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Tapestry

Child Getting Emotional When Left By Parent


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

Please bear in mind we have only opened our Playgroup 2 weeks and are therefore new to the whole matter of settling children in.

 

We have one little boy, very quiet in his manners and doesn't really communicate what he wants to play with etc etc

 

When he comes into Playgroup he clings to mums leg, she tends to take him by the arm and "push" him into the playgroup. We have tried everything - persuading him to come and see our sand, water toys etc, cuddling him before mum leaves, talking to him at the end of previous session about the next day but nothing works. He starts to cry but it is very quickly over and he is happy about 2 minutes after mum leaves.

 

We are concerned at the reaction we have to his mums "pushing" if you understand what I mean. I know it is working in the sense that she gets away but is very distressing to watch it happening. Perhaps we are being too concerned?

 

He has been attending a private nursery one day a week for the past year and continues to attend there as well as our own Playgroup 4 mornings a week and apparently he has the same reaction there. Mum is despairing and thinks it has something to do with this feeling of separation. There are 2 other children in the family - the next to him in age is about 3 years older, his dad travels away from home a lot for his work, his mum has had illness back and forth over the past year so these all might be contributing to his distress.

 

Any suggestions as to how we might deal with this without the distress - should we just let this continue and hope he eventually comes out of it?

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Not an unusual occurence when starting a new pre-school from the child, and will certainly be reacting against being "pushed" in by parent - as any child will. I would continue to be as relaxed yourselves as you can be, be as positive as you can when he comes in and if he is o.k. a couple of minutes after she goes and by that I mean he is showing no signs of being anxious or withdrawn distract him as much as you can for the beginning of the session. I seem to remember you saying that you have quite low numbers - so this must be a help to you - imagine 5 or 6 newbies trying to settle in and 10-15 expecting business as usual!

 

Try being his rock for a while - be as dependable as you can be. So often it is those parents who want their child to settle easily who pass on the stress to their child unwittingly, and who push them away. You must make this little one realise just how much fun he will be missing out on if he sits on the sidelines. Find out all those activities he loves and make sure they are ready to play when he comes in with some little twist every now and then which will make him anticipate that and look forward to it.

 

The ones who don't settle bring a stress to our settings and make us feel a little inadequate at times, but when you do get a good connection it does the feelgood factor the world of good I'm sure with time he will settle much better with you.

Edited by Panders
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Hi has the little boy had any kind of Induction to the setting? is his mum able to stay for a short period of time enabling him to perhaps settle at an activity with his keyperson before she leaves.

Does he have a special toy, or comforter he could have with him to support him.

It appears from the mum's comments that this is also what he does at his other provision and he may well be quite anxious, and feeling quite distressed. However from your observation he appears to stop crying quite quickly.

At our setting our newbies do a smaller session for up to the first half-term, building it up as the weeks go by, this works well alongside the children coming with parent/carers for the half-term before they start proper to come and play.

So they are alreadfy familiar with the building, have met the staff and certainly settle so much more easily.

Wishing him a happy time soon. :o

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Guest terrydoo73

We have only got 6 children in total 2 days a week and 4/5 children in the other 3 days. For the past few weeks we have never had a full house with sickness, coughs etc. We did hold an open morning the week before we started and invited parents to come and see the playgroup for themselves. Most parents did stand around and chat to each other while the children and ourselves played together! We provided all the parents with a little booklet which contained photos of all the key things a child wants to know - the place to hang coats, where we play outside and with what as well as the activities inside and ourselves. We asked for a special toy and guess what he brought - a gun!!

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Oh well terrydoo73, you can't do much about the gun thing except to highlight to mum that this is not an appropiate toy/comforter to bring to pre-school. [just refer to your policies if its in there].

I love your idea of the booklet for the children, and i think he will just need time to feel comfortable, happy and settled.

Lots of loving reassurance and activities you know he enjoys may help soothe this process. :o

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Does he settle at the nursery? If not it could be a pattern he's built up himsELf, especailly if he only cries for a couple of mnutes. My oldest screamed and clung to me every day until he left to go to school and yes I did push him too after the first year or so!

At playgroup all our parents haee to come into the hall to help their child self registr, maybe if you had something that meant parents had to come might help?

Like others have said, I'd be full of smiles and very relaxed its still early days. Have you spoken to mom? You could ask her how she's coping with the seperation, maybe suggest she seems a bit tense when she pushes him inside, she might not realise.

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If his mum has been coping with illness and her partner working away, then maybe she just feels that his crying is another 'problem' to deal with? If she knows that he stops crying fairly quickly, she might also feel that it isn't really an issue and that he's just 'acting up' for her benefit ( as some do, of course!). As your numbers are fairly quiet at the moment, could one of the staff take him under their wing for a while at the start of the session at least, and try to encourage him to play? You could talk about things he likes to do at his other setting ( and of course, you can liase with them, ask what sort of strategies they use to settle him, what he likes to play with etc), who he's friends with, and what he likes to do at home.As to the gun....well, not my favourite plaything either, but if you DO say they can bring in items from home, don't be too surprised at what they fetch in, if he has his own drawer, you could suggest that it goes in there to keep safe after a few minutes, or after he stops crying? You could also try asking mum to give you some photos of his family ( mum, dad, siblings, any pets, his house, etc) and make them into a book with him, so he has familiar things to refer to and talk about.......you'll also know a little more about him too this way?

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Maybe it's just me (or maybe I'm quite harsh about these things) but I don't see what is wrong with this situation with regards to mum's reaction to it. I quite like the parents who are sensible enough to just give their crying children a quick kiss and cuddle and the thrust them through the door; it means that the child tends to stop doing it after three or four weeks since they are getting consistency and routine and parents are not confusing them by one day staying for a while, then a few days later trying to leave on time again, then the next day giving loads of attention etc. On the other hand if she's not giving the quick 'goodbye see you later' affection before guiding him through the doors then that would be a worry and perhaps you could suggest she needs to do it.

 

He has only been coming for two weeks which isn't really that long in terms of settling in and if he seems perfectly happy after a couple of minutes then it obviously isn't distressing him that much. At this point I'd put it down to him testing his boundaries a bit with mum and with you and still finding his feet within the setting. If he's doing this everyday after 3 months or so then that's more the time to worry! I'm not sure his reaction in the private nursery is really much to go by, since once a week isn't really enough to settle a sensitive child into a routine, is there anyway you could suggest to mum that he just comes to you for the whole five days instead?

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early days... I too never worried about a child who may cry on leaving or need separating from mum who settled very quickly once she had gone...

 

Once had one child who did this for 2 years... despite all the settling in , books, stability of same person taking him each day we tried it all.. but often by the time mum had got into the car outside he had stopped.. now younger sister was watching all this and when she started the year he left did the same for a term.. she thought it was what was expected of her.. even told mum so! that was all she had seen from her brother so told mum that is how she should leave her... within 2 weeks she had stopped but it was another case of mum handing her over and leaving...

 

give it time, so long as mum is happy to continue and the child settles with luck it will quickly stop.

 

as an aside we found when we had less children they tended to continue longer than when there was a lot of children to distract them..

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