Starting preschool anxiety HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-08-2011, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure where to post this Q. I am a SAHM with a 2 year old whom is ALWAYS with me. The longest she usually is away from me is for 2 hours and thats her dad taking her to the park. She is very attached to me and struggles to stay with dad let alone anyone else. Its mom, mom, mom and mom only. She is OK with leaving me at home and going out with dad, but I cant be the one leaving.


I am not sure what to do about this. No family close to home to develop other bonds and I dont know if she will mature in time for preschool. I want to send her to Montessori which is 5 days a week but am freaking out how she will handle this. I have tried leaving her at childcare (for an hour max) etc.. but each time the crying and sobbing gets worse. I get so jealous of other moms who can leave their kids for a few hours!


I am thinking of a 2 hours x 2 days a week program 6-12 months prior to leading up to the full time Montessori. Any guidance on this?


FYI we co-sleep and still BF, which adds to the closeness I guess. Of course I love it but am worried I need to somehow prepare her for preschool or do I just let time pass and cross my fingers when she is 3 she is more mature and will be OK? I dont want it to be traumatic.  I know her, it would be more than a few minutes crying.


Aside from the attachemnt, she is MORE than ready to start, even role plays at home goin gto "school" and says goodbye. But she does that too re: going to a music class with dad yet when the time comes, screams for mom to go and leave poor dad at home.


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#2 of 7 Old 03-09-2011, 02:08 AM
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DD is very attached to me, although I've been forced to be away more recently for work so because of that she's become a lot more attached to DH.  That being said, I think it's a very good idea to try the 2x a week program first.  When DD first started with her babysitter at the age of 1 she flipped out and it took a good month for her to adjust (and that involved a lot of crying, even vomiting greensad.gif).  The best thing for her was a SHORT goodbye and for me to just go.  The longer I took leaving (and if I had to return at all for anything she would never settle down). 


We were also able to snag a DVD of the school and pictures so DD's familiar with what the school will look like.  Another thing that's great is the book Llama Llama misses mama. It's about a little Llama's first day of preschool when he misses his mama but then eventually learns to have fun.  DD loves that book and we have to read it multiple times per day.


I think it's also a good idea to work with her to help her get used to being with your DH.  Try short trips out by yourself on the weekend, for example.  It was a struggle at first for us but now DD's bonded a lot more with DH and it makes our lives much easier!


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#3 of 7 Old 04-02-2011, 10:59 AM
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Sounds like you have a great transition plan!! Consistency was what really helped our son get adapted quickly to the M school. That, and the school is amazing and the women there are really sweet!

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#4 of 7 Old 04-02-2011, 03:29 PM
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My daughter's first week at preschool was actually a montessori summer camp the school did and she was not quite three years old at the time. It was her first time being away from me and other than my sister she had never really even had a babysitter as I was always afraid of her being too upset or crying too long etc. She cried the first four days for at least five or ten minutes, but the teacher picked her up and tried to engage her in an activity and she was fine for the rest of the class. When leaving I always said the same thing "Mommy loves you and I will be back, I always come back." After that week I all of the sudden could leave her anywhere and with almost anyone and she never cried again!

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#5 of 7 Old 04-03-2011, 05:37 PM
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Our son went to a daycare at about 20 months. I worried a lot and had intended to wean him during the day before he started, but basically, he went cold turkey. He cried for 2 hours the first day (we visited a couple of times prior), 10 minutes the second day, and not at all after that. He did well without nursing during the day I think probably because I wasn't there. I nursed him in the car when I picked him up and before we left the house and a lot in the evening. Now I wait to nurse him when we get home. The first few times of that were hard because he cried all the way home. Coming home can be a challenge because he wants to nurse a lot sometimes and I feel under pressure to start dinner. DH has had to make dinners more because of it.

I think easing her in sounds like a good idea. We also read Llama Llama Misses Mama. Even though lingering too long when you're leaving isn't a good idea, I strongly believe in saying goodbye. I think leaving without saying goodbye creates trust issues. I say something similar to the other responder - something like bye bye. I love you. I'll be back. Have fun.

Good luck. It might not be as bad as you think. She has a good solid foundation to build on.
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#6 of 7 Old 04-03-2011, 05:41 PM
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PS I never had anyone watch our son before that either - mostly just my husband or me.
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#7 of 7 Old 04-05-2011, 09:45 AM
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Could you carpool with another family at the school you are considering? Maybe that parent could drop both kids off in the morning and you could pick them up in the afternoons? That ways she'd be the one leaving you in the morning, instead of you being the one to leave her at the classroom. We had a similar arrangement with a family in our area... we each bought an extra toddler carseat for our cars ($200) but otherwise it was a really inexpensive and easy solution.
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