or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Sending babies/toddlers to preschool: a new trend?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sending babies/toddlers to preschool: a new trend? - Page 6

post #101 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by odenata View Post
I don't think I am in a rare position in that I don't have lots of relatives and friends chomping at the bit to take care of my children for me. Yes, they sometimes help out when needed. But no, I could not use them for regular breaks (and most of them work full-time, anyway). And while I do sometimes go out while DH watches them, it would be nice to get some time with my DH as well, and have some breaks when he is at work.

I also think my DD got more interaction and was happier at her Montessori preschool than she generally was spending time with family members who weren't always focused on her.

I love being with my kids. But I love it more when I also have time to focus on myself and my needs. In an ideal world I would have lots of loving family and friends that create a village for my children, retired grandparents that want to spend time with them in the day, etc. But I don't. And, sadly, I'm far from alone in that. DD's Montessori school really felt like family after a little while, and DS will go there when he's 3. And I'm really glad that he will get to be with those wonderful, loving teachers that DD enjoyed so much.
I totally agree. It would be great to have family and friends there and willing to watch my children. That doesn't happen often.

So...I could get someone that is distracted and in a hurry for me to come home to watch my children. Someone that is not reliable, and really not interested in watching my children......


OR


I could drop her off at a place that has two teachers that she really likes. They have fun activities and she has little friends (there are three other children there). She loves it.

So which situation is better for me and my child?
post #102 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
Have you been to a good preschool? Because ours enriched our lives considerably. We were part of a true community. I know standards vary, but I can't believe ours is the only child-care center like that?

And back to the original question - we attended a child-care center that was a converted home. One side was referred to as the "toddler" side, and the other was referred to as the "preschool" side, and it's generally 3.5 and up.

I've seen places that call themselves things like "Kiddie Academy" that boast the "learning environment", but I don't check those out because they are not my style.
No kidding. It's not like at our preschool, the kids are all tied to their desks and expected to memorize the ABCs. There are work tables for multiple kids and the activities they do. The Montessori we use has my oldest leaving every day, telling a teacher who has never taught him, but pinch hits with care, hat he loves her. And she responds in kind right back. The principal is actually getting annoyed with me, because as a post partum mother, she doesn't feel like I'm resting enough. Her and many of the teachers are from cultures where children are adored and women take are of one another (especially pregnant/post partum moms), and its great that my kids can be exposed to that kind of community caring. This is part of our village. My sons love their teachers and the feeling is more than mutual.
post #103 of 124
Quote:
But to each his own...that's the wonderful thing about having your own children. You get to make the choices!
Excellent point, justKate. And, I think I'd be hard pressed to find a parent on these boards who didn't have the best interests of their children in mind when making those choices. I think it is easy to get caught up in downfall of society theories, but generally I think that parents are working very hard everywhere to do what they think is best given their circumstances. Are there exceptions? Of course there are. But, with the exceptions I think you'll find that lack of good parenting plays a more critical role in the outcome than the means and methods.
post #104 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post



First, the research doesn't support it. Second, my own experience doesn't.

This is exactly why I found Hold Onto Your Kids kind of ridiculous, frankly. I grew up in the 70s when stay-at-home moms were so much the norm that people PROTESTED that the school was considering opening a lunch programme for those evil, evil moms that wouldn't have a hot meal on the table for their kids.

And let me tell you - our moms, overall, were not there listening to our every word and seeking attachment with us. They just weren't.

Adult and child spheres were way WAY WAY more separate than they are today. WAY. And all the data suggests that is true - that parents spend more time interacting with their kids -- even working parents -- than parents did a generation ago.

I watch Mad Men (which is set a little earlier) and I laugh, because that's what it was like. The moms were continually telling us to go outside and get out of their hair, or go to our rooms. I mean sure - they loved us. They were there at home. But they were not exactly - connected. Bullying was mostly seen as a kid problem and so on.

I suspect this was also true of my grandparents' generation where children were to be "seen and not heard" and "little pitchers have big ears" and all that.

