dixiefaucett's picture

Daycare nightmare HELP!!!

We are having a real problem with our 3 year old son. He had to start daycare this year because my mom (who has been watching him) had to go back to work. We started him off in a big daycare and they made us take him out because for 4 weeks all he did was scream. They say he will calm down if he is engaged in something he likes but if he has to transition to something else he screams and cries and will kick walls and doors. When anyone asks what is wrong he says he does not want mommy to have to work. He will have some good days but he always screamed through the 2 hour nap time. This week we started him in a ladies house who has a small family daycare. He did good on the first day but the next three days he started screaming when I left. It takes about 2 hours for him to calm down and then he will scream off and on all day. We have tried rewards, punishments, talking to him, removal of his toys. He even wears a picture of us around his neck. Nothing seems to work. The daycare worker now says she has tried everything to calm him. She said she has never seen a child that nothing seems to work. Unlike the first day care when he gets home he says he loves it and he loves Ms Heather. He says 'I promise I won't cry anymore because I know you will come back' but as soon as we pull up he starts screaming. Any suggestions? I wish I could stay home and keep him but that is not possible. It breaks my heart. I am strong in the mornings and very up beat when I bring him to school. We sing and play games all the way there.

mommy28's picture

Well he sounds like a great little boy,but has some seperation anxiety.I think all children go through it to some degree,some worse than others obviously...lol..If i were in your situation i would try mabye a smaller dayhome/home daycare and before i brought him i would explain to him/her that i was looking for a strong person so to say..mabye a home with not too many children so theres more attension on him.I would explain your situation and made sure they understood that he would be very upset and mabye ask how they would handle it..ie hugs,songs mabye..Theres got to be someone who is willing to work with him and you on this.A very understanding and patient person.I would warn them about the constant screaming for mommy...just in case mabye they would feel they couldn't handle it.Theres bound to be someone with persaverance to keep working with him daily and eventually...he will know him/her and settle down a bit.Im sure its hard..easier sad than done.right?lol.My daughter went through a bit of that in playschool at 3 as well and we found an amazing teacher who with us worked with her and never gave up and now she is so excited to go back to see her for preschool.It will take time...its a matter of finding that right person who is willing to not give up and who is understanding...I hope i have helped a little atleast..Good luck!

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

What about hiring a nanny? At least your child will be in the comfort of his own home, w/ his own toys, bed, and familiar environment. This might help ease his anxieties a bit. I used to work as a nanny, and I experienced the separation you're talking about. It's a normal thing at your son's age. Some kids handle it better than others. I think as hard as it is, you shld stick w/ it. Eventually, you're son will get used to the routine and being away from you. Is it possible for you to ease into the transition process only leaving for a short time, then gradually increase the time you're away, until your son gets used to the idea? I wld also reinforce his good behavior w/ a prize at the end of the day. Overlook the negative, and praise the positive. I hope this helps.

STEFANIEI20's picture

Maybe you should try going in to the daycare with him.Stay there for alittle while to settle him in.It may be easy for him to watch you go if he is playing with a toy or with the other children when you go.You could also see if his teacher could spend some one on one time with him on the weekend so he can start bonding with her.Maybe ask her over for dinner or if she will met you somewhere for a playdate.This may help him.You could also make a hourly calendar chart.You buy a poster board,calander,edging scissors (these just make a design that looks real nice) or regular ones,colored construction paper,glue sticks, sticker letters(or you can just write the letters but it's more fun for the kids to have stickers)and you will need to buy stickers so your son can put one on the chart every hour.All this stuff can be found at Walmart,CVS,Rite Aid,Target or maybe a dollar store.

STEP 1 Cut out all kinds of shapes about 4 inchs in size.use the color construction paper.On a calendar there are squares for each day .you use the shapes for each day.When you have them on the board put the days of the month on them.(make sure you have a calander near you to copy)

STEP 2 Cut out long strips of paper.(this will be used for a borders around the poster boared)

STEP 3 I used the foam sticker letter on my sons to put the days.I put a M for Monday and i'm sure you get the idea.I also used them to put
Hayden's Calendar and to put October on it.You could also put name Hourly Calendar Chart.These can be found at CVS,Target,Walmart,Rite Aid or maybe a dollar store

STEP 3 If you are going to make this for month of October you can use the construction paper to make witches,ghost,pumpkins,a little haunted house or what ever you want.(it's easy to make any of these.For a witch just cut out a triangle for a hat,circle for a face,2 small ovals for eyes,a small triangle for a nose,a rectangle for a body,small square for a neck,4 small thin rectangles for arms and legs,a thin strip of paper and a medium size tiangle to make a broom and you can cut out a circle to put in the hand of the witch so it looks like one of those pumpkins for candy)Just glue it together.

When your done it should look like a calendar.Every hour your son can put a sticker on the board.When you pick him up both of you put a sticker on the board together.You could just buy one but my son loves helping me make one and where going to do one every month now.My 5 year old son is in kindergarten and he was having problems just like your son and i did the chart and i walk him in and let him start playing and he doesn't cry no more.

nicesally's picture

As a mother of two boys ,I can feel your trouble.Maybe my experience can offer your some idea,even help.
my second son is 19 months and go to daycare every day.He cried on the first day I sent him to the kingdergarton.Now 7 days passed ,he has been accustomed to the daycare.
what my did to help him to get used to the daycare is several steps followed:
1.stop breastfeeding him when he is 17 months.I took much time talking to him repeatedly :" you have grown into a big boy now.you cannot be breastfed any more.mommy loves you.you are very good.someday you will go to daycare like other children etc". Tell him such words above again and again until he understands completely.
2.take him to pay visits to several daycares and arouse his interest to join the kids playing in daycare. In this way,he learns a lot about the daycare and isn't be afaid any longer.
3.teach him to speak .I told him how to let teachers know his needs.when he express his when to pee clearly,he can also tell the teacher about he is thirsty or hungry,he is ready to go to daycare.
4.the above steps are very useful,they can lead help the kid make preparations for separation from family members.
my last step is find comforter for the kid,his favorite toy pig.He carries the toy pig to daycare everyday.when he sleeps at noon and night ,he hugs it tightly.The toy comfort his tension greatly,he stops screaming when going into the shuttle bus of daycare.

acitez's picture

This makes a lot of sense! What a good mom.

2xstepmom's picture

Have you put some real thought into staying home with your son? He is literally crying out for your time and attention. Do a budget, cut corners, make every nickle scream if you have to, just don't put your son through this emotional torture any longer. It can be done. Your son is worth it!!!!!!

2xstepmom's picture

Did the situation get resolved?

Was any thought put into my suggestion?

SnglDad's picture

Dixie,teaching your child that change is a positive thing in life, is not a bad lesson. I would stick with the daycare. Contrary to another opinion that was offered, this is not emotional torture.

My children were resistant to daycare as well. I found that coddling, excessive dialog concerning daycare, and extended drop offs, only added to the anxiety. As a single father my options were limited, and I did what was necessary. You need to do what is necessary for your family. As human beings we are able to adapt to change. This is healthy, and each new experience helps us grow and mature.