Ok, so my DD is 2 and 3/4. When she was 2.5 years old she moved from the baby daycare center to the 3-5 year old center. She never really played together with kids before, she used to play alone a lot. It seems as though she has been playing more with the 4 year olds at her new daycare, which is great, but there are some issues developing and I don't know what to do/say to her about it. This is all new to me.
So last night at dinner K says to me "Gabby doesn't want to play with me!" (Gabby is a 4 year old). I can't remember exactly what I said but likely it was something about being sorry to hear that and that sometimes kids want to play with different kids and that's ok too. Then at bed time I was cleaning SAND out of her eyes and nose and she told me that Gabby threw sand in her face. This just breaks my heart to hear!
This morning I mentioned it to one of her daycare workers and she said that she was talking to the owner and missed exactly what happened in the sandbox and then K wouldn't tell her who did it. After I mentioned it she wrote it down in her book. She told me that K loves playing with the big kids but doesn't understand when the big kids are done playing with her. It sounds like she pesters them and won't leave them alone until they scream at her to go away. OMG, I want to cry! So sad. Her teacher said she has had to physically take K to the other side of the yard and get her involved in a new activity so she'll leave the older kids alone.
Sooooo, how do I handle this at home? Any idea? I feel so bad that she is going through this and I want to help her deal with some of the feelings and perhaps help her understand why kids sometimes don't want to play with her. I was excluded a lot as a child so perhaps I'm just extra sensitive to this scenario.
Thoughts? Thanks in advance ladies.
I would talk to the school more. Granted, my group is different because I have all ages in one house, but when my older kids are ugly to one of the younger ones they are reminded to include everyone and be kind. I'm not sure there is much you CAN do at home, but I would definitely be on the daycare.
Oh that sucks Heather... I don't really have much advice on this type of situation. It is normal for kids to play with a variety of kids, and sometimes not want others around, but that is hard for a 2 year old to understand. The big things that stand out in my mind...
1) Make sure she knows that she is loved and valued, despite what may happen during the day. Point out some of her really great qualities just before you drop her off.
2) Help her to understand that it is very important to listen to people the first time. This includes, parents, teachers, and friends. If a teacher gives her instructions then she should be expected to follow through with that request right away. If a friend asks her to please find something else to do, it is also important for her to follow through there too. This will save her lots of struggle throughout ALL of her life if she can learn this lesson now! You can actually even make a game out of it - practicing at home. Use stuffed animals and dolls and act out various "scenes" that might happen throughout the day, and what might be a good way to respond.
* I also have to say that I disagree that the older kids should have to include her all the time. There is a big difference between a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Sometimes it really is hard for the younger one to "get" what the older kids are trying to do or play, and it can be very frustrating for the older child to have to continually include the younger one who doesn't quite "get it." I definitely see this in my children. They do play a LOT together, but there are times when the 2 or 3 older ones want to be left alone to do their own thing because my 2 year old just isn't ready for their activity yet.
It seems odd that they have such a large age span in one group. Maybe see if having a play date with the younger kids would get her more interested in playing with them instead?
This is so hard as a parent because it is kinda out of your control since you arn't there and can't protect her all the time.
My DS1 is 4 and sometimes goes through things like this at his school. He likes to play with older kids too and sometimes they just don't want to play with him. 1-2 years is a big age difference when kids are this young. I tell him it's ok to play on his own too. Or to find new friends. He always seems to find the troublemakers and then gets in trouble too. friends can also be mean but it doesn't seem to bother him like it bothers me.
I think if it becomes a real issue and she is getting hurt I would talk to the teacher about whats really going on. Sometimes kids just have to learn on their own and that's ok too. I don't think any daycare provider when let a child get seriously hurt and help a child if they are upset.
I know exactly how your feeling and it's never easy to see our child go through this.
First of all, that is great that she is reaching out to play with other kids. I taught 2-3 YO preschoolers for a while in college and that is a skill still developing at that age. Anyway, ITA with Laurie's advice to make sure she knows you appreciate/love her not matter what (I'm sure you already do this!).
I'd also try to suggest to her (the best you can...I know an almost 3 year old has a short attention span!) that sometimes when kids get mean when they need a break, so the best thing we can do is give them some space and play somewhere else until they can be nice. I don't think telling her not to play with them or leave them alone altogether is good idea because it could deter her from trying to play with other kids in the future. *hugs* I know how hard it is when you feel like your child is being picked on a bit.
All that being said, I'd continue to follow up with the daycare. If they know this is an issue, THEY need to be proactive in helping her understand and avoid the situation. That's their job.