I am really really suspicious of this golden era of stay at home mothering. And I'm suspicious of the idea that family caring was somehow gloriously better. I think it was different - I'd characterize it as "less competent, more love."

ETA: I would say we were much more peer oriented at that time. I never told my parents I was being bullied. In my teens, pre cell-phone, I would frequently not be in touch all day. I was just home for dinner.

And my own parents were even more so. My grandmother used to lock her kids out of the house on weekends so they wouldn't bother her. My dad's parents didn't really know he was dating until he was basically engaged. My grandfather often recalled that his father, a farmer, only ever really had one conversation with him that wasn't ordering him around. My other grandmother was sent to work on an aunt's family farm at 13 and saw her parents only a few times after that.
I really liked Hold on to your kids. It made perfect sense to me.

I never said that the 50's, 60's or 70's was the ideal. To me the ideal would be an attentive sahm more like continuum conceptish than Mad Men.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post

Karamom--so you do spend more than one hour away from your children?

Who do you leave them with? In my case, I have NO babysitter, no family no friends to take dd. Then what? I am not allowed to go out because I have no family to care for DD?

Or, is it okay that I have hired two preschool teachers that are loving and caring to watch DD for 7 hours a week?
I usually leave the kids with dh for an average of about 3 hours a week. Then I have a couple hours at night when they go to bed and my mom watches them a couple hours a month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
Have you been to a good preschool?
No, your right. I have never visited a preschool.

I have to admit your posts are making me feel like a really crummy person. I guess I am just a judgy b****. Maybe that is why I have no friends. The thing is if I admit preschool is ok I have to admit that my ds may be better off there. I've had several people tell me he would be. He is very social and I have a hard time fulfilling those needs. But the thought makes me feel absolutely awful. I want to be that super mom. I would have to let go of the ideal I have been holding for a couple years. We actually live across the street from an elementary school and in the evenings we like to go over there and play. Last night while we were there I was thinking about this thread and I looked inside the classroom window and I just started crying because I felt that maybe I had been wrong and ds would be better off in school.
post #105 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karamom View Post
The thing is if I admit preschool is ok I have to admit that my ds may be better off there. I've had several people tell me he would be. He is very social and I have a hard time fulfilling those needs. But the thought makes me feel absolutely awful. I want to be that super mom. I would have to let go of the ideal I have been holding for a couple years. We actually live across the street from an elementary school and in the evenings we like to go over there and play. Last night while we were there I was thinking about this thread and I looked inside the classroom window and I just started crying because I felt that maybe I had been wrong and ds would be better off in school.
You don't have to admit anything! It's entirely possible to believe preschool is fine YET kids don't HAVE TO GO. Now, IF you're keeping your DS home because YOU don't want to let him go, then yeah, maybe you need to rethink it. I'm really lucky to have a large non-profit mothers' group in my area, so my social DS has had a lot of play with other kids and I haven't *needed* to put him in school for that. Maybe that's all you need right now - a strong group of play friends. Is that a possibility?
post #106 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
You don't have to admit anything! It's entirely possible to believe preschool is fine YET kids don't HAVE TO GO. Now, IF you're keeping your DS home because YOU don't want to let him go, then yeah, maybe you need to rethink it. I'm really lucky to have a large non-profit mothers' group in my area, so my social DS has had a lot of play with other kids and I haven't *needed* to put him in school for that. Maybe that's all you need right now - a strong group of play friends. Is that a possibility?
That is what I really really desperately want for both of us but haven't been able to find. I'm sorry I've hijacked this thread with my own issues.
post #107 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karamom View Post
I really liked Hold on to your kids. It made perfect sense to me.

I never said that the 50's, 60's or 70's was the ideal. To me the ideal would be an attentive sahm more like continuum conceptish than Mad Men.

I usually leave the kids with dh for an average of about 3 hours a week. Then I have a couple hours at night when they go to bed and my mom watches them a couple hours a month.

No, your right. I have never visited a preschool.

