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Play school

(39 Posts)
Buddly Wed 25-Jan-17 10:55:49

My GD has just started playschool, she is 2yrs. old. Before, she was a very happy confidant little girl and would happily stay with me or her other gran or anyone really. She had the first day tears leaving her mum but everyone assured her that after 5 minutes she was playing happily and when daughter goes to get her after 2 hrs. she doesn't want to leave. But she now has a terrible seperation anxiety and won't go to anyone without crying and sobbing. Yesterday she was with me and when she woke from her afternoon nap she screamed for her mum, was inconsolable and then after 5 minutes all was fine.
Just wondered if any of you wise grans out there can give some advice. The play school want mum to leave her and go immediately the longer she stays the worse it will be. I can't help thinking that if mum stays with her for a bit and lets her get settled maybe she would be more relaxed about her leaving but apparently I'm wrong.
I had 3 years of tears with my daughter, she never really accepted happily going to play school so that's why I'm worried.

rosesarered Wed 25-Jan-17 11:13:38

I can only go on my own experience Buddly but one DD loved pre-school ( they had to be 3 back then) the other DD had to be moved around until we found one with structure to the morning ( not just a large room of children zipping about) and DS hated any and wouldn't settle so as he was happy with me I didn't bother, he stayed home and we did activities.All were fine on starting school ( again, though, it was later as they had to have had their 5th birthday.)
With two youngest DGC, both had tears the first week, and then settled down, but both were happier when moved to a different pre-school, again with more structure to the day and desk activities.
Now and then ( oldest at school now) the younger one will play up a bit, but does normally go there happily.

rosesarered Wed 25-Jan-17 11:14:39

Forgot to say, the longer that Mum stays with her at pre-school the worst it will be!

rosesarered Wed 25-Jan-17 11:15:09

And also, separation anxiety is normal.

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 11:16:26

This is quite common at 2. Childen are just beginning to look outside their immediate surroundings and realise there's a world out there they don't really understand. IMO it's quite a healthy reaction.

When she's with you and crying for mum, just cuddle her, tell her mum will come after (insert whatever you are planning to do with her) and then distract her by doing it - taking her out, painting, cooking, playing, etc..

Other decisions, such as his to deal with the play school separation anxiety, are best left to mum and the play school staff.

Anya Wed 25-Jan-17 11:16:56


Greenfinch Wed 25-Jan-17 11:31:17

Is she able to talk about it ?My DGD was the same when she started at 2 and a half.For her it was the lunchtime because the hand dryers were too noisy !It may be something quite simple but she may still be too young to vocalise it.It is sad,I agree ,as we dont want our GC upset even if it is transient.

Daddima Wed 25-Jan-17 12:33:17

Before we took children into nursery, we advised the parent/s just to tell the child , " we're going to nursery", as very often they start telling the child ages before that they've to be a big boy/girl, and not cry for mummy/daddy. ( I'm assuming that the nursery will be happy for parents to stay for the first couple of sessions)
On the day you've decided to leave them, just say, " I'm going shopping now, I'll be back soon", quick kiss, and leave immediately. I've seen so many children take control of the nursery door meltdown.
I've also said to parents that it's not the end of the world if the child doesn't go to nursery ( controversial!)

Daddima Wed 25-Jan-17 13:33:27

I meant to add, please don't sneak away when the wee one is distracted, as they'll be scared that you'll disappear when they're not looking!

Fairydoll2030 Wed 25-Jan-17 14:51:48

You have my sympathy Buddly. My 2 (almost 3) year old has started nursery and this is his third week. Apparently mummy is able to leave him now, but he has his 'moments' when he realises she's not there and cries for her. Twice, recently, he has been at our house without daddy (who usually drops him off here ) and he has sobbed as my son is leaving. However, with a bit of distraction, he's stopped but then started again sometime later, and we go through the distraction process again. It seems to work. We've never had any problems like this until he started nursery.

It seems to me that some parents can drop their children off and they just get stuck in and play but other, more sensitive children, have a hard time initially.

I know how heartbreaking it is for us Grans who can't bear to think of the little ones being upset but, hopefully, it will pass and they will adjust being in a different environment without mummy.

Fairydoll2030 Wed 25-Jan-17 14:56:26

Oops meant to say my 2 year old DGS! sounds like I was referring to my own 2 year old. Ah - that would have made medical history.

Jalima Wed 25-Jan-17 14:58:04

I still believe that 2 is young to start at playgroup, although I know many children are in nursery all day from a very early age. My DGC were 3 when they started at playgroup or nursery but I know that 2 is the norm nowadays and the DGC started at 2. They were unsure at first and DGD2 spent much of her time in the 'quiet' corner looking at the books if she could. However, she made friends there and is now at school with some of her friends from playgroup.

She will need reassurance and will soon get used to the fact that mummy or granny will be picking her up every time.

