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  #1  
Old 05-09-2011, 11:29 AM
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Default 4 Year Old Not Wanting To Go To Daycare All Of A Sudden

Hello,

I have 2 boys, 4 1/2 & 2. They are both in an in-home together with 2 little girls--ages 4 1/2 & 3. They have all been together since they have each started. Lately my older son has been saying he doesn't want to go to daycare anymore because it "isn't fun anymore." Today was the absolute worst--he wouldn't get dressed, then took his socks off because he didn't want to go to daycare. Once we got there he started crying, saying he wanted to go to work with me. I carried him in the house and walked in, leaving him to cry in the hallway (I didn't want to give in to his behavior.) I got the younger one settled and the older one had left the house and gotten back in my car and was trying to shut the door. Still crying the whole time saying he didn't want to stay there.

Does this sound like a typical separation anxiety situation or could something else be going on? Our daycare was closed for 2 days last week and the boys went to my parents, but he didn't ask to go to their house today---just to work with me. Right now he goes to preschool 2 days a week and misses the kindergarten cut off in the fall so he will go to preschool 5 days next year, but could this just be boredom? I have contemplated moving him to a preschool center, but I am just not sure what to think! Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

A Worried Mom
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2011, 11:42 AM
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this is sooo typical, especially after a change in schedule. Just about all of my DCk say they don't want to come in the morning and some still cry after being here for years at drop off. As soon as parents leave the act stops and the kid acts if it never happened. When it is time to leave all of them want to stay here.

Question for you.......are you making quick drops or are you sticking around?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:44 AM
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4 is a very typical age for "separation anxiety". It could simply be that, or maybe things are too boring for him. Preschool can be very busy, exiting and things are very different day to day. Maybe when he gets to the daycare, it's not as fun because they are just playing or even eating, napping...ya know something boring when he arrives.

Something that has worked really well for me with a kiddo who went through this was a marble jar. Mom made a reward, and I gave him marbles for having a great day. I listed a few things that I wanted to see him accomplish through out his day, and when I spotted him doing those things, he got a handful of marbles. At the end of the day he got a "I did it" paper thingy if he reached the line on the jar (sorry I have no idea what it really is. Then his mom did the special reward. For the first few days, she had to do something daily. About two weeks later, he was doing so well she changed it to once a month.

If you are still worried about the daycare, you by all means should pop in for a visit. Parents really should do this more often in my opinion.

Best to you!

~Kristen
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by daycare View Post
this is sooo typical, especially after a change in schedule. Just about all of my DCk say they don't want to come in the morning and some still cry after being here for years at drop off. As soon as parents leave the act stops and the kid acts if it never happened. When it is time to leave all of them want to stay here.

Question for you.......are you making quick drops or are you sticking around?
Oh my gosh...the quicker the better, huh?? I encourage parents to say their goodbyes in the car, and in and out at the door. It really helps. I don't like to boss anyone around, but I can not stand crying fits at the door. Makes for a bad day for all of us. If mom or dad is standing there saying " I know you want to be with me, but..." that sort of gives the kiddo permission to carry it on.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:55 AM
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Original poster here....thanks for the quick replies!

I try to make a quick exit-- today I hightailed it out of there! This is honestly the first time I have left him in tears in over 4 years (I was in tears today also.) Our daycare mom did call me on the way to work to let me know that he had calmed down.

We have been having a lot of behavior issues with him lately (not following directions or doing what he's told--at home, daycare and at school.) Two doctors suggested that he may be better in a more structured center, but I hate to separate my boys.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:59 AM
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yes the quicker the better..... thats why I was asking, becusae when the parents stick around it gives the kids a sense of false hope that mom or dad might stay.... Also makes for a longer act of dramatic unnecessary tantrums..
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:05 PM
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I would recommend a center! Shop carefully and look for small group sizes!
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:08 PM
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I wish you were in Sarasota FL! We are a multi-age center and both of your children would be together!
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2011, 01:28 PM
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This must be really hard for you. Four year olds know how to push our buttons. Don't carry him, unless drag is what you're really doing. What I'm saying is make him walk, he's 4. Don't baby him. If you're carring him just to get him there, then ok.