I have to admit your posts are making me feel like a really crummy person. I guess I am just a judgy b****. Maybe that is why I have no friends. The thing is if I admit preschool is ok I have to admit that my ds may be better off there. I've had several people tell me he would be. He is very social and I have a hard time fulfilling those needs. But the thought makes me feel absolutely awful. I want to be that super mom. I would have to let go of the ideal I have been holding for a couple years. We actually live across the street from an elementary school and in the evenings we like to go over there and play. Last night while we were there I was thinking about this thread and I looked inside the classroom window and I just started crying because I felt that maybe I had been wrong and ds would be better off in school.
My mom stayed at home for part of my childhood and I do remember her cleaning and cooking while I played on my own. Not that it is horrible to do that....and at some point every mom has to clean, cook and run errands.

BUT...being exhausted, sick and pregnant has left me with zero energy. I bring dd swimming, to the park, out for walks, to playdates, to school readiness program etc during the week. And I really appreciate having a reliable 7 hours to plan other things too.

BUT...if I had a reliable *village* then I would probably have even looked into preschools. So, if you have a reliable village you should be happy and very thankful....it doesn't happen that way for everyone.

I have toured a couple of preschools, and some were just not suited for me, but the one I chose is really really nice. Tonnes of activites, sensory activities, child involvement in acitivities, outside play, walks, songs, stories, and fun learning experiences. Not to mention that my daughter looks forward to seeing her friends. There are two teachers, a cook and 4 children total.

My older daughter is in regular school. Some people enjoy homeschooling, and have a great social support system to do this. I have no real desire to homeschool (personal choice). She has a good teacher and an EA. I am involved in the parent council, and a fundraising committee that is going to build a playground, there is a fruit and veggie program in the school, they also bring them to the community center for swimming lessons and gymnastics lessons (which alot of our students would never be able to experience if it weren't that there is a fee of $30 a year to attend these lessons, and the parents don't have to pay if they don't have the money...which alot don't). They have two nutritional breaks, two outside times, gym time, library time, French classes, dance lessons etc. I KNOW that I wouldn't be able to do all that. (Not that there aren't parents that can't....I am only speaking for myself).

So....you don't have to be a super mom, but for some moms we are better moms if we have small breaks.....
post #108 of 124
KARASMOM--oh, I almost forgot. Definitely don't feel you have to send your child to preschool or school. It is a personal decision and moms have to decide what is best for their family.
post #109 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karamom View Post
I really liked Hold on to your kids. It made perfect sense to me.

I never said that the 50's, 60's or 70's was the ideal. To me the ideal would be an attentive sahm more like continuum conceptish than Mad Men.
Well...I'm skeptical of the Continuum Concept as a life or even childrearing philosophy because of the whole 'noble savage' thing and also because the supposedly peaceful Yekuana warring with the supposedly awful Senema (edited), etc. Not I don't think we can always learn but...for me taking a remote tribe and deciding they're nirvana just isn't for me. I also didn't think it was great anthropology anyway.

But that's me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Karamom View Post
No, your right. I have never visited a preschool.

I have to admit your posts are making me feel like a really crummy person. I guess I am just a judgy b****. Maybe that is why I have no friends. The thing is if I admit preschool is ok I have to admit that my ds may be better off there. I've had several people tell me he would be. He is very social and I have a hard time fulfilling those needs. But the thought makes me feel absolutely awful. I want to be that super mom. I would have to let go of the ideal I have been holding for a couple years. We actually live across the street from an elementary school and in the evenings we like to go over there and play. Last night while we were there I was thinking about this thread and I looked inside the classroom window and I just started crying because I felt that maybe I had been wrong and ds would be better off in school.
No - you don't have to send your son to preschool at all and I'm sure you're a great mom. If you think he would like more social stuff there are tons of ways to do that whether you do preschool or not. I think it is always brave to consider whether what you're doing now is right or not, but I don't think you have to decide it's all wrong.

Gently, it is fine. You sound like you're looking for a perfect ideal but - you are your kid's perfect mom whether he's in preschool or not you know.

