Hello Dr. Markham,
My 19-month old son just started preschool. Previously he had been home with me until 14 months (and a nanny/his aunt 16 hours a week) and then home full time with my husband from 14-19 months. Now my husband and I are both working full time, so he's started preschool 9 hours/5 days a week. I'm writing to ask how I know if he is adjusting well, and if this a good situation, and how/when to make the call if its not? He cries a little when I drop him off, and for the first few days he cried during transitions at school. Since then, the teachers have reassured me that he is doing very well, bonding with teachers and other kids, which they say is rare this early on. This is confirmed when I come to pick him up and he doesn't want to leave. I really do trust the teachers, and think they are very caring, loving and patient with the kids. The problems, however, seem to be manifesting at home. He has been pretty much non-stop tantruming and screaming in the mornings when we are getting ready for work, and a good chunk of time on evenings and weekends. I know this is an age for tantrums, but I just can't understand how these behaviors would develop overnight. He has always been an easy-going, gentle kid and now seems the opposite. My hunch is that he is learning these behaviors from observing the older kids, but even if that is the case, is this good for him? He is still very upset for most of the time we are together now. So, my question is, how do I know if this situation is not working for him? What are some of the signs? And how long do I wait before making the call? My husband and I are so happy that we were able to be home with him until 19-months and that he developed into such a loving, gentle boy, and now are worried that all of our dedication and AP will be undone overnight. I also don't have to continue working, so getting out of this situation is a possibility. Although I wonder if being home with me all day long would be less enriching than preschool at this age. I appreciate any insight you might have on the topic. I have very few people tp discuss this with in my life.