Worried about my 3-yr-old

Shelli - posted on 08/23/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hello,

My 3-1/2-yr-old daughter's daycare provider, which she's been going to since she was 3 weeks old, suddenly sold her house and moved to another state.



Where I live, daycares are very hard to come by, but I happened to get her into a new daycare center which is located in a local church. They've only been open for a couple of weeks and are still trying to find their footing I'm sure.



Well, my daughter is having a terrible time. She started going there this past Monday, and of course had a huge meltdown when I went to leave, which I expected. Then on Tuesday I was told that she threw a rock at one of the teachers. I was shocked because that isn't normal behavior for her. Then on Wednesday, I was told she had to be reprimanded again for refusing to listen and follow instructions. Now on top of it all, she has started to stutter some. Mostly on Ws, like if she wants to ask a question, she'll say, "W-w-w-w-w-where are we going today?" It is agonizing!! I'm so worried about her that I'm about ready to say forget it and quit my job. Even though that would end up putting my family in the poor house.



I need to know if this is normal behavior and if it will pass with time. Anybody have experience with this problem?? Any advice?



Thank you in advance,

A Worried Mom

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4 Comments

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Rowena - posted on 09/03/2012

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Hi yes this is quiet common, as a cook and parttime worker on the floor in a sydney childcare centre, i see this often in new children coming into new environments, they are overwhelmed with new faces, educators and other children. They are basically out of their comfort zone. They dont have anything familiar to relate to, such as a trusted parent,friend, or toys. They would probly even refuse to eat and drink and play.Sometimes we get this behaviour when their parents have another baby, or they are feeling sick /and or tired, (basically changing anykind of routine) Some may even be picked on by other children. From my experience, new children generally cry up to 7-10 days, depending on how often the child goes to preschool during this transition . Prepare yourself for probly another week, and im pretty sure she will settle in with her new routine/friends/identity. Perhaps pack her bag with some favourite things from home and reassure her you'll be back later on.It's the mums that have to stay strong ...lots of hugs n luv you's always help tooo, ohhh, and lay off the 'guilt bribes and pressies...Good luck and be patient.

Jocelyn - posted on 08/28/2012

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P.S. Most likely she is just adjusting, however, there is always a chance she is being mistreated. Ask her teacher specifics on when she is misbehaving and what happened right before. She is old enough to talk to you about her day. Ask her how the teachers talk to her and discipline her. Stop by unannounced but not snoopy. Give her a digital watch so she can time her own time outs (assuming she knows and can read numbers). My son was at a daycare since he was 15 months and he was fine saying goodbye until he got a new teacher just after he turned two. I thought he was just adjusting, but he was crying so hard when I left it made me cry every morning and he started having nightmares every night. After two weeks I found out (through snooping) that he was being verbally abused. He did not act out, he was actually the most gentle out of all his classmates, instead he was being verbally abused every time he went poopy in his diaper. That was two years ago and I still cannot get over the guilt I feel for not acting/investigating sooner. From her outbursts, I am led to believe this is not the case. My son didn't have any outbursts; although he could talk, he didn't tell me about it because he believed the teacher. I would start to worry if your daughter has nightmares. I don't mean to scare you, but you should do whatever you feel is right.

Jocelyn - posted on 08/28/2012

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It has only been a couple weeks. Adjustments like these take time, perhaps even months, before she feels comfortable there and can say goodbye happily. Sudden major life changes will send children at this age into what seems like in uncontrolled outbursts. I am a daycare provider and have wonderful, loving, well-mannered and gentle children but one was going through a major change at home and suddenly any little thing would cause her to have a meltdown, become physical, and she was not herself at all. She couldn't control it. It really was not her fault because she had so many new emotions she didn't understand and didn't have any words for them or any ideas (although bright, she's only three) on how to cope. I used empathy and communication to give her words for her feelings and worked together with her parents (each day she didn't have any outbursts her parents spent special one-on-one time playing with her) and the unruly behavior stopped completely. It is normal. I would suggest talking to her about her feelings, don't ask questions because she can't answer them, but tell her "I know you miss Ms. Sarah, I do too. It makes us both sad," and explain why she can't be with her old teacher. Talk about the new place positively, work closely with her new teacher, reward good behavior, follow up with discipline (losing a simple privilege) at home for bad behavior but don't give her any extra attention for it. My kids like having a chart. At the end of every day they add a sticker to that day for no time outs. They also get stickers throughout the day for sharing and helping out. Our focus is on good behavior. Good luck!

Katherine - posted on 08/23/2012

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My daughter is the same age as yours. I would feel the same way as you do. Obviously something is going on. Maybe you can take a day off and observe? Sounds like the poor thing is having one heck of a time! I feel for her, I really do, and you too. My 3.5 yo is my baby. I couldn't imagine how she would feel if the rug was pulled out from under her like that. The daycare could have given you more notice so you could have taken her to both and she could have acclimated more!

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