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-   -   How long for a 4yr old to adjust? (https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70199)

Christina72684 04-11-2014 06:14 AM

How long for a 4yr old to adjust?
 
I know every kid's different, but I've never had this issue before and am about to pull my hair out. Here's the situation:

4.5 year old boy, single child, I think has always stayed home, only been around a few kids before but has been away from mom.

Comes the first day to check us out with his mom and loves the place. He got upset when time to leave, but no big deal. He started the next week (this week) on Tuesday. Cried and screamed at drop off for a bit but then settled down. My other 6 kids are used to playing with each other so they were a little hesitant letting him in to play (we haven't had a new child in a long time), but he did play with them some. Ate lunch fine but once it was time to nap he had a total melt down. He didn't sleep at all, which we don't make them sleep, but he was very disruptive. His mom picked up at 2:30 (thank goodness!) and he cried for her because he wanted to go home. We talked to her for a little bit and when it was time to leave he cried because he wanted to stay!

Second day (Wednesday) he got dropped off and was all smiles and excited to be here. He played and everything was fine, until nap time and he melted down again.

Third day (Yesterday) he was emotional all day long. He'd go from fine and playing, to crying either for his mommy or because he didn't want to nap.

This morning, same thing. He's been crying since he got here because he doesn't want to nap.

I've tried distracting him with toys and games and activities, I've tried to reason with him and explain that we won't nap until after lunch and since we just had breakfast it will be a while before we have lunch. He won't go play with the kids so I'm having him cry in the cubby area because he's making it hard for the other kids to hear.

I understand adjusting takes some time, but he's 4.5 years old and pretty smart (knows his #s and letters by looking at them). Part of me feels bad for him and part just wants him to stop crying so we can get back to preschool. His big thing is whatever I suggest or tell him to do, he says "I don't want to ______." I have a feeling he gets whatever he wants at home, but haven't asked mom yet if that's the case.

Any suggestions? How long do you think this is gonna take before he settles down and plays without constantly crying?

nannyde 04-11-2014 06:28 AM

I knew this was about nap before you got to that part. The first few days he didn't realize he would have to nap and actually stay laying down.

He is one of a MILLION kids his age who don't want to nap. He wants to stay up and he either can or can't. If his parents are paying for a "no nap" service then keep him up and your problems will end. If they are paying for a service that has a mandatory nap time then tell all of them he must or he must go home before nap.

There's no middle ground unless you want some version of him being up.

Christina72684 04-11-2014 06:34 AM

I don't care if he doesn't sleep, but he can't stay up and cry or get off his cot the whole time because it disrupts the other kids. The other 6 kids are mostly 3yr olds and they need their sleep. He won't be going to Kindergarten until August 2015 so it's not like he needs to get out of the habit right now.

Unregistered 04-11-2014 09:18 AM

Ever notice...?
 
...that the child who comes in complaining about naptime falls asleep quicker than anyone? To me, fussing over nap, when we have five + hours until naptime, signifies a tired child :)

Unregistered 04-11-2014 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 450717)
...that the child who comes in complaining about naptime falls asleep quicker than anyone? To me, fussing over nap, when we have five + hours until naptime, signifies a tired child :)

I should have specified that I mean a child who is already accustomed to coming here. I still think it can be true for a child who's new, without the "falls asleep quicker than anyone".

cheerfuldom 04-11-2014 10:51 AM

This isn't a matter of whether he is sleeping or not. You do have a nap time that you enforce meaning all kids are required to lay on their cots quietly for a certain amount of time, whether they sleep or not, correct? So clearly he doesnt want to do that even though, more than likely, he needs the sleep. So its up to you whether you want to wait this out but honestly, retraining an older 4 year old that doesnt have a sleep schedule/structure at home almost never works. Like Nan says, either figure out something where he can be up/awake but not disruptive OR if your set up wont allow that, I would tell mom its not working out. Now you know, you cant take kids that dont already have a consistent nap routine. Its really really hard to retrain older kids. My other thought is that if he is napping at home, perhaps mom is laying down with him or they are falling asleep in front of the TV, again both are habits that are going to be hard to break.


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