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What to do about this kinder issue?

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#1 3rd time lucky

Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:52 AM

Hi All,

I don't want to give too much detailed information, but I'm looking for others experiences / advice in any similar situations.

My DS started 3yo kinder this year. A few weeks in the teacher mentioned that she'd noticed a few things regarding his behaviour and development, and suggested we see a Paediatrician.

We were totally shocked by this, as although DS is a reserved and cautious child who takes time to warm to situations and does have separation anxiety, we were happy with his overall progress. We also thought it was very early into the year to recommend such a thing.

Anyway, we have now seen the Paediatrician who reassured us that his behaviour and development is well within normal variations, and that the best thing we can do is let him play and do the things he is interested in, and let him develop at his own pace over the year. ie it is way too early to think about anything like OT for pen grip. If there was no improvement by the start of 4yo kinder then we could reassess.

So now I'm feeling really torn, as I feel that the staff didn't give him a chance to settle in, or get to know the child he is, before making 'judgements' about him. He cries at drop off (though does settle) and asks for me to not take him to kinder pretty much every time.

My older child has been through this kinder and thrived, but she is a very different child...  I'm worried that they have already labelled him in their minds or pigeon holed him, and that it's not the best place for him.

But, it is the feeder kinder for the school he'll go to (which I've heard from others is wonderful at dealing with 'outside the box' children), so I'm worried not sending him there will hamper his school transition (though he's familiar with the school through his older sibling).

Also, has anyone got experience with not doing a formal 3yo kinder program, but just doing 4yo... and how did the child adjust then?? I'm wondering if he just needs more time without the pressure of a structured environment, or whether I'm just delaying the inevitable??

For the record, he has attended another crèche occasionally, and although he cried for the first couple of times at drop off, he eventually settled and now never cries when he goes (although does tell me to make it a short visit each time!)...

Thanks in advance.

#2 hills mum bec

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:17 PM

In SA there is no such thing as 3yo kinder, children start preschool when they turn 4 & they all seem to cope with school transition OK.  I think if you are doing activities with him that involve other children such as playgroup or kindergym then there is no need for that kind of formal care at 3yo.  I would just send him when he turns 4.

#3 Silvers

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:26 PM

None of my children did 3yo kinder as they were not ready to separate from me at that age and were quite shy in nature.  Instead, I took them to playgroups, swimming lessons etc where they could still learn to socialise but have me there with them.

I never had any issues with them settling when they started 4yo kinder.  They had matured a lot in that year and were happy to separate from me and made friends without any issues.

Edited by Silvers, 27 March 2014 - 12:28 PM.

#4 3rd time lucky

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:28 PM

Thanks :)

Both years of kinder were so fantastic for my older child, that I'm just struggling with the idea that perhaps 3 yo kinder is not for my DS...

We don't really do any other structured activities... but he has plenty of play with other kids....i.e. playdates, plays at the park etc. He is a kind and gentle soul and is already great at things like sharing and taking turns.

#5 Tender Heart

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:31 PM

None of my children did 3YO Kindergarten.  We went to plenty of other things together - library, music, playgroup, etc.  My youngest child has anxiety (about all kinds of things).  The staff were terrific settling him into the 4YO program and supporting him during the year.

For children with anxiety, a large group with unfamiliar adults can be really distressing.  

Have you caught up with the teacher about having seen your paed?

#6 positively

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:34 PM

My DD is very similar. At 3 year old kinder (1 day per week) she didn't really participate in group activities but played with a few friends and got into all of the craft activities. Her teacher didn't seem to spend the time on her to help her gain any confidence.

At the time was in child care 2 days a week & although reserved she would warm up and join in with encouragement.

4 year old kinder was at a different kinder (3 days a week.) and she bonded well with one teacher only but did participate more when she was not given the option to sit out activities.

6 weeks into school & she still hates me leaving but no tears, once the class starts she's fine and is getting up to do things in front of the class.

I'd speak to the teachers, suggest things they could try and if they don't implement them then i'd look for another kinder or back to child care.

You know him best so discuss what you know and let their training/skills do the rest

BTW my Mr social is not doing 3 year old kinder as he is in child care 4 days a week and is thriving

Edited by positively, 27 March 2014 - 12:35 PM.

#7 Let-it-go

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:36 PM

Another SA mum here too who has never heard of formal 3yo kinder.  I did do a preschool at that age but it was my own choice, VERY play based and my DD was more than ready.

Dont feel bad if you pull him out and start again next year.  Especially if you thi he is unhappy.

#8 annodam

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

Neither of my kids did ANY Kinder.
They were with me 24/7 until 5yo.

DD straight into Pre-Prep & same with DS (this year) both aged 5 at the time.

I don't get why kids need to be doing anything formal & structured at 3yo?

They're at school for so many years, let them be kids!

