

You must be feeling awful and not knowing what to do is so unsettling and worrying.

I have to admit I can't speak from personal experience as both of my girls were ok about being left. But, I was a stay at home Mum and was able to take them to a Mother and Toddler group first, for them to interact with other children whilst I was still there in the background. Then they progressed to Play Group where I left them and finally Nursery the year before full time school.

I did help out at the school and the majority of children who clung to their Mums at the door and screamed and cried did settle down within ten minutes of the Mums leaving.

I think really it is something you will have to keep on with, maybe you could stay and then each time leave 5 minutes earlier until you get to the point where you are just dropping him off? But, personally I wouldn't 'sneak' off, I'd expain to him you are leaving but coming back.

Hope it all works out for you and let us know how you get on.

We struggled with our eldest son, but Nursery advised me to leave him gradually, starting with short periods and building up till he would stay for a full session. A friend was advised to use a timer, she would settle him in, telling him that she would be back when the timer finished, she was allowed to stay in staff room so that as soon as timer finished she was there, it took a few weeks but is now ok.,
It is harder if you have a younger one as well though, is there no-one who could sit with the little one while you do this? Have you spoken to your health visitor? They can sometimes offer good advice. The important thing to remember is that children always find your weak spot and play it for all its worth, if you give up now there is a good chance that starting school will be even more difficult to deal with.
My youngest son started nursery in September and it took a couple of weeks for him to settle, and I found it really hard but now he loves it and the benefits for our youngest daughter have been amazing because for two hours she has my undivided attention, which being the baby she has never had before.
I do hope he settles soon for you, look on the bright side only another ten years till he becomes a teenager and thats worse than anything they can do at this age!!!

Editor

Hi edjaned, i'm sure this is putting you under tremendous stress - horrible to think your little one is suffering.

A little suggestion - would the assistants let you try staying for a couple of days. Not in, playing with your little one - but maybe in the kitchen having a coffee or something. That way he has the assurance that you are there, but not with him. If he can get used to this thn maybe the next step would be to pop out for a while - then hopefully leave altogether.

Easy in theory .. i know ... Good luck!

my son hated playschool...so much he held onto my car tire and wouldnt let go... so i stopped taking him there. he started pre school at 2and a half and that was much better,.... the teacher phased him in half hour first time...then 40minuts the next week he went (for half a term he went one day a week...then the next term three mornings) so he got used to it reaslly slowly.... but he understod it wasnt for a long period of time.

maybe look for somewhere differnet.... i think pre schools are better than playschools....ie a more structured place.

Aww you poor thing; I have three boys and have had similar problems.
I was also a Nursery Nurse before I had my children so I have seen this a lot and there is no wrong or right thing to do; we are all individuals and have different ways of parenting.

I would always advise parents what to do but it would be there choice but if they wanted their child to stay, I would do all I could to reassure the child. I have many a time had to deal with inconsolable children who are left and it breaks my heart but sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to and it’s a learning curve.

It’s a very young age and some children just aren’t ready but fortunately I am in a position where I can stay at home with the boys but obviously there are parents who need to work.

As many others have said be consistent, ask the staff for their support, explain you are finding it difficult to deal with and that you are not happy to leave him in the state that he has been.
Try leaving him for 1/2 hour a day for the first wk then build it up to an hour the next. I know it seems like hard work but it will get easier. Does he have a comfort toy he could take?

He is your child, do what YOU think is best for him. He has to go to school at some stage so it may be best to ease him in gently to nursery or playschool now.

Original Poster

hi and thanks again everyone
no he doesnt have a comfort toy
the nursery is in the school his brother and sis attend which is a very good school and conveniently just accross the road
i think alot of it is because i feel its my fault he is like this because i didnt take him to any mother and baby groups
i think for the next 2 weeks i will take him to the mother and baby which is in the same school and room as the nursery
and then i think i will try again in the nursery and maybe sit in another room like millarcat suggested
unfortunatly i have to stay in all day today waiting 4 a delivery and 4 someone to do a job so as its only on mondays i will have to start next week
so i will have a week to worry about it lol

Wow, just felt the heat of the company I am talking to!

Very silly question really, but can anyone remember the BAD times starting off in Nursery/primary school? I may be an exception, but that part of my life is a bit of a blur, (but I still (fondly) remember my teachers!!!!)
:oops:

Original Poster

thanks guys i have given most of u rep but ran out b4 i gave it to everone
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