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Ask Joanne - My Two Year Old Doesn't Want To Go To Nursery

03/09/2009 10:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Do you have a question or dilemma about life as a parent that you'd like some expert help with? Our life coach Joanne Mallon answers your questions here.

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Maria writes:

My two year old daughter goes to day care two times a week. It has been two and a half months since she started. But every time we go it's a really big drama - all she says is 'no go friends mummy'. We recently had another baby, he is 4 months old now. I really need time to do some errands and spend more quality time with my son as well.

I really think that it is good for her to get away from the house and me, so she can socialise, but my husband thinks that she will get traumatised. What's the best thing to do?

Here's life coach Joanne's reply:

Dear Maria

Please don't feel that you have to justify sending your child to day care. Plenty of people in your situation do the same - I certainly kept my older child at nursery when my youngest was born. As you say, the social interaction can be really positive for a toddler, and it will probably do you the world of good to have some time off from caring for a toddler as well as a newborn.

There seem to be two issues at play here: first of all, the fact that your daughter isn't settling at nursery school. What feedback do you get from her carers about how she spends her day? Many children get upset at the start of the day, but soon forget this and go on to have a happy day. How is she at the end of the session? Your nursery will have dealt with this sort of situation many times before, so make an appointment to speak to your daughter's key worker, or the day care manager, to see what their opinion is and what they can do to help.

The second issue which you mention briefly is that you and your husband are disagreeing on what to do. What does he suggest that you do differently? Does he have another childcare solution in mind? If you take your daughter out of nursery, how will he help you have time off? Can he come with you to talk to the day care provider to see how your daughter can be helped?

I think it is extremely unlikely that your daughter will suffer any lasting trauma, but if your husband really believes that this is the problem, then he needs to focus on finding the solution too. Perhaps if your daughter is upset when you leave her, she may not be the same if her dad drops her off, so he could do this for a while.

I hope you can find a way through this. Your daughter's insecurities about being left at nursery are most likely related to the recent arrival of her younger brother. Spend as much time as you can with her one to one to help her feel more secure, and this will pass.

Best wishes

Joanne

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What do you think? Did you send your toddler to nursery when your second child was born? Any tips for getting your child to settle in?

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