Put toddler in pre-school? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-27-2002, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a DS who is 27 months old, and my DD is 2 months. I am wrestling with the issue of whether to put my DS in school 2 or 3 days a week.
I know a lot of women on this board home-school, but that is not something I will be doing with my kids. I had planned on starting my DS in a pre-school when he turned 3, but now I am having second thoughts on waiting for that long.
I am worried about him, because ever since I got pregnant with DD and since she's been born, we haven't been able to do the activites & play-dates we used to. I was very sick for the entire pregnancy and just didn't have the energy to take him to the park every day or to see my friends with other kids. And now with an infant, forget it! We still get out, play outside an hour or two every day, etc-but I just feel like he would benefit from being around other kids a lot more than he is. Right now all he does is look at the television most of the day, and I feel guilty but most of the time I let him because it makes him happy and I am so overwhelmed trying to take care of the two babies and the house and my DH (who is like a 3rd baby). I try to tell myself it's okay cuz it's all educational programming but I know it's not right to let him watch so much t.v.
On the other hand, I am scared to let him be out of my sight so much. He doesn't talk well, and if anyone hurt him or abused him at school, he wouldn't be able to tell me. I am scared to death that someone will physically hurt him or molest him (I was molested as a child).
I know I can't keep him with me forever, and I really think that pre-school would be good for him. The program is 3 days a week, 4-6 hours per day. Two of my girlfriends have their kids in the school and they love it. One of my girlfriend's sisters is a teacher there. But I can't get over the fear of him being hurt while in their care. And a part of me thinks that maybe I should just wait another year.
I don't know what to do. Anyone have any advice?:
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#2 of 8 Old 12-27-2002, 08:47 PM
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I feel as you do..I would be more comfortable if he was more verbal.
Your new baby is only two months..I think in another two months you'll feel more like doing the things you used to do with him.

Give yourself a little time to adjust to life with two..I think you'll feel better soon.

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#3 of 8 Old 12-27-2002, 09:48 PM
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My boys are 4 yo and 9 mo. When ds2 was 2 months old, I felt so overwhelmed (not to mention a little sore, still) and wondered how on earth I could keep it together. DS1 watched a lot of tv and played lots of computer games, too, and I felt guilty.

Right around 3 months postpartum I felt like things started to click into place. The baby was more predictable, and it was easier to go out with both. Now, for me, it was summer, which made it easier--for you, it's winter, which is tough. All I can tell you is that handling two is tough, but it does get a little easier when the baby is a little older.

A few other suggestions: Any chance you can join a gym with a good babysitting program? When ds1 was 20 months we joined a gym and I was able to workout for 30 minutes a day--a great motivator to work out! I was concerned about abuse/molestation issues, but a friend pointed out that the place was constantly full of parents pciking up or dropping off kids--and our gym wouldn't let daycare workers handle diapering/toileting issues--they came and got you to do a change or to take them to the bathroom. For getting a small break and giving him some social interaction, it's worth a shot.

What about a baby gym program (like Gymboree)? We have one around here that holds "sibling classes", where you bring both kids. That would help get you out of the house and give ds1 some interaction with others.

Good luck!

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#4 of 8 Old 12-27-2002, 09:53 PM
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As you are aware, it's just plain difficult adjusting to life with a new baby. If I were in your situation, I would just give myself a few more months to figure it all out. After all, if you can't seem to get out and do play-dates, etc., how are you gonna get out and get ds to school on time? It's very tiring having an active boy, but I don't think he'll suffer from a couple of months of avid television-watching. You still interact w/him when you can, right?

If you are really worried abt him being out of your sight, keep him home. You all will get thru this just fine.

Good Luck!

~Chaka, whose kids watch so much TV, it's a major deal when it's turned off
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#5 of 8 Old 12-27-2002, 10:09 PM
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Hey Gagesmom- if you're still getting outside for an hour or two EACH day with him, you're doing magnificently! I had the same issues when my second was born, let the tv be on too much, etc. We joined a co-op preschool when ds was 3 and it worked out very very well. I got to be a classroom aid regularly, was able to bring ds2 when he was still an infant and all in all it was a very nice transition into the larger world for ds1. I didn't have to feel like I was letting go too early because I got to stay for morning circle or longer if I chose. So perhaps that's another thing to consider- try doing a web search for parent-child preschool or co-op. Or pm me and I can look through our school's resources to see if there's one in your area.
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#6 of 8 Old 12-28-2002, 03:14 PM
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i think 4 to 6 hours a day for a child that young is alot. and i think in a few months things really will get much better. while new baby sleeps you can have time with older child.preschools really arent needed, when i was young they didnt even have them lol. just hang in there
mom to grace 3.5 and drew 25 months......... and neither of them nap anymore...
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#7 of 8 Old 12-28-2002, 04:00 PM
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Well, I'll be the dissenter. My son is just now 8 weeks old and we go outside for an hour in the am and an hour in the evening. But, I still bring my 22 mos. old son to his daycare/learning center everyday at 11:30 until around 5. He LOVES it there. It's a Christian center (not that is a guarantee of anything ) and they run it to "help the children" rather than for a profit. He has lunch w/his little friends, takes a long nap, does an art activity and then plays outside on the playground for an hour. THen, we pick him up. He's happy when we walk in the door and starts babbling his "friends'" names and he's happily playing in the snow when I show up in the evening.

I don't feel a bit of guilt! It gives me time alone w/Baby and it gives ds#1 a break from our pace oflife and a chance to socialize. I plan to take him down to 2-3 afternoons/week starting this summer.

I'd say play it by ear. If you can afford it and if your son enjoys it, take advantage of the time alone to spend w/Baby. You may end up more rested and peaceful, too.
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#8 of 8 Old 12-29-2002, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, that's another thing, I find myself losing patience with my DS, talking crabby to him, etc. and just generally not doing well remembering that at 27 months he's still very much a baby. I never went to a pre-school, but also remember being very lonely as a child. My DS sees his cousins about 1X a month and one of my girlfriend's kids about 1X a month-not enough interaction as far as I'm concerned. We are going to check out the school this week and I think I will start him off with 1 day a week for awhile, plus sign him up for Gymboree again one day a week when my MIL said she'll take the baby. That way I'll have one afternoon that's just for my DS and me and one day that's just for my DD and me...I hope it works out well. I thank everyone for their opinions/advice.
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