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#1 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello. We are living in NJ for the summer since DH is a grad student and has an internship in NYC this summer (we normally live in VA,but I am from NJ). Anyhow, today I was on the phone with a woman I have been playing phone tag with for forever and DS (2) was super whiny and clingy and wanted me off of the phone. I asked my mom for help while I was on the phone (literally for 2 minutes) and asked if she could take him into his playroom while I was on the phone so I could hear the woman. She slammed the door to his playroom and screamed and just flat out lost it. She said she can't stand how I have "ruined" her grandson and made him too "attached" to me and how I have created a whiny and clingy child who won't even go to others in his family. I stopped to think that maybe AP isn't really for me since she is right. He is so miserable when I am not around and hardly goes to anybody else. I can't leave him in the nursery at church and I really enjoy church, but don't go anymore. Part of me thinks it is time to just let him be left more since I really do need more of a break and am starting to resent how much he just needs me and only me. It almost doesn't seem healthy at times.
Sorry this post is so negative. Just needed to rant.
ELLE
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#2 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 01:44 AM
 
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Reasons this might have happened:

He's two.

If you usually live farther from family, he doesn't get that he is supposed to be more connected to them than to other people.

He may be scared of people who scream and slam doors.


Reason this didn't happen:

AP.

My son has been raised AP - mostly - I am not hard core by the book - but he is not clingy. I know kids who are not raised AP, and they are clingy. Kids are who they are. They have different temperaments and tolerances. The way we choose to raise them shows how much we value them, but doesn't predict that they will turn out a certain way.

Hang in there.

L.
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#3 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 08:22 AM
 
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I have had this feeling myself at times, but it's not the AP.

WHat your mom did was childish and hurtful. It probably scared your child, and will NOT make him any less clingy to you, where he knows he's safe. She also made you doubt your parenting because of her reaction to being asked to play with her grandchild.

I agree with the above poster - AP's kids a far less clingy and more sure of themselves than their non-AP's counterparts IN THE LONG RUN.

Right now he's coming out of being a baby, and that's an exciting and scary thing to a toddler.
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#4 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 08:48 AM
 
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I know this is extreme, but maybe you should move out for a couple of weeks or even days. Do a mini-vacation or something, you know? If she is THAT upset, to the point of screaming and slamming doors, maybe SHE needs the space. Also, maybe she needs to realize that her reaction and criticism was NOT an appropriate response. If she has that much of an issue, she should have come to you in the first place with her concerns.

Do you think that she could have been set off by something else and you were just the unlucky scapegoat?
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#5 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 09:31 AM
 
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I don't mean to be snippy, but honestly, your mom is old enough not to have a tantrum. That's the two year old's job.

But seriously, maybe this brings up painful memories for your mom of things she wishes she did differently. Maybe it brings back painful memories of her own childhood to see you being so compassionate. Maybe she got burned out since normal two year olds are draining to be with sometimes. Maybe she doesn't have the patience you do, if she is older.

I feel AP is doing the right thing. Sorry mom couldn't deal. Maybe she has her own wounds.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#6 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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THank you all for candor and kind words. I just want to know if maybe I could be doing something wrong. I really think DS is the one of the most clingy children I know and he is one of the only ones that I know is AP. No one else I knows co-sleeps or even thinks about slinging at this age (mostly hip carrier or backpack for us now though). It seems like it is all backfiring on me. Does anyone else ever feel this way?
thanks,
Elle
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#7 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 10:08 AM
 
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Look at it this way, think how he would be if you weren't AP. Some children have higher needs than others and you're meeting his needs. Would it better for him to be despondant and detached? Sure it would be easier for your mom (mine's the same BTW), but how happy and confident would he be growing up? I know I learned from my upbringing that children may need constant care to be nurtured and AP is the best way to address that. DS at times is super clingy (he's getting better as he gets older but he used to be a velcro child), but in some situations it's understandable as kids may sense things they may not be given enough credit for IYKWIM. IMO, your son is perfectly normal and there is a broad range of normal for a 2 year old just as every adult isn't easy going, confident, ect....