#9 FeralZombieMum

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

So your DS has only just recently started kinder, and in the last 8? weeks, the kinder has raised some issues, and you were able to get in to see a paediatrician so quickly? That's pretty amazing for where I am (takes about 6 months!). Perhaps this should be a warning sign the paed isn't such a good paed after all.

There are paeds, and there are peads.  A lot of general paeds are too quick to give the parents a pat on the back and send them off, telling them that their child is developing normally. I would take what they say with a grain of salt. Get into a good development paed and you might find you are given different information.

#10 lozoodle

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:52 PM

I'm not understanding the problem - the kinder brought some concerns to your attention, as they are supposed to do within their duty of care. Suggested you see a paed, which you did, and got told all good.

What's the problem? That they raised concerns you don't agree with? I'd personally be glad that they brought things to my attention, it at least shows that they are paying attention. I'd just see how it goes. None of that seems like a problem to me. I would be more annoyed if they had some niggling concerns and DIDNT mention them to me, regardless of how soon it was from the start.

#11 3rd time lucky

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:53 PM

Sorry - had trouble with quoting above - was replying to Zombie Mum!

Edited by 3rd time lucky, 27 March 2014 - 12:55 PM.

#12 Therese

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:57 PM

I would just go back to the kinder and say that you have seen a paed who says his development is ok.

There are no rules that he needs to go to 3 year old kinder, so if you are not comfortable with it then send him again next year.

#13 CrankyM

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:57 PM

Zombiemum has raised some points about the quality of the peads. If however you are happy with that pead (i.e. used them before or it came via a recommendation from someone you trust) then I wouldn't worry. We are a semi-regular at the pead clinic here as well as the developmental pead my eldest sees and his appointments for the developmental pead are often made 6 months in advance because of how tight her books are.

In WA there is no 3yr kinder either. 4 yr kinder yes but not a 3 yr old program unless some sort of thing is run through daycare. It could just be that he isn't ready to separate or for some sort of formal program (which should really be play based). Does he do a lot of drawing activities/art and craft at home? Because that is the best way to work on pencil grip and hand strength. Also OT's can see if there is a lack in hand grip/pencil grips etc etc at that age. My eldest has been seeing an OT on and off since 3 for this type of thing (lego, playdough, drawing, cutting with help are all things we are told to do that helps. Also using large tweezers to pick up bits and pieces into boxes helps)

#14 3rd time lucky

Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

Ah - just accidently deleted my post.
Here's a short version...

Zombie Mum - I am totally confident in this Paediatrician. He is on the list of Paed's in Victoria who can assess for ASD etc. It was a 3 week wait for initial appointment.

lozoodle - what I'm concerned about was that there was no discussion with me prior to recommending I see a Paediatrician, there doesn't seem like there was enough time for him to settle in and for the teacher to get to know him before issues were raised - and I'm concerned he will be 'pigeon holed' by the teacher.

#15 Chocolate Addict

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:03 PM

My child didn't go to 3yo kinder. I didn't see the need, they are still so young. We did plenty of activities so he was definitely stimulated.


So your DS has only just recently started kinder, and in the last 8? weeks, the kinder has raised some issues, and you were able to get in to see a paediatrician so quickly? That's pretty amazing for where I am (takes about 6 months!). Perhaps this should be a warning sign the paed isn't such a good paed after all.

There are paeds, and there are peads.  A lot of general paeds are too quick to give the parents a pat on the back and send them off, telling them that their child is developing normally. I would take what they say with a grain of salt. Get into a good development paed and you might find you are given different information.

WOW!! seriously?? Could you be any more judgey and wrong??

The pead we attend is one of the best in the area but we have never had to wait '6 months' to get in, 6 weeks, maybe but not months.

I would give him a bit longer to settle in before going for second opinions or finding a new "good" pead.

#16 3rd time lucky

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:09 PM

Love the large tweezers idea!!

#17 Fright bat

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:20 PM

I would give him time to settle in too.

As much as I love kinder teachers and childcare workers... they are not always right either.

DS1 was 'labelled' at 3 year old kinder as having a set of 'characteristics' that we knew just weren't correct. They had him pegged completely wrong - something our (excellent) MCHN, our (excellent and highly experienced) pre-school field officer and the independent assessor the pre-school field officer called in agreed with.

We spent several months trying to work with the kinder to change their attitude and modify their approach. We had meetings with them and the independent assessor. Nothing. In the end it wasn't an issue that was a deal breaker - it meant DS had an acceptable year rather than an awesome one... and so we let it go. But on the advice of and with the support of our preschool field team, we moved him into another (very highly regarded) kinder for 4 year old, and the difference has been absolutely incredible. They had him absolutely worked out within the first three days, and the change in him has been utterly incredible.

From my experience, I think it can be hard to change a preconceived notion. What you have to decide is how much of a 'negative' impact this will have on your child, and balance that with your other options.

