He’s distancing himself

Next Wednesday will be the day my kids leave our existing daycare provider. We’re then going on holiday for a few weeks before they start in the new place. The move is purely practical- we’re very happy with the existing provider, but they can’t pick up and drop off when Ricky starts nursery school in September.

We have an appointment for the kids to be shown around next Thursday, after which we’ll drive off on holiday. Ricky has been promised a rare and much longed for trip to McDonald’s as a treat after the meeting at the new place, and knows he’s going on holiday after that.

We’ve been preparing him for the move in daycare from as soon as we knew it was going to happen. We’ve concentrated on the positives, that it’s right beside his “big school” (nursery/primary school) and that a lot of the other kids who are going there will be going to the same big school. Also that he’s going to make lots of new friends. I’ve also been preparing him for the fact that he won’t see his old friends on a daily basis any more, but have tried to soften this by saying that he can always meet up with them outside school. I don’t know how likely that is to happen in reality, but I am hoping he’ll be having too much fun to notice. In the eventuality that he misses some of them too much, I will make an effort to contact their parents to arrange something.

I’ve noticed though that the past few days, he’s beginning to distance himself from the existing provider, and even from the kids in his peer group. He knows he’s only got a few days to go. He says things like “I am fed up with ***” and “is it my last day yet?”, and seems to be bickering with the other kids a bit too, which is really unusual. He has been saying that “his new friends will be really, really nice to him”!

I am very, painfully aware that he’s feeling tired and in need of a break at the moment. The last couple of times we’ve had leave from work, we’ve needed to do stuff around our new house in terms of decorating, and as a result the kids haven’t had as good a break from daycare as I would have liked. I feel very bad about this, and am glad they are getting a break imminently! I plan to spoil them rotten!!


I’m not sure if the new attitude is because he knows he’s leaving or simply because he’s sick of the sight of the place! Maybe a little of both. I ask him questions like “Are you still feeling OK about the move?” and asking him if he will be sad to leave, but he seems to be feeling fine about it.

Either way, it is impressive to me that even so young a child (he’s three) can implement such strong coping mechanisms for what must surely be a massive upheaval. I hope he’ll continue to take everything in his stride. Maybe I am the one who is feeling surprisingly un-okay about it all!


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June 2008
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