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#1 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
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DS just started daycare this week, and today, his 3rd day there, when we dropped him off, the director approaches us and says she thinks it would be better for our son to be in the younger toddler classroom (he was put in the 2-3 yr, the younger is 15mos-2 yrs)because he needs to learn to follow the routines, follow teachers directions and get used to everything. She said she's not trying to say he's a problem child, just trying to do what is in his best interest. And the younger toddler room has 2 teachers instead of one so they get more personalized attention.

While we were talking to her, DS was in the classroom and the teacher seemed to give him nasty looks, and kept trying to get him to "follow directions" in front of us like saying "see, he can't keep up with the group, he just doesn't listen"., he's a 2 yr old (26 mos. to be exact), never been in daycare in his life, he has a lot to absorb and get used to. It's like they have no knowledge of how toddlers adjust develop and transition.And he was happy at drop off and pickup, and they said he barely cried all day, unlike most new children who would...but she did say he gave them a hard time at naptime and diaper changing time, and at meal & snack time he kept getting up from the table before eating. Apparently at naptime they sent him to the other classroom because the teacher just "couldn't with him" according to the teacher there at pickup yesterday.

A few things really bother me: His teacher didn't bother trying to tell us her opinion herself, like she went to "complain" to the director who then came to us. Also, he's been there 2 days! Give the poor child a break, don't they know it takes time for a child to get used to everything? He's so happy to be around kids all day but I'm sure he's overwhelmed too!

So since we were totally uncomfortable leaving him in that room with that teacher today we said we'd try out the other room and see how he does.

But most of all I feel hurt, like they're not giving him a chance or trying to get to know him, accept him and guide him lovingly into learning the ropes of daycare...I am a former daycare teacher myself, and this is how I treated each child, with care and respect, and I expect the same for my son....I had such high hopes, our first impression of the daycare was a good one, but I guess we were wrong.

I've been on the verge of tears all day,I want Matthew to be appreciated for who he is he is such a happy and loving child,he deserves better caregivers...maybe I should just find a way to continue to afford to be SAHM... I did call to check up on him they said he was "doing fine, but didnt eat much lunch"- thats all. I haven't really had the chance to talk much or get to know this new teacher...she didn't even get down to his level and try to introduce him when we went to the new classroom, so my 1st impression isn't that great so I didn't get much reassurance....DH & I are talking about just pulling him out already, or do we have to give it another chance? My instincts tell me something is wrong there. DH says he feels violated like they were trying to turn our son into something he is not. So I guess that answers my own question- it's definetly not a place we want our son to be in. I'm just so upset with this whole experience.

Anyone else have experience with this or any advice?
Thanks so much

Mom to a happy 6 year old boy and a new baby girl (9/27/09)
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#2 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 01:39 AM
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if i were in your shoes, i would go with my gut feeling and pull him out.

dd was with a sitter when she was a baby (around 5 months) who kept hinting that we should take her elsewhere becuase she "couldnt adjust" (in other words, cried too much). she was used to babies who would sit in their carseats or play in the palypens, not a child who wanted as much interaction as dd who was worn/held and had much more "freedom". dd also had reflux and we needed to keep track on her eating and the sitter was not good at keeping track of how much she ate. we took her out right away and went through several other sitters until we found the one we have now who we love. you should feel good about where you leave your child, if you dont, then dont hesitate to either look elsewhere or try to change what is going on. i hope you find a solution for you guys. good luck!

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#3 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 01:47 AM
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I wouldn't take it personal, or as an insult against your son. I think the director genuinely wants your son to be acclimated to his new environment, without any stress on him or the teacher. If the teacher has to spend all of her time on him, it's not fair to the other children. I wouldn't want a stressed out teacher dealing with my child's transition either. Nobody is going to do as good of a job as you do....and that's the truth. I'm sure whatever decision you make, it will be the right one.
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#4 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 02:33 AM
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i can see how this semed like a judgement on your child. but please try not to see it that way. he is a very young 2 and perhaps the younger class would be a better transitioning place for him. There is so much to learn and so many kids and routien and what not. Most of those kids have been groomed since birth for that kind of life and your son hasn't. however the class he is in now is obviously not capable of helping a new little guy learn the ropes with patience and love. One teacher with a bunch of 2 year olds. thats a tall order. perhaps the room with younger kids, lower expectations and 2 teachers really is a better place for him.

