Subject: three year old hates nursery
Question: my three year old has been attending pre school three mornings a week for around a year. recently however he has been refusing to go and crying all the way there. he even refuses to get out of the car and just last week i had to carry him out kicking and screaming.
he refuses to tell me why he doesn't want to go but doesn't seem to be enjoying it at all. the key worker says that he seems fine as soon as i leave but states he has been a bit quilter.
do i continue to take him or not as he really seems to not like it.
Answer: Dear Carla,
If he is just now having a reaction to the day care after attending for a whole year something has changed. His kicking and screaming is his only way to tell you that something is not right. Check with the daycare to see who is new, what has changed at the daycare since the point in time in which he was not behaving like this. Do not allow them to tell you everything is okay as it obviously is not okay.
Also, has anything changed in his home life. Little ones are very sensitive to changes in their routines. They are very process oriented as they do not have a concept of time as we do until the are about 8 years old. They view time as a process of their routine (not a schedule). They determine what comes next and knowing that their routine is consistent is what provides them with a sense of safety.
Something has changed for your 3 year old and you will need to be a diligent detective to find out what has affected him so strongly.
In addition any child who is having a difficult time with seperation benefits from having items they associate with the idea of you. For instance smelling you. Allow them to take an article of clothing or a blanket you have slept with to reassure themselves throughout the seperation. Give them a picture of you and/or you and them together to allow them a sense of reassurance that they can at least see you in the picture when they want to see you. Think of things that would be comforting. Sleep with their favorite animal whatever it takes to provide them with reassurance that you will be back to pick them up.