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crying at the playgroup

  1. #1
    Aava.Wong is offline Registered User
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    crying at the playgroup

    my toddler is 22 months old (still not talking yet - this calls for another thread!) and has been attending a playgroup for 2 months. i took him to the first 4 classes and let my helper take him after that as i work full-time. at the first 2 classes, he cried for 10-15 mins but he got used to it afterwards.

    i noticed that he didn't pay attention to the teacher and ran round the class non-stop (he loves to dance even without any music on!). story time and craft time was a big no no for him as he didn't want to sit still. even the playgroup leader kinda gave up on him and she stopped calling out his name while the other kids participated in games *sigh*

    helper told me that he has been crying for the past 3 lessons - maybe because the new playgroup leader makes him sit still. i admit that we're a bit soft on him and dont discipline him as much as we're supposed to......pls dont hate on me!

    aaaaaanyway, my question is if i should take him off this playgroup or, let him join a "gym" type of playgroup or, let him just enjoy his outdoor playground (no playgroup)?

  2. #2
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Don't worry, my toddler was exactly the same. Started her in playgroup 3x a week at 22 mths. She did not follow the lesson sequence, and preferred to play with all the wonderful toys in the classroom. She threw huge tantrums when we steered her back to the lesson adn we had time outs several times each class other wise it disrupted the class. The only part of the lesson she really loved was music and dance for 20 mins. It took her 2 whole months to settle down, cooperate and participate in the lessons.

    Whether you continue with your toddler or take him out depends on what you want. I personally think that kids are really too young to go to school at 2 years and behave in class. I did not send my child to any lessons before this and just let her play in playgrounds, playrooms and play dates, ie informally. The only reason why I kept her in playgroup was because I want her to learn social skills. Although my child is very confident and outgoing, she is quite wild so I wanted her to start having exposure to structure, learning manners, taking turns, sharing, etc. She is the only child at home. I really don't care about her learning her abcs or colours and other proper learning at this stage, there is plenty of time for that later. If I took my daughter out of playgroup, I know for sure that I would put her in music & dance or a sport like kids gymnastics etc. However I decided to stick it out... I was also in despair and could not believe it when the tantrums finally stopped after 2 months. She did not dislike the class, i think it was just power struggles. I am also a working mum, took my child the first few lessons then it has been my helper taking her since.

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    why not try a gym?

    i have been teaching this age for a long time (and run two playgroup centres) and what you describe is not out of the range of "normal". there are some children who just have a lot of pent up energy. there are other children that have no problem sitting still. without seeing your child "in action" it's hard to say what would be the best thing to do. many, many, many kids cry for a long time when they first go to playgroups, others walk in their first day and act as though they've been coming for years...

  4. #4
    Aava.Wong is offline Registered User
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    thanks ladies for your comments!

    seeing how active and happy he is while running around, i think that gym type playgroup would be more suitable but i'd want to let him stick it out at the current playgroup for a bit longer against my hubby's wish. my only concern is that i dont want him disturbing the lesson and annoy other parents/kids with his continuous crying!

    it's only him and the helper at home during the week so i wanted him to learn about the social skills rather than learning ABCs too (hi-5 lisa88). he hasn't talked yet either so thought that being around other kids would make him talk sooner....but i accept him as a late bloomer as he crawled late and walked late and now walks non-stop (good exercise for me). just anticipating what i'd do once he starts talking non-stop!

  5. #5
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    My son was never very co-operative at play groups at this age. He didn't cry so much but he clung on to me 75% of the time probably for a good year or more of attending them. I only attend informal groups with friends so there wasn't much in the way of organised activities (which I'm not sure many under 2's can do with much success) and even then he didn't really enjoy it. I didn't force the issue - it just wasn't his thing. I also noticed that the boys in the group were much less enthused about the whole thing than the girls.

    When he started kindergarten at 3 he was fine - no issues after the initial settling in period. He will still cling a little to my husband and I if we are in a social situation with lots of people but that is just his personality. He is otherwise very outgoing and talkative now. FYI - he wasn't talking at 22 months either but suddenly started blurting out whole sentences at around 2.5 and now has an extensive vocabulary at 3. I just ignored people who said he needed speech therapy.

  6. #6
    Aava.Wong is offline Registered User
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    @oxmerc - thanks so much! i'm feeling kinda relieved to read your experience as it's more or less the same situation as with my son.

    i'll take him off that playgroup and put him into a gym/sports playgroup like gymboree/tiny tots/socatots. maybe tiny tots/socatots are suitable for him as he's too active!

  7. #7
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    I had the same experience with my son (seems the girls are easier??!). He never wanted to sit during mat time, never sat during craft. Only time he sat was during snack time ... It did get a bit easier with time but even at 2 and a half he would do his own thing. Loved trains and vehicles so would prefer to play with those instead of listen to stories. He was also a late talker (we did attend some speech therapy). When he was 2 and 3/4 we enrolled him in an unaccompanied class (after much angst on my part, thinking he was too young) and he adapted so well and seems to love it there. I wonder if part of the tantrums and not listening was because I was there as we get glowing reports about his behaviour at the unaccompanied class (which at the start baffled me - how do they get them to listen and sit down?!). He is now talking up a storm and I do credit some of this to the unaccompanied playgroup he attends. He comes home singing songs and talking about the crafts he made. He is now 3 years and 2 months old and been attending the unaccompanied one for 6 months. I would stick out the class a little longer and see if it gets better. My son was happy doing his own thing but if forced to sit on the mat with the others then he would cry and disrupt everyone. Was a catch 22 as he was quiet if I let him do what he wanted (but the other kids would sometimes then follow him and not sit on the mat) but if I forced him to sit then he'd certainly disrupt! At your son's age, he is so young that you could easily wait another 6 months or do a gym type class and then go back to something more structured to give him some practice before kindy.

  8. #8
    Aava.Wong is offline Registered User
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    when i accompanied him, there were 3 girls and 4 boys in his class and compared to the boys, the girls were sooooooo obedient, attentive and talked many words than just "please" and "thank you".

    @starbucks2 - may i please know the name of the playgroup that your son goes to? i'm just researching online at the mo and for him, i think tiny tots/socatots would be better. i can get him back to the structured playgroup after 2.5 years old so he can get ready for kindy (if he gets a place in a kindy, that is!).

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