And maybe the potential mom friends in your area just have bad taste.

It's just that I don't think there is one ideal way, and as I said I myself am particularly suspicious of the one-mom-at-home-meeting-needs-all-day-and-night-long model.
post #110 of 124
Thanks for the kind words.

You are totally totally right that I hold myself up to a perfect ideal. Then I always feel awful and like a total failure when I don't live up to it. I know logically that I won't be able to live up to it but I still convince myself I should. Not sure how to change that.

I know that I really don't want to send my son to preschool. But I really need to work on my village. I don't feel that I really need more time away from my kids but I really really need people to talk to. Then I won't be bringing up all my problems on message boards and looking like a crazy person. I actually think that a lot of the reason I have trouble making friends even though I try to get out and meet people is because I always assume they are judging me and think I'm not fit to be their friend for one reason or another.

Thank you for listening to my problems and I'm sorry I totally derailed the thread.

ETA: Yeah, I think I need to just stop posting here as I'm sure you all don't want to read anymore about my issues.
post #111 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post
So, just curious: Is it the "thing" nowadays to send children as young as 12 or 18 months to preschool?

I am flabbergasted at all these stay-at-home moms I'm running into IRL who think that they are giving their babies an advantage by sending them to preschool before they're even 2! Some think that they have let their children fall behind if they weren't in preschool by 3!

After staying home with my first 2 kids, I went back to work full time when my DD was 18 months and I put her in a preschool. She has liked it a lot. I'm happy with it and I think it is a great place for her. I would even venture to say that she is learning a lot (it is an awesome Montessori preschool.) But, were I not working, I would never have dreamed of putting her in school before age 3. Am I just an old fogey with an outdated mentality? Is this really the new normal?

Is there some new research out that demonstrates the benefits of preschool for 1-2 year olds that I just haven't heard about?
I'm a SAHM and I wouldn't dream of putting my children into school until they are at least 5 years old, it's not even required they attend any kind of school (public, homeschool, etc.) in this state until they are 9 and are only required to remain in formal education until they are 16. I spend quite some time with them reading, drawing, educational websites, creative play, etc. They learn without going to some goal-driven preschool in their lives. I wanted to be here for them, I didn't want to ship them off to someone else. That kind of defeats the purpose of being a SAHM, imo.
post #112 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
I'm a SAHM and I wouldn't dream of putting my children into school until they are at least 5 years old, it's not even required they attend any kind of school (public, homeschool, etc.) in this state until they are 9 and are only required to remain in formal education until they are 16. I spend quite some time with them reading, drawing, educational websites, creative play, etc. They learn without going to some goal-driven preschool in their lives. I wanted to be here for them, I didn't want to ship them off to someone else. That kind of defeats the purpose of being a SAHM, imo.
I find it funny you qualify the 'websites' with educational but then make a big deal about goal-driven preschool. I think we all have goals for our kids and whether preschool (in general or particular) fits in or not is just a matter of goals that mesh - play based, outdoor preschools, co-ops, whatever.

I did want to address SAH choices a bit though. I don't personally believe there is one reason to stay home any more than there is one reason to work. I can think of a few reasons just off the top of my head:
  • economic - if someone's earning potential is lower, it may make more sense to stay home
  • pragmatic - if one spouse is chasing a big dream or works long hours it may mean the household doesn't run without someone more focused on that
  • the quite opposite reason - I know people who have chosen to stay home in the school-aged years precisely to be availble to TAKE their kids to lessons or care
  • mental, emotional, or physical illness or burnout
  • hating a job and deciding the extra money is not worth it
  • extended family obligations like eldercare

Personally I don't think SAH parents need to invest in preschool - but I don't think there's any reason not to either. Sometimes "being there" for our kids is all about being AVAILABLE (sick days, etc.) but letting them go other places. That can be a very warm feeling too.
post #113 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karamom View Post

No, your right. I have never visited a preschool.