Just remember living with your parents is (hopefully) relatively short term! Hang in there
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#8 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 10:20 AM
 
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My dd went through a very similar stage for a few month around 2-2.5, she seems to be growing out of it now. It was to the point that we couldn't let my parents babysit her because she wouls just cry the entire time we were gone. She's more clingy with dh than me because he's a sahd. I think it has a lot to do with that toddler age, wanting independence so much, but then realizing that it is kind of scary.

We got my daughter involved in a Montessori preschool for a 3 hours a day, 4 days a week when she was about 2.4. It was very hard at first, even though we stayed in the classroom with her for the first week. The first time we left her, she cried. We kept calling to check on her, but they said she stopped crying after about 10 minutes, and seemed fine. It was hard on all of us, because we are AP, and we all struggled within ourselves over whether it was the right thing to do, if she was too young, etc. Now she looks forward to going, even though the first few weeks were rocky.

She has learned that playing with other kids can be fun, and that other adults besides mommy and daddy can take care of her. Dad gets a much-needed break. It has worked out well for us, and she has matured a lot in the past three months. As I said, I think much of that has to do with the age.

Maybe wait until emotions aren't running so high in your household and then try to sit down and have a talk with your mom. See where she's coming from. maybe she's feeling left out or resentful that your ds isn't so close to her. Try to remind her that this is a perfectly normal stage of toddler development. Best of luck to you.
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#9 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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THanks. You reassured me a lot. DS is going to a preschool two days a week for three hours in the Fall. I definitely need the break and want him to be with other kids. I think it will help out both of us even though it will be tough in the beginning.
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#10 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 04:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde
Look at it this way, think how he would be if you weren't AP. Some children have higher needs than others and you're meeting his needs. IMO, your son is perfectly normal and there is a broad range of normal for a 2 year old just as every adult isn't easy going, confident, ect....
)

I completely agree w/ the above statement. I have a high needs toddler and it was one of the reasons why I am practicing AP even more now than when she was born. She is only 23 mos, but has a huge tantrum over anything. APing is the best method for me to keep a good connection w/ her. Maybe you mom needs to open her narrow mind and try APing (such as babywearing). Your ds may get a little closer to him. My parents practice AP w/ my kids when they spend the night w/ them. They co-sleep, baby wear, provide bm and even EC (which my mom is a strong advocate of). My kids are super close to them.

I would have been PISSED if ANYONE did what your mother did in front of my child. It was so wrong.

Good luck,
Jenni
Helon 23 mo
Phillip 5 mo
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#11 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 04:05 PM
 
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silly question


what does AP stand for, I can't figure it out?
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#12 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 05:38 PM
 
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AP = Attachment Parenting
http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/links/aplinks.html

Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
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#13 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 05:43 PM
 
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Do you feel that your mothers response is appropriate? Is this something that you expect from her?

I know I will have my issues with my FIL and MIL (they live seperately) when I move to the city they live in soon, and the FIL is a PhD in psychology who has actually done primary work in attachment theory, but I don't think I will ever have to deal with a temper tantrum thrown by either of them. If that ever happened, I would immediately move out, even if it means living in an efficiency. That is violent behavior. She may not be striking anyone, but the force of her action, the screaming, the slamming, is violent. If this is how you grew up, you might not be fully aware of just how serious her actions are.

Explaining attachemnt parenting is secondary to explaining how inappropriate her actions are around your child and her grandchild.

love to you and yours. i hope you find some peace.

Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
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#14 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 07:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly

Thanks!

T I'm sort of AP, Dh won't let dd sleep with us. He did'nt like it when DS slept with us, but I got away with it : I love sleeping with my kids, it gives me some cuddle time with them. He would get irked when I would fall asleep breast feeding my kids.


geekgolightly I have a preemie too, she was taken 8 weeks early.

okay now back to the topic
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#15 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 07:29 PM
 
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my MIL thinks i have made my baby waaaaaaaaay too attached too

she complained a lot.


he is now almost 3 years old.........still very very attached, but also has really begun to adjust to people more and more.

i just tune my MIL out, lucky for me she lives in NJ and i live in the midwest!
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#16 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 07:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaconlighthero
Thanks!

