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The parent that won't go!


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As the topic suggests, I currently have a child started last week. Mum has put off sending her to school until she is 5 so has chosen to put her into pre-school with us. Trouble is, she won't leave her child. I asked her this afternoon if she was going to leave her child and she just says "no i'm going to stay until she gets used to it" Now I have seen no evidence to suggest that this child will have any trouble seperating from Mum. I just think if I don't nip this in the bud early, it will be even harder to get her to leave. So my question to you all really is how do you deal with parents that won't leave.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated TIA

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We had a parent who wouldn't leave her little boy a few years ago, he was fine and it was the mum who really needed the support. In the end she used to help out in the kitchen and at other activities so she gained confidence and could see her child without being next to him all the time. Unfortunately it didnt solve the problem and when her child went onto school she helped out there!

 

Sorry, that didnt really help did it! :blink:

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honestly... I would let her stay. If it has only been a week that is not very long for her to feel confident in your ability to look after her child and for you to build a relationship with the parent. Do you have anything about leaving children in your policies? maybe if it continues you could prepare a written timetable together outlining when and for how long she will leave the child. I have had a parent stay for 6 months and i respected their choice to stay but we did write a plan of how we would eventually make the break and it worked really well

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honestly... I would let her stay. If it has only been a week that is not very long for her to feel confident in your ability to look after her child and for you to build a relationship with the parent. Do you have anything about leaving children in your policies? maybe if it continues you could prepare a written timetable together outlining when and for how long she will leave the child. I have had a parent stay for 6 months and i respected their choice to stay but we did write a plan of how we would eventually make the break and it worked really well

 

Thanks max321 I appreciate your honesty. I was worrying as we have been in this situation once before and the parent never left and it was so difficult when the child went to school. The parent blamed us and said it was all our fault and I hate the thought of that potentially happening again. I have asked all staff to make themselves known to mum whilst she is staying to help her feel at ease but her keyperson obviously be responsible for working with mum. Funny you suggest a timescale as I am just discussing this with the keyperson. I will have a look back through the policies and I may have to amend this to cover situations like this.

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It is very early days if he's only been with you for a week.

 

I think that working with the mum to build a timetable for withdrawal is probably a good long term plan but I wouldn't be introducing the idea right now.

 

The system seems to be working at the moment. You say that you see no sign that the child will have a problem separating but maybe the mother would say that her child is settling in really well because she is there. This could be described as the beginning of a very successful settling in process.

 

She has known him for years. You have known him for a week. She sees what he is like before and after the sessions. Maybe in a couple more weeks her instincts will tell her that he is settled and she will withdraw naturally.

 

I could see the need to suggest a timetable for withdrawal if this had gone on for weeks or months with no progress but not after one week.

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We allow parents to stay but when it is obvious that is more for their needs than the child we start a gradual weaning off process where they will first go and sit in the office with some magazines, then nip out for half hour and so on until they are happy to leave.

In my opinion if the gently gently approach isnt working you will just have to be firm with her

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We have also had the situation where it was more for the mum's needs than the child's. As well as accepting this and acknowledging the fact it has only been a week, we found it very useful in the long run to ask the mum to pitch in with some general tasks when this kind of situation occurred. It did obviously depend on the parent, and we were helped by the fact we had some side rooms and a partially separate kitchen. This meant for example that we could cheekily ask mum to do some washing up for example, leaving her able to see the child but effectively out of sight from the child.

 

In the long term it was helpful for mum to see the child was really well settled and involved, so when the inevitable hiccup happened she took it in her stride. It also helped to build mum's confidence so she felt more able to choose to do other things for herself. I say "mum" all through this because, although we have had a number of parents in the situation over the years, it always seemed to be mums for us, possibly because we came from an area where our mums had given up work to stay at home and often they felt a bit lost with the changes in their circumstances. Some of these mums went on and trained in childcare as a new career. Oh and yes, once that "mum" was me!

 

Edited to say: It was always handy too to have another pair of hands to do the washing up/clean the paintpots/etc!

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I would ask the mum why she feels the need to stay, particularly if the child seems settled, has she perhaps experienced difficulties re separation in the past with older children? Is this child her youngest and that's why she's struggling to 'let go'? If you want mum to leave I would give her a short task to complete such as a picture which could be added to their child's learning journal or a short story with their child (which is then completed and comes to an end so she leaves) then draw the children to the carpet area/key worker groups, to start the day and she might get the cue to leave? I would definitely try to find out why she hasn't gone to 'grab 5 mins to herself'. Could the parents all receive some form of letter congratulating them and the children on having such a great start as their children are doing so well in developing their independence on coming into the classroom and how important this is in terms of widening their relationships (hint hint). I find some parents who stay actually unsettle the other children. The children expect separation and when it doesn't happen it can be just as unnerving!

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"

Could the parents all receive some form of letter congratulating them and the children on having such a great start as their children are doing so well in developing their independence on coming into the classroom and how important this is in terms of widening their relationships (hint hint).

"

 

I think if I was the parent concerned I might find someone dropping hints this way quite upsetting.

 

I have always found pre-school children very accepting of situations which the adults around them accept. Would you have the same concerns about a parent being in the room if that parent were also a member of pre-school staff?

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