I have to admit your posts are making me feel like a really crummy person. I guess I am just a judgy b****. Maybe that is why I have no friends. The thing is if I admit preschool is ok I have to admit that my ds may be better off there. I've had several people tell me he would be. He is very social and I have a hard time fulfilling those needs. But the thought makes me feel absolutely awful. I want to be that super mom. I would have to let go of the ideal I have been holding for a couple years. We actually live across the street from an elementary school and in the evenings we like to go over there and play. Last night while we were there I was thinking about this thread and I looked inside the classroom window and I just started crying because I felt that maybe I had been wrong and ds would be better off in school.
YOu don't have to admit it's okay FOR YOU. I think people are just trying to point out that they are not holding pens we throw our children in while we flit about our lives They can be wonderful, community-building places. Our world filled with new families, people to spend time with at parks and pools, people who could rely on each other to drop off a hot meal when Mom throws her back out, or pick up and entertain someone's child for a few hours whille Mom is recovering from pneumonia, etc.

I always thought daycare/preschool is okay. Yet, I didn't send my child until he was almost 4.
post #114 of 124
What an interesting thread! I admit, I used to think along the same lines as the OP. We are sacrificing for me to SAH, and I can't imagine paying money, that we don't have, to send my daughter away to be cared for by other people. Certainly if I worked, we would utilize daycare/preschool, but I didn't become a SAHM to send my daughter away.

However, now that she's almost 2, and I'm contemplating baby #2, I totally get it! I can see myself needing a break, at least a few days a week, with 2 or more children. And as my daughter gets older and needs more structure and social interaction, I think some sort of preschool setting would benefit her. As it turns out, she has special needs, and we will be sending her to pre-K next year so she can continue to receive the services she needs (Early Intervention only covers her until age 3).

Lastly, I have no intention of homeschooling, so I don't have a problem with "institutionalized" settings for learning. Hopefully we can find a play-based preschool that allow plenty of free time, but I am not opposed to school learning. That's just us though. I can see why other people feel differently.
post #115 of 124
I didn't want to do daycare, either. Then I had a kid with special needs who absolutely THRIVES in a structured environment with same aged kids.

DD used to be terrified to the point of shaking when other kids would come too close to her. She was an only child until this month, and weekly playgroup, playground, library, Music Together, hanging out with family with kids, etc- didn't help. It wasn't ENOUGH. She started preschool at 3 and literally never looked back. The child couldn't have cared less that DH and I were leaving her there with STRANGERS. She loved those strangers. She bonded to them and now is much more social with people outside our family. She has gained vocabulary she never would have. She has become friendly with other kids, at a snail's pace, but at least it's a pace!! She would immediately be excited and engaged with DCP and all the new! toys! every time I dropped her off at preschool. And all of that 100,000% prepared her for full day kindy this year. She is severely speech delayed, but since starting kindy, comes home and has verbal explosions. She narrates how she's playing with her toys. She gets OT and PT at school as well. There isn't one right way to raise every child. Always keep an open mind.
post #116 of 124
I'm definitely in the pro-preschool camp. It will depend on whether or not we can afford it. However, I believe that separation is a healthy part of development for a child and for the parent. That's just my take.
post #117 of 124
Pre-school, play school, moms morning out..it is all the same imho.
At my sons preschool they do have 1-2 days "mom's morning out" classes for infants to 2 year olds that go from 9-1, nothing structured, you drop them off and pick them up on the parents schedule they want but the young toddler and older 2's do have nap time between 11-12:45 PM.
But it is fun for the kiddos and conveinent for the mom's when there are older siblings.
post #118 of 124
I think that I'll go against the grain a bit and say that preschool at 2 (my DD started at about 2 years and 2 months) benefited her greatly. I definitely could not say that it was "all for me." In fact, it was kind of a PITA for me. It was expensive, cut into the time I had to do things, and meant that her baby brother spent far too long in the car driving to her school and back 2x a day. But I would definitely do it again.

