My little girl is not settling at nursery...

Annie - posted on 11/24/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )




Hi,my daughter started nursery this term(uk) but is not happy to let me go.We tried a very gradual start with me staying with her because its a huge nursery and she'd never been left but that didn't work so the nursery are telling me to come in and then leave for 20 mins once she's playing.Trouble is she just cries the whole time and when i come back her face is all blotchy and she is very upset.She doesn't just cry and then get distracted like my other kids.She doesn't seem ready and its breaking my heart to leave her.I want to pull her out but the nursery have me down for counselling,they reckon i give in to easily....any help or advice,how do they do it in other countries..?


Louise - posted on 11/25/2010




I taught at Preschool in the UK and if the nursery is happy for her to stay then your daughter can't be that bad. The policy is to let a child cry for half an hour before calling mum back into collect the child. Believe me the staff would be ringing you if she was crying the entire time as it is not fair on the other children. She must be settling at some point or showing signs of improvement for them to accept her. I would say drop her off with a big smile on your face and leave with the other mothers telling her not to be silly and taking a stronger stance with her. If she knows you are not bothered or distressed she will pick this up, if she knows you are anxious and upset it will make her worse. Try being super positive and when she starts to cry and cling be firm with her as this crying can become an automatic responce in some children. If this is a good nursery they will be able to deal with your daughter but in some children it does take them a term to settle. Nobody likes to see a child in distress and the nursery will not allow it to go on. Try and support them by being firm with your daughter if your happy she will be happy too.


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Annie - posted on 11/26/2010




thank you ladies!I don't know why things are so different with this child,i know they are all different and i am older and more tired?!She is a delight to be with most of the time,really bright and loving,so when i see her so upset i feel guilty.I will try the firm tactic you suggest and its good to know the psychology behind it.She is 3 1\2.

Laura - posted on 11/25/2010




Louise has the experience to know what she is talking about so pay close attention to what she said. Good advice so far!

What your daughter is going through is called "seperation anxiety" and it is quite common in young children. This is a stage of development in kids--they begin to understand that they are seperate beings from mom (and dad) and this can scare them. Often times the child fears that when mom/dad go away they will be alone forever. Obviously this is not the case with most parents! Louise is right: The only way to work through this period of seperation is to "just do it!" Keep communicating with your daughter that you WILL return at a later time to pick her up and that you EXPECT her to show good behavior while your away. This means being "brave" and not crying so much. Tell her again you will be back later to get her, give her a hug and kiss, smile, and leave! Be consistent with this routine and your daughter will settle in and work her way through this phase of development. One other key parenting tool to use with this: Patience! Have some patience with this issue because it will improve--but only if you don't give in and are consistent with your routine! Hope this helps and good luck!

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