My son freaks out just looking at the nursery door...HELP!

Stefanie - posted on 12/08/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I finally found a church I really like. I decided to let my 2 1/2 year old and 8 month old go in the nursery on our first visit. Both boys did very, very well. Then our next visit was awful. As soon as he saw the door, he dug in his heels and refused to go anywhere near it. Then last Sunday, he threw himself on the floor and threw a shoe!!! He was crying and carrying on. I finally picked up him and set him in the room, but he didn't want to go anywhere and do anything. All the teachers/workers seemed very nice, but he wasn't having it. It didn't help that there were a few others (all age ranges) crying as well. I don't understand why he went from a really good first time to awful.

This causes me to have to occupy them in service and they aren't very quiet (obviously!) so that I can enjoy the sermon. Does anyone have any suggestions to make being in the nursery easier? Maybe he should be in the older nursery for 2-4, but I need to get him into the door first! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Lori - posted on 12/08/2010

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I have had the same problem with my almost two year old son. I am currently sitting in the nursery with him and am slowly making my way to the door in terms of where I sit. My plan is to go from staying the whole time to 3/4 of the time to 1/2 of the time and so on, getting him used to the fact that I will be back. I don't know that this will work for everyone but so far its working pretty well for me. Also maybe if you just left your 8 month old in the nursery you wouldn't have as much "occupying" to do for your older child just make sure you have lots of snacks and toys. My son loves to draw on his magna doodle. Hope some of this helps.

Rebekah - posted on 12/08/2010

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GIve your son time to warm up. He realized the first time, "oh new place!", now realizes it's a "drop zone!" Don't stress or freak out, he'll come around. My son had a hard time with the nursery as well, I just took him down there to see it, then I would let him see all the other kids having fun, I even sat in the nursery a few Sundays, until one Sunday he decided he wanted to go to class and off he went! If it continues after some time, I would encourage you to sit in the nursery through a whole shift of all the workers each week to find out if something is actually bothering him. But most likely it's just cuz he don't like the "drop zone" idea. lol

You could always talk with the nursery director too and find out if they can put a greeter in the nursery that is the SAME person every week. This person works 15 minutes prior to church time and 20-30 minutes after church has started... they are like the "transitioner". It's a familiar smiling face the kids see when they first come to class and they introduce to the teacher and get them moving to first part of the lesson time and then they disappear - it's the best tactic a nursery could ever have. :)

Michelle - posted on 12/09/2010

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I work in the nursery at our church and find that it is most helpful when parents talk with their kids before skipping out the door. Also, consistency is important. When Jr cries for mommy or daddy, come and comfort them but do not take them out of the nursery because this just encourages the child to continue to cry until mom gives up and carries Jr into church.

I love the little guys in the nursery and we always have a ball! Most times the Mom's are the ones who have a hard time separating. Good luck and I will be praying for you and your little one.

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Alisha - posted on 02/07/2011

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Before you go to church explain how you want him to behave and have him tell you, then tell him that if he is a good boy and goes to his special Sunday school that he will get a treat after church for obeying you. Try that, if it doesn't work, give him two choices, to go in the 'Sunday school,' or sit on your lap in church, if he refuses I would tell him he is disobeying and that he will have to have a spanking (if you spank). He is 2 1/2 and definitely knows what he is doing!

Stefanie - posted on 01/25/2011

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Thanks, Noel. I thought things were going great, but my youngest didn't want to be left in the nursery. I spent half an hour with him in there, gave him toys, and snacks, but anytime I headed for the door, he cried. Finally I left, but he just screamed! I could hear him clear down the hall! So, I just went and got him. They ladies in the nursery are wonderful, so I don't know what the deal is. And they are in daycare 5 days a week so I am clueless...I guess age and time will help...

Noel - posted on 01/25/2011

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Hello! I'm actually a church nursery worker so I may have some good advice for you. Every church service there is always at least one little one who doesn't want to leave their parents and may even cry the entire time. If you keep bringing your son into the nursery eventually he'll warm up to the teachers and kids and want to stay! It's often hard for the mom to leave when the kid is crying , I know this because I'm a mom who has felt that way too!

Hope this helps and good luck either way!

Stefanie - posted on 01/21/2011

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No, I am not a SAHM. I work 40 hours a week. Both of my kiddos are in a Christian daycare.

Shannon - posted on 01/20/2011

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the shorter the goodbye the better. he will get used to it. but before I go on are you a stay at home mom?

Stefanie - posted on 01/19/2011

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I apologize for taking so long to reply. I am still have difficulty finding things on this site. So far, I have only taken one child or the other with me. For my youngest son, I am able to leave him in the nursery (if it isn't chaotic!) and for my oldest, he sits with me in service. I created a "church box" that has stickers, markers, crayons, and colorful paper. I also bring snacks and water and he seems OK. Have to quiet him some times but he does well. And it helps with only taking him every other week. My oldest will be 3 soon, so I hope that I can put him in the Sunday school part, as there is a little girl from his school that also go there. Maybe seeing the familiar face will help him. I want him to enjoy his time there and have fun, so we are taking baby steps. I have to, though, get creative with his "church box" as he is showing signs of already being bored with what is in it. But it is all good!

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