IME most 2 year olds are very social little creatures who thrive under structure, love exploring, and are very ready to move beyond just the confines of the home. A few generations ago and for every generation before that, a child that age wouldn't have been tied to mom's apron strings in the home, but sent out to play all day with all the other kids in the village, being watched by slightly older kids, while Mom got her work done. That's really not an option for most people in the US anymore, so we sent her to a formal preschool instead.

Parallel play starts at about 2, and cooperative play at about 3, so it was really fascinating to watch the way she played and who she played with transform. She learned so much about respecting other people's bodies and games. It became very frustrating to her when her non-preschool friends and her brother didn't listen to her when she respectfully told them to not touch what she was playing with. I loved hearing her tell her brother "No, this is my work. I will find you some work of your own to do." (It was a Montessori program, so work was the word that they used). And then she'd go off to the shelf and find him a toy. Of course, by the time she got back he had totally wrecked whatever she was doing! Ah, the travails of being a big sister to a toddler. But, I'm sorry, there's NO WAY I would have gotten her that "socialized" at dealing with this sort of conflict at home or at a playgroup where everything is just a free for all and all us moms are sitting in the corner sipping coffee while the kids trash the host's playroom. And not that there's anything wrong with that (we did that too!), but she was definitely ready for the social aspects of a preschool and really blossomed in a way that I know she would not have at home.

As for the "academics," I LOVED them! She came home with new songs, and even though I usually didn't understand most of what she sang at first (I'd be googling based on the few words I could catch) they were very important to her and I think that learning songs is so valuable for so many reasons. She did art projects every day (my house was overflowing with art). They had a Spanish teacher who sang songs with them, and it really is amazing how perfect DD's accent is, having started at such a young age. We're at no loss for books around here, but she'd get so excited at the library or bookstore when she recognized a book from school.

So that's my take on preschool for 2 year olds. I'd never say that someone who doesn't want to should their child, but at the same time I also refuse to sign on to the "it's all for the mom" team. Because it really wasn't that much of a break for me. It was a great experience for her, though.
post #119 of 124
Lach,

You (along with this thread) have really provided me some food for thought. I am a SAHM that has not enrolled my LO (almost 3) in Preschool yet. My mindset was very much like.... throughout human history, children have not had preschool and have been just fine! I have seen Preschool as a pushing down of the academic standards, particularly through my work as a Kindergarten teacher. I have observed skills that were previously taught in Kindergarten now being taught in Pre-K. I also have really enjoyed my time with my child, and was loath to give it up, thinking, they are only so little for so long!

THAT SAID..... your points are very salient. I cannot compare my child to other children in history or other countries, in which they would be playing more independently, surrounded by other children, and monitored by other adults, or more likely, older children. As much as I love being home, there is a solitary aspect that can be challenging (my child is an only) for me and, at times, for my daughter. There are times I feel in this isolation, that she needs a bit more than I alone can give. I am also impressed with the fact that her peers seem to absolutely love preschool.

So....thank you for your insight.
post #120 of 124
I think that pre-school for toddlers can be ok, and I think a part-time pre-school for stay at home moms can have a lot of benifits for the mom and the child. All in all, I would rather have a community where kids have a number of people to look after them and look out for them, a fair bit of freedom, and other kids to play with at various times, but a good care setting, either in an institution or a home, can give many of the same benifits. Although I think there are some kids who really don't do well in those settings - I didn't, and I really suffered in kimdergarten too - I'd have been much better home or something close to it.

I am not crazy about the use of the term school, because there is a trend toward lowering formal academics, and I think that is very negative, especially when we are already sending them to big school at quite a young age. I think it is better if everyone has clear expectations that early childhood learning is not "school' type academic learning.

I do have concerns about the way our day-cares are run. To really stand in for a family or village situation, I think small classes, mixed ages, caregivers that are consistent over several years, and lots of outside play in nature if at all possible are really important. But we tend to see kids grouped in same age groups; in bigger classes, even though the student teacher ratio may be good they group the kids and teachers together; a high turn-over among daycare workers; and outdoor play often seems to be centered on play structures.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Sending babies/toddlers to preschool: a new trend?