T I'm sort of AP, Dh won't let dd sleep with us. He did'nt like it when DS slept with us, but I got away with it : I love sleeping with my kids, it gives me some cuddle time with them. He would get irked when I would fall asleep breast feeding my kids.


geekgolightly I have a preemie too, she was taken 8 weeks early.

okay now back to the topic
IMO, you're AP if you respond to your daughter's cues. That's all it takes. The rest of the stuff is if it fits with your life.

Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
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#17 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 09:23 PM
 
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on your kiddo being nuts while you are on the phone: even non AP kiddos do that. EVERYONE I know (ap, non ap) complains of this. And I think it is totally normal that you have a kiddo who wants to be with you.

on not going to others in the family: how is ds when you go someplace new? my dd just stands there when we got to the park/afriends house/etc. She has to warm up for like 25 minutes and then can play for the rest of the time. Wondering if your ds just takes some time to get used to others?

second thought was if grandma's behavior is what he expects, of course he won't go to her, he's likely scared of her. geez. i would be.


on dealing with this:
1. with your mom -- try not to be defensive. she might think that you're doing things that are an opposite of what she did and thereby criticizing what she did. (maybe you are, but I wouldn't approach it that way). I guess I'd even limit the discussion of your parenting. You're the mom, you get to decide. You can have your doubts, issues, whatever but you still decide what's best for your family.

2. for you -- I 2nd the above poster who said there are people here who would give you a hard time for not taking a break. Honestly if you need a break, take the darn break. If I were in your shoes I might try to do stuff like take a 10 minute break around the block. I ALWAYS tell my dd when I am leaving (I'm a wohm so it is obviously more often). I think it really helps kids if you are predictable. "Mom is going to the store, you're going to stay with grandma." is a good start. Then (if grandma is willing) "I bet grandma will be glad to read stories with you and you can do X, Y, Z while I'm gone."

3. and finally for ds -- I do think that developing some relationships with other people who are important in his life sounds like a good thing. I have a friend who goes for coffee with just "the ladies" once a week. All the kids stay together with a babysitter. The friend told her dd that for about a year when she left and now the dd asks "mommy don't you need coffee with ladies?"

other ideas would be to sit and play with grandma/friend/aunt/whomever on the floor for a while and then slowly back away (but don't leave the room/house). We do this each time that ILs come to visit. My dd is really clingy and it gives her a chance to warm up to them and play with them without us. Everyone has fun and I'm there if she needs me.

it sounds like a stressful situation all around -- I said I was a WOHM, I'm truly a phd candidate in geology so I know that grad school puts stress in the family and being away from home does too. Hang in there, I think you are doing a great job so far.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#18 of 55 Old 06-18-2004, 10:57 PM
 
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I dont think that you should blame your parenting style for a "clingy" toddler. I have one year old twins, raised the same way and in the same environment, and one is totally and completely clingy to me while the other is not. I dont hink you should change what you are doing or worry that you are doing something wrong.
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#19 of 55 Old 06-19-2004, 01:12 AM
 
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Trust yourself and believe that you are doing the best thing for your child!!! I think there are so many great things that the other mamas have said I really can't add anything except maybe trying to find some other AP mamas to hang with. Take care!!
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#20 of 55 Old 06-19-2004, 01:44 AM
 
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ITA with...

* he's probably scared of his grandma, if that's how she behaves...

* he probably doesn't understand that she's family, since you've lived pretty far away for awhile...

* he's two. all two year olds act like this.

i'd also like to add that my son went through about a year and a half of absolutely "needing" me whenever i'd be on the phone... and then it turned into absolutely "needing" to talk to the person i'm on the phone with. it doesn't matter if i'm calling relatives, or friends, or the doctor, or the store to ask if they have a product i'm looking for... he wants to talk to them. he's a little better about it now and will actually go play when i ask him to.... for about thirty seconds. although we AP, i think this behaviour has very little to do with AP and very much to do with the fact that mommy's attention is diverted, and kids like being the center of attention, so will try to do whatever they can to get back into the center.

i don't know how your son is with other people he's familiar with... if he's only like this with you ~ i.e., only wants to be with you 24/7 and won't go to anyone else, even his daddy ~ i'd suggest fostering more of a relationship with others simply so you can have some time for a break for yourself. i would NOT suggest cutting AP out of your lifestyle altogether, but if you truly feel overwhelmed, and you aren't just reacting out of pressure from his grandma, then it would benefit you both to help him learn to be comfortable around others.

