Preschool Problems

By | February 8, 2012

C goes to preschool every Wednesday morning from 8.15am to 12.45pm.  She started last July and, after the first few weeks where she was a little upset when I left, has been fine and loved going.  Until Christmas.

Since returning in January she seems to have got worse with each week.  Last week she was practically screaming, holding on to my legs and in floods of tears as I went out of the room.  It makes me feel so awful leaving her like that, even though I know she’s fine once I’m gone.

This morning we were talking about school and C told me she didn’t want to go to school.  I asked why, as school was lots of fun, and her response was ‘there’s too many people’.  A little baffled I questioned further.  There weren’t too many children – they were her friends – but too many grown ups.  Further questioning revealed the grown up in question to be the only male member of staff there.

The person in question was in the toddler room when C first started there but has been in the baby room for months now.  I’m certain he hasn’t done anything to C but she’s always been wary of men she doesn’t know, taking a long time for them to gain her trust.

She must only see this person very briefly throughout the morning – possibly when they all play outside – but it’s obviously bothering her and I don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve told her he’s not scary and that he’s a nice man but apart from that I don’t know what else I can do.  This morning I let her sneak one of her toys into her bag and told her he would look after her and although she wasn’t as bad as last week, we still had tears.

Is there anything else I can do to help her get over this?  I don’t really think there’s much point in me speaking to preschool about it as she’s fine once I’ve left, it’s just actually letting me leave the room that’s the problem.

She does still love being at preschool but it can’t be good for her to get so upset about it.

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8 Comments

sarahmumof3 on February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm.

My youngest is 4, and has been at full time school since september, he started off loving it and never bothering about being left, then a few weeks ago he started getting upset, saying he didnt want to go, stalling as much as possible in the mornings, clinging to me so i have to leave him crying :( when I talk to him he says he just wants to stay with me, I dont think there is anything more than him wishing he could stay home with his toys and mummy, like your daughter he is fine once I’ve gone and always happy when i fetch him full of the fun hes had all day. I think most children go through spells like this, luckily my son has been fine this past week (might have something to do with the snow he loves walking in it!) I hope your daughter soon gets over things too, if a toy helps then keep doing that, you could have a word with the teachers, they will reassure you that she is fine once you’ve gone, and its quite a normal thing for children to go through spells of wanting to stay home, you also could have a reward chart with stickers for when she gets home each day shes not cried in the morning and at the end of the week a trip to the sweet shop or such like good luck and hopefully she’ll soon be running in happily again as it is very upsetting leaving them upset x
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Emma on February 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm.

Thanks so much for your comment. It is awful leaving them isn’t it? Glad your son has been happier recently.

Addey on February 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm.

Sarah’s got some good ideas. Since you’ve narrowed the “problem” down to one particular person, it may actually help to talk to the teacher in question and see if maybe he can be more visible when you’re dropping her off so he eventually becomes a “known entity”. Like you said, she’s always been a little nervous around men she doesn’t know. Maybe once she’s had a chance to see/speak with him when you’re there, he’ll become less scary.

And yes, it’s probably just something to make her fussing legitimate, give her a “reason” for it. All of our kiddos go through it. My son is 3.5 and has been in half-day care since he was 11 weeks (thank you backwards US family leave…) and has started 2 full days in the fall. It breaks my heart on the days I have to leave him and he’s over tired and gets upset, but silly as it sounds, it’s almost as hard when he runs in and totally ignores me. *laugh* Guess it would be best somewhere in the middle… a nice big hug and a wave and off he goes.
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Emma on February 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm.

Thanks for commenting. TBH I rarely see him as he’s in a different room most of the time but if she carries on will have to sort something.

I do agree it’s probably just a phase, hopefully a short one!

jenny Paulin on February 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm.

i don’t know what to say really as i don’t have any experience seeing as though B only started nursery on monday. however, i read a great post on Susan Mann’s blog back along where she let her child draw a picture to reveal how he was feeling to help resolve what was troubling him the link is here
http://www.susankmann.com/2011/12/social-stories-how-i-helped-my-child.html
i know C has told you the problem but maybe if you drew it on paper she may open up more which may help show the school? just a thought anyway not saying it will be of any use to you.
Hope she soon stops getting so upset x
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Emma on February 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm.

Thanks for commenting Jenny. Just been over and looked at Susan’s post and it looks like a great idea! Will try it over the weekend and remind her of it again on Wednesday morning.

Thanks so much xx

Susan Mann on February 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm.

I hope the post about social stories helps. It helped Lucas a lot as it was a fear that was stopping him. You could also speak to the preschool and explain she is scared. They will be open about it and maybe the male teacher could come and speak to her, helped her understand he’s not scary. Good luck and let me know how you get on. x
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