3.5 yr old hysterical at preschool

L has been in preschool since November and always enjoyed it and gone in fine. The last 2 weeks though he's crying, clinging on to me and saying he hates nursery. He has then gotten upset about a hour later during snack time. ive called at lunchtime and he's fine then and happy to see me at 3pm. 

I sent my H in with him today but still the same tears and hysterics. Even the other parents are shocked when they see him. 

Anyone had similar? I just don't know how to deal with it as he's always been fine being left with preschool, Playgroup, family and friends!


  • so sorry to hear L is struggling, my LO also struggles about drop off when she had been happy to go in before its so heartbreaking.  have there been any changes, like new teachers, new kids, change to routine at home or school?  or is he going up to nursery in January and worried about that?  has the teacher given any insight on something that might be upsetting him?  maybe try a reward chart or something to see if that helps, maybe a toy at the end of the week he's been really wanting?  or if the preschool can give him a sticker for not crying, or set him a task to do when he gets in (maybe help put something away so he feels he's doing something grownup?) sorry just rambling but hopefully he settle in again soon

  • Thanks KC. The only change is be has slept in his own bed recently (we are at a record 6 nights in a row now) we are doing rewards for that and nursery are giving him stickers for that already so not sure if we can introduce it for not crying as well.

    He doesn't start school for another 2 years (we are in Scotland  and he'll be the oldest in his year)  the only change is my daughter is now in school so not with him in preschool. But he started back in August fine, it's just since last week this has started. Plus they were in different rooms when she was there.

  • Has he fallen out with a friend?

  • It may be nothing at all. My daughter - who had gone very happily to nursery since she was a baby - suddenly got upset sometimes when she was about that age. I felt really bad because I'd been merrily leaving her without a worry and suddenly she was becoming upset. I never did find out why and it passed after a couple of days.

    Or it may be that he didn't realise that his big sister wasn't going to be there again - small children don't really understand that some things have changed for good. So maybe its taken him a week to really understand that this is what is happening now. Try to ask him what's the matter. Maybe get hime to talk about it with his favourite toy. Have a 'chat' to his toy about it - in front of him - and see if he'll be able to tell you. So something like 'teddy was sad this morning too. What was wrong with you both'

    This will only work if he has a favourite toy of course!

  • Thanks ladies. He's been back at preschool for 5 weeks now and I think he understands A is now a schoolie.

    He got upset just before lunch today but his teacher distracted him with the new laptops they have and she said he was fine when they we t on a nature walk.

    I have noticed he is tantruming lots just now - for silly things. Ie today he flipped out in his cars eat when we got to my parents and they were not home yet.

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