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Why is my daughter crying and reluctant to go to school?

Q: I am 28 years old and married for 3 years. My daughter is 2 years 7 months old. Both of us are working. She stays with my parents or my mother-in-law. We have recently started sending her to baby nursery school. It has been almost 2 months since she started going to school, but she doesn't like to go. Sometimes she goes to school happily but at times she is very reluctant to go. She cries for the whole of 3 hours in school and asks the teacher to carry her or put her to sleep. It becomes very difficult for the teacher to control her. Ever since she has started going to school, she has become very cranky at home. She always wants me beside her. She even wakes up at night and asks for me. She is feeling very insecure. I have started coming home early from office these days, which is not possible everyday. She even troubles my mother-in-law and asks for me. She plays with other children but wants me to be with her all the time. What should I do? I have explained to her that she has to go to school where she can make new friends. I feel I should discontinue her from school and try sending her next year.

A:Since you have spent some time thinking about the situation, you would be well advised to follow your own intuition (gut feeling) for arriving at a solution. Your end statement that you feel like taking your daughter out of school seems sensible. There is no need to force the child to attend school at age 2+ when you have satisfactory alternate care systems. Let her spend the day with one of her grandmothers, if that is possible. She may still miss you and ask for you, but I would not describe it as a behaviour problem. Set up suitable toys and books and play materials for her, so that she is happily occupied. When you are back from work, spend a lot of time with her. Once she feels secure, she will go to everyone in the family. Next year she will be ready for Nursery School and for interacting with a lot of new people. This is only a suggestion. Review all the possibilities with others in the family and make a decision with your child's happiness in mind. It seems too early in the child's life to be worrying about the future. What matters to her is the present. Keep a good balance between competing priorities. All the best.

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