Hi I'm new here. I have a 3 year old boy who has been at home with me (never in daycare ect). We recently joined a parent co-op preschool where parents can stay or leave for a bit while their child is in care with a certified teacher. This is our second day and this morning my son was in tears and didn't want to go.
I distracted him enough to go, and he went (somewhat unwillingly) and then had a great time once he was there (just like his first day). I just hate seeing him anxious and upset about going. This is supposed to be enjoyable for him.
The preschool is not all the foreign to him. It;s in the basement of our church (he is familiar with the environment). The group is small (10 kids) and he is friends with at least 5 of them.
My son has always been a bit of a homebody. He'd rather be at home much of the time and sometimes cries if I say we are going to a playgroup or to church or to the pool, but once he is there he always seems to like it.
I'm looking for advice on how to make the transition of going from home to preschool easier and more enjoyable for him. Any ideas? Thanks.
Can you stay with him? If not, perhaps a playgroup where your presence will give him the security he looks for. He could still enjoy playing with others but have you present to 'check in' with; a very healthy practice for children as they mature and seek independance but still have the secuirty of mother or their primary care giver.
This may sound harsh, but if he is already beginning to settle in after a short time and seems to be enjoying himself the rest of the time I wouldn't sweat it. He'll most likely get used to it. This may not be true for every kid, but it is a common enough problem in children who spend the majority of their time with a parent/guardian that he'll most likely outgrow this fear of separation with time. My son cries only when I drop him off and half the time stops before I'm down the hall, but cries the second he sees me pick him up. Of course if I peek around the corner before he sees me he is having a wonderful time until he spots me. It is probably just his way of making me feel guilty and the fact he actually settles in and enjoys himself means he deep down he knows I am always coming back. If you feel this may be something more than normal childhood separation anxiety and a more severe form of it than I would recommend contacting your doctor.
Thanks for the replies.
I think that he might just need some time to adjust to this new weekly group. When I sneak off (after about 20 mins) he could care less if I'm theer or not and when I go to pick him up, he is having a great time participating in the activities, it's just the actual "getting out of the house and driving there". I'm going to just have to give it some more time. I just wish there was something I could say or do to help him with the transition.
My 3 yr old DD is the same.
Getting her dressed and out the door and to daycare is a challenge. Dropping her off is a bit of a challenge. Then she enjoys herself all day. And then has a melt down after we pick her up.
We NEVER sneak off. I always tell her I am leaving and kiss her goodbye and tell her I love her and will be back to pick her up after work. I believe sneaking off will compound the issue as they may be having fun, trusting you are there and then turn around to find that you have left them. That can dismantle trust.
One thing that works for us for getting her in the mood for school is to talk about what she will be doing that day or what she would like to do. And then we tell the teacher c=when we arrive. "DD would love to paint some pictures today. Her favourite colour to paint is pink". This was an idea that the preschool teacher gave us...and it works.
We also just make up songs to sing while walking to "school".
Our favourite is "Going to school school, school. It's going to be cool, cool, cool. Going to play all day, day, day. Cause all I wanna do it play"
Or "Who will I see at school today? I'm going to play with Ben today! Who will I see at school today? Im going to play with Sarah today!" Until we name all of the kids she goes to daycare with.
Basically keeping the getting ready fun, playful and gently talking about her day and how fun it is keeps her engaged enough to cooperate with getting ready and getting there.
Me 40 . Partner to mamacolleen 33 . DD born July 2009 . Twin boys born Nov 2012.
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