Thank the 2 year old for walking in respectfully. Hopefully it will effect his older brother.

If he won't get dressed, deliver him in his undies. A day or two of that, and he'll likely get dressed.

Talk with the provider when your son isn't around. See how she's feeling, if she has any ideas.

Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:00 PM
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I would also talk to your son at a completely different time from drop off and pick up and ask him why he is feeling this way. I agree with the other posters that it is normal especially after a break, but it would be nice to validate his feelings too.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:35 PM
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It's entirely possible that something is going on. I don't for a minute think he's in any danger. I don't think his provider is anything but loving and fair.

But, I have had kids who just needed a change in scenery for a while. Even I will admit that my setting isn't a good fit for the whole preschool years. It's time to move on about 4-5-ish. My house is better suited for toddlers and young preschoolers.

I don't know if moving him this summer is a good idea though, as he's moving on to Pre-K in the fall.

I'd certainly validate his feelings, and help him see that at the end of summer, he's going to school.

Maybe you and the provider can come up with a special "Pre-K" program just for him. He might enjoy some special privileges, and some preschool work. Just frame it to the provider that he thinks he's ready for school, and is there anything the two of you can come up with to make him feel bigger.

Maybe you know of a friend his age who's mom would watch him in the afternoons a few weeks out of the summer so he can go to summer camp or vacation bible school, or whatever they do in the summer in your area.

To me it sounds like he's just outgrowing her program and isn't happy there. It's not a reflection on the provider, just that he's getting older.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youretooloud View Post
It's entirely possible that something is going on. I don't for a minute think he's in any danger. I don't think his provider is anything but loving and fair.

But, I have had kids who just needed a change in scenery for a while. Even I will admit that my setting isn't a good fit for the whole preschool years. It's time to move on about 4-5-ish. My house is better suited for toddlers and young preschoolers.

I don't know if moving him this summer is a good idea though, as he's moving on to Pre-K in the fall.

I'd certainly validate his feelings, and help him see that at the end of summer, he's going to school.

Maybe you and the provider can come up with a special "Pre-K" program just for him. He might enjoy some special privileges, and some preschool work. Just frame it to the provider that he thinks he's ready for school, and is there anything the two of you can come up with to make him feel bigger.

Maybe you know of a friend his age who's mom would watch him in the afternoons a few weeks out of the summer so he can go to summer camp or vacation bible school, or whatever they do in the summer in your area.

To me it sounds like he's just outgrowing her program and isn't happy there. It's not a reflection on the provider, just that he's getting older.
i agree....

my program is definetly geared towards infants/toddlers and young preschoolers. by 4, most leave to go to a pre-k, and thats fine with me. i have to make sure to do whats best for the child. i even had a three year old this year who had just out grown my program, so i suggested mom put him in a pre-k. he is doing so much better , and thriving! i know its not a reflection on me, but what the little guy needed.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:07 AM
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If I could wrap everything up I've learned over the years and give it to you, I would in this situation. Something similar happened to me several years ago and I will always regret not listening to my child. Trust your child - something either happened or was threatened to happen and is too afraid to tell you what happened. Switch him to a center based preschool program instead - go with the preschools that come highly recommended by your community - get referrals from your friends and from the local Kindergarten teachers. In the meantime, I would remove your children from that in home immediately (and double pay your tuition for the 2 week notice). You never get a second chance to do the right thing. The rest of you might thing I'm crazy for saying all of this, but I've learned huge lessons by not listening to my child.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:16 PM
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My daughter is 4 yrs old and has never in her life ever had separation anxiety..until she got left on the bus while being dropped off back from pre school. There was a mix up with another child who was not there that day and so instead of missing his stop they missed hers. They ended up taking her back to the bus depot bc she was so quiet and didn't hear her still on the bus. She was on the bus for nearly an hr before they delivered her straight back to me. She was sooo scared and even though the bus driver apologized and the school and teachers. It took nearly a month for her to want to get back up on that bus. Everyday she would cry and scream and I would have to have to walk her right up the steps. Everyday it got better and ever day I would call her teacher to prepare her for it. It got easier and easier every day. This even continued on with church classes also. She just wanted me near her always. But she is right back to where she was before this scare. My advise is to have a talk w/ your son and see if he can explain why he doesn't want to go. My daughter has a speech impairment so if I didn't already know what had happened as a explanation to her moods then it would of been diff. to understand why she was so scared and upset. I am sure you can understand your son so he should be able to talk to you about what is going on and then talk to your daycare provider.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:05 PM
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I've been on both sides of the fence with this one.