You say that she was very upset after her nap - sometimes children do wake up from a daytime nap rather disoriented and take a while to come round properly.

f77ms Wed 25-Jan-17 15:09:51

My eldest 3 went happily to playschool - it was very structured with lots of activities . Number 4 hated every minute of it , was very upset everytime I took him even going to the lengths of hiding under the bed in a rolled up mat on the playschool mornings . After the first term it was clear it wasn`t going to improve and I stopped taking him. He was much happier at home doing things with me and I don`t think it did him any harm . When he started school at 5 he went in happily the first day and didn`t even look back to say goodbye . 2 is very young, when mine went you had to be at least 3 for playschool and it was only for 3 hours at a time .

Christinefrance Wed 25-Jan-17 16:19:33

Two is quite young and there are the ' terrible twos ' to contend with as well. I would make leaving the child as matter of fact as possible, no long drawn out goodbyes which only increase anxiety. I agree with Daddima, don't sneak away just say goodbye and reassurance you will be back later.

grannypiper Wed 25-Jan-17 16:37:09

Having worked in Pre-Schools for decades, i can honestly say 2 years old is too young but then so is full day care at a only months old.Best thing the Mum can do is remove the little one and try again next year. Wait until summer then start talking to the child about the fun she will,the things she will do and the friends she will meet. Until then build her confidence, and allow her short periods of time to be alone, (sometimes parents dont allow this and hover over their child every second of the day) allow her to choose what she wants to do in the day bit most of all allow her to become bored at times

Deedaa Wed 25-Jan-17 18:48:03

I think 2 is very young. GS3 has been going since he was two, but he has always loved it. GS1 &2 didn't go till they were 3. perhaps it would help if this little one went to a few things she can do with Mummy.GS 1 & 2 both went to Music With Mummy and got used to having people around and joining in before they were left on their own.

JessM Thu 26-Jan-17 09:48:43

Both mine like that. I naively left oldest in a university nursery at 3 and had to get on with my course. But he was still sobbing a little hours later. They do not all settle.
Younger one eventually got settled in playgroup at 3 after a very slow period of withdrawal. Sit and play. Then go to kitchen to get something for one minute. Gradually build up kitchen time as he got more interested in playing with others. Then go across the road to the shop for 5 minutes. Then 10. etc
I agree that 2 is the worst age to make the transition from full time home to playgroup/nursery.

jessycake Thu 26-Jan-17 09:58:58

Having worked in a Nursery I found mums who stayed were often just delaying the inevitable pain , a cuddle ,reasurance that they will come back soon and leave and most children will be fine in a few minutes . Having said that if she doesnt have to go because Mum has to work, I dont think I would put such a young child through it , I would find toddler groups to socialise and do some of the nursery activities at home .

SewAddict Thu 26-Jan-17 10:07:10

As an early years teacher my experience is some children need a much more gradual withdrawal from mum. Some are better with being left quickly with no fuss but for those with more anxiety the parent should be allowed to stay with the child and a programme of gradual withdrawal put in place. It is much kinder. I do think 2 is very young and I agree it may be better to leave it for a year!

annodomini Thu 26-Jan-17 10:14:39

It helps if the child is used to the company of other children. I took mine to a mums and toddlers club where the mums sat and gossiped chatted-- while the little ones played alongside each other and we were available to go to the rescue if mayhem broke out which it rarely did. Often the children at playgroup were some of those they were familiar with from the club. The only time I remember tears was when I was teaching an extra-mural class and DS2 was in the college creche with which he was unfamiliar.

Oldgreymare Thu 26-Jan-17 10:18:35

I withdrew DS2, He used to find a comfy corner and go to sleep! Best avoidance strategy ever. I supposed he knew I would be there when he woke up. I made sure he had lots of pre-school activities tho'.

gettingonabit Thu 26-Jan-17 10:25:21

I think it's too young, too. I would suggest withdrawing littlun until she's able to cope better, if possible. There's plenty of other things to occupy small children if need be.

Afaik children don't really make little friends as such until they're about 4?.

Maybe your tot finds being with other children stressful?

radicalnan Thu 26-Jan-17 10:26:23

Two is so young.............sad

MissAdventure Thu 26-Jan-17 10:34:36

I think 2 is young. My phone almost wrote that I thought 20 is young!
2 is just a baby, really.
Still, times have changed since my daughter went to playschool. (They had to be "clean" in those days to be accepted.

Teddy123 Thu 26-Jan-17 10:35:07

Back in the day I tried one of my twins at playschool age 3 ..... I thought she would love it being a very sociable toddler. Wrong! was carried home on the 2 mornings we tried screaming for her mummy! I hadn't tried with her twin brother as I realised he was a clingy child and not ready.

Moving on 3 months later tried again with my daughter and all was fine. Her brother then joined 3 months after. All fine with them both .... Though my son did attempt to pull my arm out if it's socket the first time I left him! They only went 2 mornings a week ....

So when my first grandson went to nursery at 8 months old ... I was a little nervous. We had him 3 afternoons a week .... Rest of the time nursery. It has been the most wonderful experience for him. He's made some lovely friendships with the other little ones and the nursery nurses, who are fabulous caring young women. In a perfect world perhaps he would be home with mummy each day. That said I think he's confident, articulate, and a very happy little boy who I'm hoping will find the transition to 'real school' far less of an issue.

The point I'm trying to make is that we only send our toddlers to play school so they can have fun. If they're upset what's the point. Leave it a few months and try again.