also:

Quote:
my dd just stands there when we got to the park/afriends house/etc. She has to warm up for like 25 minutes and then can play for the rest of the time
my son was like this until he got to be about 3 1/2. until then he would sit or stand and observe, observe, observe. then he'd enter into play and be very comfortable, relaxed, and happy. some kids are just like this... and screaming, slamming doors, and exhibiting any other violent behaviour ~ including forcing them into a situation they would rather observe for awhile ~ will do nothing but harm.
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#21 of 55 Old 06-20-2004, 06:56 AM
 
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Another point I didn't see mentioned (although I did skim, might have missed it) is that because it was your mom, she probably said it in a way that hit all your buttons. I know that when I am around my mom I seem to lose a few decades under stress at times....nobody else in the world can make me feel like a kid as quickly and completely. A parental voice criticising us, at any age, is going to make us question ourselves. The same thing said by anybody else would probably just tick you off instead of question yourself.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#22 of 55 Old 06-20-2004, 11:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly
IMO, you're AP if you respond to your daughter's cues. That's all it takes. The rest of the stuff is if it fits with your life.


Thank you! I do try to sneak a nap in with dd, I'ts better than nothing and ds wants me to cuddle sometimes with him at night.
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#23 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 03:17 PM
 
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#24 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 04:09 PM
 
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When I remember some of the advice I've been given by non-APer's I feel assured that I am doing the right thing.

For example, here's some quotes from my in laws(sil's and mil)

"Put that baby down and walk away" ds was 5 weeks old

"I used to crank the stereo so the baby would get used to sleeping with loud noises" ds at 2 weeks

"Can't you just TRY some cereal in a bottle - it will help you get a night's rest?!?" ds at 1 week

"I'm not leaving until I see that baby in the swing" ds at 5 days!!

"Nobody gets to hold him when you have that sling on all the time"

"Why don't you leave him here for the weekend so you can go to your dh's reunion?" ds at 7 weeks


Yes, non-supportive people can make life very difficult for an APer and make them start to doubt themselves. The whole thing about ap is respect for the needs of the baby. Most mainstreamers focus on the needs of the parents and justify it as being the best for baby because it makes them "independent" which of course is a crock! It just makes them give up, not care, or increase thier neediness in order to get what they need. How can a baby be independent - THEY ARE TOTALLY DEPENDANT ON YOU TO LIVE!!!! They won't be independent until they are, what, 17 or 18, right? You have plenty of time for them to go to other people!!! It will happen. Keep respecting your child's personaltiy.

You are giving your babe what she needs. It's hard for someone who didn't use that type of parenting to feel that what she did was wrong. It's much easier to feel that what you're doing is wrong, kwim?

And also, I found that my in laws had a lot of NEEDS themselves that they tried to quell with baby love and cuddles. They wanted to hold the baby because THEY needed to, not because they wanted to do anything FOR the baby. Does this make sense?

As the mom to a high need 2 yo ds, who still nurses all the time, co-sleeps, likes a LOT of body contact, and doesn't go to people well I can now say that AP is DEFINITELY the right thing for us, no matter what anybody says. I doubted myself in the beginning because I was being so bombarded - but once I got myself some support, LLL, a sister and a few others, things got much easier. When you are confident about your decision it will show.

Good luck in your situation.
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#25 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 05:00 PM
 
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So, abandoning a child who wants your presence is somehow going to teach him to be more independent?

yeah...right.

if it makes you feel any better, my spanking, time-outing, yelling friend's kids bug her just as much on the phone, if not more.