#18 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:22 PM

Maybe it isn't so hard in Vic?
I saw an awesome one and waited about three weeks.

I would trust a good pead more than some kinder teachers personally. Not all but some. We had one average one who labeled many of the younger kids as difficult, and treated them poorly all year.
There was a lot of pressure to hold them back or pull them out. It seemed like she wanted to make her job a bit easier.

In contrast at several different kinders/day cares the teachers had a different attitude and were wonderful with younger kids and those with adjustment issues.

I've had three kids and experienced 7 different preschool learning environments and they have all been quite different. I totally agree that they can mislabel a kid so if you are not happy then perhaps take a break or try a new environment.

#19 3rd time lucky

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:29 PM

Unfortunately I do feel this is affecting my DS as he's a sensitive and perceptive little guy. He seems much happier at crèche, and they often comment on what a sweet and lovely little boy he is.

I will finish off the term (last week next week), then enjoy the holidays to relax and process all this ... I definitely won't make a rash decision, just trying to process it all at the moment!


#20 Kay1

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:32 PM

I'm confused? Are you unsure at continuing to send him there because he is unhappy or because they raised concerns?

I see it as their job to flag potential issues. That's all they are, potential. If he is given the all clear by a good paed and its just his personality at play I'm sure they'll be fine with that and find strategies to work with him. Just because they raised issues doesn't mean they don't like him or don't want him there. Perhaps they were just trying to help?

I have been in this situation before and my child stayed at the centre. I had lots of communication with the staff and I never felt my child was unwelcome there.

#21 3rd time lucky

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:36 PM

Bit of both Kay1...

I feel that how early they raised concerns showed a lack of just letting DS settle in and show his true self. I calculated this teacher had seen him at kinder for a total of 12 hours before raising these issues... way to early in my opinion, and it caused a great deal of stress. I understand the intentions were good (early intervention etc,), but it just really missed the mark.

I also feel he is not settling and unhappy - but of course I am not sure if that would happen anywhere, or is specific to this kinder environment...? That's what I need to ponder and figure out.

#22 hills mum bec

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:37 PM

View PostZombieMum, on 27 March 2014 - 12:43 PM, said:

So your DS has only just recently started kinder, and in the last 8? weeks, the kinder has raised some issues, and you were able to get in to see a paediatrician so quickly? That's pretty amazing for where I am (takes about 6 months!). Perhaps this should be a warning sign the paed isn't such a good paed after all.

There are paeds, and there are peads.  A lot of general paeds are too quick to give the parents a pat on the back and send them off, telling them that their child is developing normally. I would take what they say with a grain of salt. Get into a good development paed and you might find you are given different information.

So you would take the diagnosis from a kindy teacher over a paed who can't possibly be any good because the waiting list isn't long enough?  How do you know if a paed is any good?  What is the minimum waiting time to see a paed to assess if they are a good one?  Crazy!

#23 robhat

Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:57 PM

To some extent, it depends on the issues raised. There are various developmental things that a good teacher could pinpoint with only a few hours with the child. The pead wouldn't even see such issues. It really does depend on what the teachers are concerned about.

Other than that, it comes down to a matter of trust. I sent my DD to a preschool with teachers I trusted. They could raise concerns with me within the first day and I'd take them seriously and also know that they hadn't pigeon holed my child. But other teachers might be different.

On the whole, yes you should be pleased that they notice things. You need to wait and see how they treat your son from now on. The fact that he doesn't settle could be an entirely different matter. Some 3 year olds are kind of young for kindy and do take a while to settle. You can either wait it out or pull him from kindy. It's unlikely that it has anything to do with the teachers.

#24 kpingitquiet

Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:18 PM

I think some teachers are prone to snap judgments, maybe in an effort to seem very attentive to your child.

We're dealing with a childcare teacher in kiddo's new room who told us after one session that she didn't play WITH kids, only NEAR kids. Well, we see the exact opposite and she's forever roleplaying/pretending with others and this week there are photos of her actively playing hospital with another little girl. The same teacher told us this week, after her 4th session in the new room (she attends 1 day/wk) that she's not very verbal and only whispers when she speaks. LOL...this child is the biggest motormouth since I was a 3yo and just today told the neighbor across the street whom she's met once, run-on sentence style, "Mama has a baby in her tummy and he used to be this little and now he's THIS big and he's going to be my brother and play with me."

But, truthfully, I'd rather the teacher make hasty judgments and allow us to be the ones to sort the truth from the silly, and to also judge if the teacher themselves is the reason for any problems. That said, it's totally a personal choice to send a child to 3yo childcare or preschool, assuming you're not reliant on it for work/study/etc.

#25 ..-

Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:41 PM


Edited by Jazzie123, 19 November 2014 - 11:29 PM.

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