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Help! Preschool Dilemma

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Iris attends a local Russian preschool. There are 8 international students and the rest (about 16 - to 5 or 6 teachers) are Kyrgyz or Russian (Slavic). Two of her teachers speak French. The international kids speak English.

Iris does well: play well, eats well (lots and lots of veggie soup!), etc. She has finally started to speak English. She is learning Russian words. She has learned quite a few songs. She is learning to express herself through her body (dance, movement, etc.). She is forming friendships. She talks to the Russian-speaking kids. She learns about musical instruments. In short, the school seems great!

She was the only child who, when starting out, didn't scream and cry when being dropped off.

BUT...lately she has been very resistant in the morning. She says she wants to be with me. She screams, kicks, grits her teeth, hits me. Now, this is related to a period of behavior challenges. Her French grandma recently left after a 2-week stay.

I do talk to her a lot. I tell her where we're going, how long she'll be there, when I will return to pick her up, etc.

I have friends who drop their kids off just after me (5 minutes), and they assure me that she is fine when they see her. Also, other friends volunteer at the school and tell me how gentle the children are, how there is no aggressiveness, etc. She is happy and recounting her activities when I pick her up.

I do not work, so I could keep her home. I want to do what's best for her. I will live if I have to give up some of my free time. I'm not doing much but cleaning the house and working in the garden.

What do you all think I should do?
post #2 of 15
Wait it out. It is a test. One that should be taken seriously but not over-reacted to. (IMO) This has happened to us too and we have gotten past it, then it will happen again. There DOES seem to be a correlation between upheval at home (you mentioned grandma) and them not wanting to go.

I think preschool is definately a big adventure and risk in the eyes of a 3/4 year old but generally they are game. But when other areas that are more stable (home) change then they get a bit worried.

Maybe surprise her by picking her up early one day or skip a mon. or fri. just so she can have some time off. But don't mention it too much--just extend the weekend. So she can get some home time?
post #3 of 15


hmm... the preschool sounds lovely. after reading your post, here is what i would do. since iris doesn't HAVE to go, ie, you don't work & wouldn't mind keeping her home, the next time she throws a fit, just matter of factly tell her she can stay home. go on about your day, don't make her feel punished at all obviously! maybe if you leave it up to her she will decide she wants to go. or not. hope this sounds good to you, keep us posted!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas.

We've had quite a few 3-day weekends lately (a lot happened during WWII in May). They actually seem to make it worse.

Jenny - I did that once. Just took her home, no big deal. Of course, dh has to insist that she somehow "wins" when I do that. (Dh can be awfully conditioned by society sometimes!)

I was thinking of keeping her home for a week or so. I'm not crazy about the idea because we already paid for the month (gasp! Yes, money matters in our case!). Maybe she just needs a break...like the rest of us.

You made me laugh about the "feeling punished." I have an acquaintance over here, a lady from Texas. Her younger dd (3) didn't want to go one morning. So the lady locked her dd in her room and told her she had to stay in there all day. Then the lady heard her dd actually having fun in there! So she stormed in and removed all the toys. So the dd started playing with the stuff in her drawers. Mom stormed in again and took out all the drawers and their contents! Again, dd started jumping on the beds. Mom went in and removed the mattresses from the room! The little girl spent the entire morning locked in her room!!

And the lady was like proud or something, laughing about this the day after!
post #5 of 15
jeesh, who was more punished, the little girl or the mom?! that is crazy! i think keeping her home a week would be good- ash her & see what she says. i don't think you are letting her "win," why do men look at it that way?

T (like for instance me not forcing joe to poop on the potty, he says he is scared. i encourage the potty but try not to get upset at him otherwise. dh is like, you're babying him. NO, i am respecting him. grr) T

i can remember screaming & crying not wanting to go to school, & my mom would take me & the teacher would pry me from her. later in the day i would be fine, but to still remember it...

i hope iris can tell you why she doesn't want to go to school- prob. no reason other than she is afraid she'll miss something!

good luck to ya!
post #6 of 15

This is what I did

Right from the start, I sat in the playground with the newspaper or other work. DD1 never wanted to go into the class-room while there was so much outside to fully investigate. After about a month, she moved into the class-room every-now-and-then, and so I asked if I could "go and buy bread".

After another month, she let me go after an hour. By the middle of the 3rd month, as we got off the bike she'd chirp " you can go now if you like daddy, or you can stay if you like" .

Any day she decided to stay at home I'd use as an excuse to go to the beach for a picnic. (I'd sometimes try to bribe her to do this!)

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, but we're, what?, 3 or 4 months into this. She was doing fine. And I don't have a beach to go to!

Incidentally, I did the same thing in the beginning: I would ask if I could go have a cup of tea with one of the mothers. After a few days she was telling me, "Go have some tea maman!"
post #8 of 15
my 5 year has started this.....and he has been in school since October! In his case, my gut is telling me that its not "emotional" based, meaning he is not missing me so much, as the work for kindergarten next year is getting a bit more difficult, and less "fun". Nicholas is very bright and easily bored, and cant stand to stay on task. this of course can lead to issues in the classroom for him. i do stay, give kisses and hugs, but i do leave him. and he is fine not 10 seconds after i leave, he's just having a complete fit when i do leave! and the teacher knows that if it doesnt stop within a reasonable amount of time to call me and i will pick him up. his school day is only 2 1/2 hrs 3 mornings a week, so its not like he's there 10 hours a day and having attachment or abandonment issues.

I agree with mamui
post #9 of 15
Children also just go through little dips that are normal developmentally, where they just get a little clingier when they were formerly more independent. My 5 yo is going through this, and I think it's just a developmental dip. She knows k-garten is around the corner, "the real thing" and she's just sort of consolidating. I often have to support her in saying goodbye at day care when she'd rather just "go home" because I have to work. She works through it with the support of other caring people in her life, and we do some extra snuggling in the afternoon or evening when she is having a day like that. It comes and goes. It seems to me a mixture of mild indulgence coupled with the expectation of going has worked for us. She also attends preschool a few hours a week, the the separation is less of a problem there than at day care.
post #10 of 15

double post

post #11 of 15
Originally posted by ParisMaman
Yes, but we're, what?, 3 or 4 months into this.

Originally posted by ParisMaman

She was doing fine. And I don't have a beach to go to!
Yes, but you have a kitchen table, and Daddy loves cookies right?

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, she's still clinging in the car on the way, saying she doesn't want to go, screaming when the door shuts behind her (and I'm on the other side). But she's so happy and recounting her day when I pick her up.

So I spend the ride home in the morning telling myself I'm going to keep her at home, and the ride home in the afternoon listening to her tell me stories about playing soccer or being gentle with the rabbit,or talking to so-and-so in Russian or having the piano man play songs for her.

Today I gave her a surprise day-off.

Conclusion: I think I'll be going back and forth on this until kindergarten!
post #13 of 15

Great! Give her diversity!

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Today is the last day! I'm taking Iris out for the summer. She is too unhappy when I get her ready and take her. I feel like I have no excuse for subjecting her to this. She is still happy when I pick her up, but I just can't go through these morning anymore. She is ecstatic that she is "not going to school anymore!"
post #15 of 15
A summer break is good for everyone-I wonder if she senses you're expecting? Isabel became very clingy right around the time we were in the midst of that excitement.
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