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#26 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 06:01 PM
 
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My ds went through a VERY clingy period shortly after his 2nd birthday to just recently. Almost a year of not letting me out of his sight. This only applied when someone other than me or dh was in the house or car or we were out. The way he reacted you would think he had been abandoned before! I started to get really overwhelmed by his behavior. But as quickly as it happened it went away. Now he is happy go lucky and waving and interacting with people again. It was so bad if a stranger said hello to him in the store he would BURST out crying...Saturday he went in childcare while I work out at the gym This might seem like nothing to most parents but to us it's a HUGE stepping stone. Where we live we have NO family. Ds has never been babysat for. He is not in pre-school or any other function that would involve him and not one of us. Regardless of any and all advice given me by many well meaning *idiots* I never wavered in my AP style. As much as it sometimes exhausted me I continued to listen to my ds cues. And my reward is SWEET! Now it is my ds who is being patient with me while I adjust to his new found independence. I must have checked on him 10 times in 30 minutes Sat. at the gym. Cut my work out short and ran to be with him only to find out he didn't want to leave Go with your gut mama. Your mother had her time to chose her own parenting style...now it is yours
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#27 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 09:44 PM
 
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My first born wasn't "ap"ed, and she was the exact same way. that's normal behavior for that age, ap or not, imo.

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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#28 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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My daugher was a lot like this in her first few years. My one sister was very hurt that despite wanting to love and cuddle her, my daughter only wanted 'mama.' Now my daughter is 6 and she loves being with her aunt. I believe the clingy phase passes faster if you (and others) don't force it. How about initiating some outings with your mom and child where you are all together away from home territory. This is what I did with my sister and daughter. Lots of trips to the zoo and the park where my sister gradually doing more one on one with me in the background and my daughter learned to associate being with her with being fun. AND my SISTER got to observe the empathic AP style of parenting and see how effective it was instead of criticizing it. After a few weeks she commented that I seemed better able to calm my daughter than a lot of her friends. Also she and I were able to get closer too than if I had just left my daughter with her. Those outings are good memories now. And my daughter loves overnights with her aunt.
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#29 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read one of the posts, sorry, don't have time to go back and quote it, about one of the mommas on this thread who sent her little one to montessori a couple of times a week and said it really helped give her hubby (sahd) a break and helped her DD. I am planning on sending DS (he will be almost two and a half) to preschool in the Fall. I am hoping to be pregnant by then and just desperately will need a break after this summer of chaos I know. It will only be for three hours two days a week. He loves kids and used to go into the nursery all the time at church and then just started not liking it one day. I don't want to rush him into being independent, but want to offer him the chance to be with other kids and accept that other adults can take care of him. For those of you who have had to make this tough decision, what were your guidelines? Wait outside the preschool and if he hasn't stopped crying in ten minutes, go in?? Give it a couple to tries and if he/she cries every time you drop off, then just give up and try again next year? We waited a whole year to get into this preschool (just have to get on a list WAY early) and it is so highly recommended. I think he would really enjoy it because he LOVES other kids. Any advice out there for AP mommas who want a break, but aren't sure about the preschool thing yet??
TIA,
Elle
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#30 of 55 Old 06-21-2004, 11:00 PM
 
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That was me. We tried one preschool, and dd never seemed to "fit in" there, and was upset every time we left her. Plus, 2 days a week at such a young age wasn't consistent enough for her. from Tuesday until Thursday was not so long of a gap, but then until the next tuesday and she had almost forgotten about preschool. She would cry and say, "no preschool, I don't like it," so she was out of there after only about a month.

Then we found the Montessori, and they let us come in and stay with her for the first week, and stay in the morning for a while if she needed it. She would cry when we dropped her off, but we'd always call on the cel phone and check, and they would let us know that she had settled down and was okay. If she didn't, we'd go back after waiting for about 10-15 minutes to see if she would calm down.

As I said, the first month was rough, and she did cry when we dropped her off, nearly every time. it was heartbreaking for us, and we were doubting ourselves and if we were doing the right thing. But when we'd go to pick her up she'd be running and playing outside, laughing with the other kids. And we'd ask if she had a good time, she'd always say yes. After the first 4-6 weeks, she started to look forward to it in the morning, and talk about the teacher there that she really bonded with, and the other kids she likes. Now she talks about it and how much fun she has. I'm glad it worked out for her, but if it hadn't, we would have taken her out, even though we had a waiting list too.

Part of it was so dad could have a break, but part of it was so that she could meet and interact with other kids, and have fun. So that was a big consideration for us.

I do think it takes a few weeks at least to make any major change to a toddler's lifestyle. most of them don't handle change well and will need a lot of support throughout the transition. It helped our daughter to know that they would call us on the phone if she needed us.
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