What if the child doesn’t want to go to daycare? Baby and family

Yesterday the child happily went to crèche or kindergarten, today there is protest and roar. What is behind it??

Today: thumbs down for the day care center! Sometimes a child doesn’t want to

Elin (4) had been going to kindergarten for a year and had a lot of fun – and suddenly went on strike. Leon (6) had only a few months to go to school – and was suddenly moved to tears to stay in kindergarten. And Fabian (3) suddenly clung to his mother every morning and didn’t want to let her go. Many parents know scenes like this very well. For most mothers and fathers, childish reluctance comes as a complete surprise and apparently for no reason. And not infrequently, the morning farewell drama also ends in tears with the parents.

Sudden reluctance to go to daycare: what is the reason??

Why is it that the child who actually likes going to daycare suddenly doesn’t want to go there anymore? "The reasons for this can be very different", says educationalist Christian Bethke, who heads the Berlin Institute for Early Education with a colleague. Often there is a strike by the younger generation in the first months after acclimatization. "The kindergarten is then no longer new and exciting, but routine", Bethke explains. "And the little ones realize that they are separated from their parents for several hours a day." This is particularly painful when they know that mom or dad is at home with a younger sibling.

For some children, there is simply no energy left, the expert says. "Getting used to it is stressful, the children are required to be highly adaptable", says Christian Bethke. "It is a mistake to think that children will settle in in two weeks." Many need several months to arrive in day-to-day life in daycare.

Even long after getting used to it, there is a lot that can spoil the desire to go to kindergarten: the favorite teacher is not there, the toilets are dirty, the food does not taste good, the best friend announces: "You’re dumb!", or the teacher scolded. In preschool age, many children also want to finally grow up and no longer feel like it "Babykram".

Parents should take feelings seriously

Parents should take these feelings seriously. "Even if the reason for adults seems banal, for the child provides it is usually a very real problem", says Bethke. But: It is often not so easy to find out the reason (see box below). The educator therefore recommends that parents change their perspective: "Put yourself in your child and try to track him down." Then you often notice where the problem is – or that the little one just doesn’t feel like it. "Parents expect a lot from their children", says the educator Anita Meyer * from Hanover. But happy and happy to go to daycare every day, that was unrealistic. "Parents can not stand it when their child is sad or angry. However, that is part of life, and parents have to allow it to their children", so Bethke.

Why doesn’t the child like going to daycare? Here’s how to find out!

Children live out their feelings uninhibitedly, but they are not yet able to state the reasons for their feelings. These tips help Parents looking for the causes:

  • Role playing game: When children play with the dolls or the cuddly toys, they often recreate scenes that they have experienced in everyday life. If you play kindergarten together, you may find out the causes of the kindergarten strike.
  • Mal-time: When drawing freely, children can express their emotions.
  • Leisure: Children often only come up with the language as they really are. If possible, devote more time to your little one – without any appointments.
  • Tell-hour: Remember your Kita time? little one it is fascinating when parents talk about themselves as children – and it encourages them to hear how mum and dad have mastered problems.

Hand over crying child to the daycare?

What helps at that moment? Take the child home or hand them over in kindergarten? "First separate, provided the child is healthy", says Anita Meyer. Christian Bethke also pleads for the farewell, with reservations: "An educator should comfort the child. If it cannot be calmed down, it has lost nothing in kindergarten. Then you need a caregiver, and that’s mom or dad." As a rule, it does not come to this: "Most of the time, the children calm down quickly and find their way into the game", tells Anita Meyer. "Parents can also call and ask at any time." In order to avoid new discussions every day, she advises to continue bringing the little strikers to kindergarten every morning. "This regularity is important, especially for preschool children", according to the expert. "But it would be nice if parents could devote more time to their child in such a phase and would not leave it in the daycare for so long."

Long term problem? Seek help from educators

If the little one goes on strike more often, parents should talk to the educators. "A good educator has a feel for whether the child really feels uncomfortable in kindergarten and can say why", says Christian Bethke. Together, you can then look for a solution, for example assigning new tasks to the preschooler or better integrating the little loner into the group.

Sometimes the parents themselves make it difficult for their little ones to say goodbye in the morning, for example because they stay in kindergarten for a long time or cannot let go of their child. "The longer the parent is there, the harder it is for the child to separate", the teacher knows. So it’s better to split it up quickly and quickly. "Rituals help you say goodbye", says Christian Bethke. In his children’s daycare center, the little ones were allowed to push the parents out, great fun for the little ones. It helps many children if they have a cuddly toy with them. Elin took her polar bear with her in the morning and was allowed to sit on the keeper’s lap for a while. After two weeks, the daycare strike was no longer an issue, much to the relief of her parents.


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Christina Cherry
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