As a day care provider I have had arriving kids start to throw fits in the mornings because it gets them lots of attention from Mom. You would swear their arms were being chewed off by the noise they made. Needless to say, the parents are concerned that "something is not right". The child then LOVES that so much drama is being made and that they have so much control over the situation and continues to throw a fit until parents are tired of it.

However....as a parent.....I have also been glad that I listened to my child. I have been lucky enough that my kids have always had either me or their dad home with them. When my son was about 3 years old, and before I started doing day care...I worked at a drug store. My husband was active duty military. Our schedules usually allowed for us to always have someone home with the kids. For one week....we couldn't get scheduled and put our son in the day care center on the base where we where stationed. Our outgoing, happy son threw a FIT the second day we took him there. I didn't understand it at all. He was always happy to go to nursery at church etc....no separation anxiety at all. It turns out that the teacher there got mad with him at nap time. We have a no shoes policy in our home for everyone. So our son took off his shoes at nap time and put them under his cot. She told him to put them back on and he said "Mommy says no shoes". The woman then spanked him with his own shoes. He was terrified of her.

We spoke to the director...the teacher admitted it and was fired.

I am glad I didn't just assume all was fine.

My advise is to TALK to your provider and be open to her input. It may be nothing. It may be a lot. Is he coming home happy? My experience is that if they go HOME happy...chances are you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:59 PM
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I The woman then spanked him with his own shoes. He was terrified of her.

.
I seriously live under a rock! I have never even thought of such a thing! I don't know anybody who has! I am way too sheltered.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:50 PM
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My advice is to talk to your son, like another poster mentioned, at a time you're not getting ready to bring him to daycare, and not right after picking him up either. I would also talk to the provider and see if she has any advice, or ideas of why he's acting like that all of a sudden. Last year we had a 4 yr old girl who started doing this to her mom. She'd cry at drop off, and all that, but always before she'd been happy coming in, and happy leaving. But they went on vacation or something (I don't remember exactly what now), but anyway, after all that one on one time, she didn't want it to end. So she clung to her mom her first day back, her mom gave her attention, since she was concerned over her not wanting to come, and pretty soon it was an every day thing. The girl kept receiving attention, she heard her mom talking about it to her Grandma, etc, so was the center of attention for this. This continued for a little while, with everyone wondering why she was "afraid" to come to daycare all of a sudden. I'm pretty sure her mom was considering moving her somewhere else. Well one day we were taking a walk with all the children and the little girl started talking about how she cried when her mom dropped her off (as if she was proud of it) and how she would get a shake at McDonalds that afternoon when her mom picked her up. To find out about it, her mom had been getting her a shake at McDonalds each afternoon after the girl had cried that morning! We mentioned it to her mom at pick up, and she quit getting her the shakes, and allowing the drop-off to drag on, giving her attention for crying, etc, and pretty soon there were no more tears at drop off. And now this year, she comes happily, and isn't ready to leave when it's time. So, my whole point with that is to say make sure you're not giving your son anything special after a rough drop-off, and no extra attention for it. Make the drop offs really really quick for a few days and see what happens. If he still cries about coming, it is possible he's bored, or there may be another child there who may not be the nicest to him, or possibly it's related to the behavior problems and whatever is causing those. If the behavior is the same wherever he goes, I really think it might be connected to it, and not the daycare specifically. But again, he could just be bored and need a more preschool based atmosphere. A lot of home daycares focus mainly on preschoolers, and accept 2-5 year olds (like our's). If you could find somewhere like that, he'd still have the small group situation, and would still be able to be with his brother also. Plus, next school year, he'd be getting daycare and preschool at the same price you pay for daycare alone right now. Good luck! I hope things are figured out soon for you!
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