the teacher may have went to the director as a matter of company policy. try not to look at it as her tattling. Would you have felt any better if the teacher came to you on her own and said he wasn't fitting into her class and she didn't know what to do with him? She probably went to the director to brainstorm about solutions, see what procedure was, see if she had any ideas. it makes perfect sense that the director, someone more impartial, would come to you to find a solution to helping him adjust.

the younger class might be able to give him that extra attention he needs while adjusting. At least at the centers here the jump from the toddler room to the 2 year old room is a huge one. suddenly they are big kids with a lot of expectations. it would have been a big adjustment for him moving up even if he had been in daycare all his life. how much more that he has no previous experiance with all these things. And if at your house you took his lead more and didn't force things, negotiated more, found ways to say yes more etc iit would be even harder to suddenly adjust to rules and schedules that make no sense to him. And thats OK. let him have the more relxed invironment where he has time and space to learn. let him hang back a little and move up when he is ready. not every parent gets that option regardless of how much they would like it. better than hanging out in a class he isn't ready for with a teacher who isn't equiped to deal with it. Good that she could admit that she didn't know how to handle this well and sought help.

he will do fine eventually. Work with the center to help them help your son adjust. take advantage of the concessions they are offering your son for a chance to clow down and adjust more slowly in a less pressured environment.

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#5 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 04:45 AM
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hi, I work in a daycare center and my opinion is that if the 2-3yr old room has just one teacher it could be pretty hard on her. Is this a small center? can't they get an extra person in the room for situations like these? If you could maybe spend some time with your child at this daycare and see what they expect of him and work at on it at home. For example I work in the toddler( 1.5-3 yr old) room and we expect our kids to sit at the table through the whole meal time, help cleaning up the toys, do things as asked (like lets go potty, no running in the classroom, feet on the floor...etc) Sometime a teacher's patience wears out after they ask a kid to do something for the 100th time. I'm sorry you feel hurt about the experience, but I'm sure working on it at home would bring good results. Try to stick around and talk to the teacher next time because a good relationship with parent/teacher also helps.
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#6 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 07:20 AM
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I agree with Godaime thats what I would have typed. I know by two they should be able to follow simple directions like bring me your shoes etc.
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#7 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 01:35 PM
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What a tough situation for you! We started dd in daycare at 16 months and it was so incredibly hard. I can totally understand feeling confused. Do you have any opportunity to drop in and observe your ds during the day without him seeing you? I did this during the first 2 weeks that dd started. This may give you an opportunity to see what kind of attention he is given and may allow you to give specific recommendations to the staff. Dd was (still is) breastfed, and when she transitioned she had never napped without nursing. They had to have an extra staff member at nap for almost 10 days to lay with her. They were willing (and able) to do that to help her. I also asked them specifically for that before we enrolled her.

However, if your gut is telling you something is wrong, you should seriously consider that.

I hope that you come to some resolution soon!

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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#8 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 01:36 PM
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Take him out. Resentment from one teacher is likely to leech into the other(s). Why put your child through that at such a tender age? I would rather deal with some financial tightness than have my kid feel unwanted. (Actually, I AM doing that!!!)

good luck.

IntactaLactavist, HomeBirthin' Baby Wearin' Co-sleepin' Homeschoolin', City girl gone Country Livin' SAH(HSing)M

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#9 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 02:04 PM
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I can't say anything about the teacher's personability or how she is with your son but just wanted to say that I would not take offence AT ALL to the suggestion to put your son with the younger ones for a bit. In fact, I might have even ASKED that he go with the younger kids at least for a period of time at the beginning, if he has never been in a daycare before. The adult-child ratio in the younger section is generally much better. This lets him get used to the collective environment while still getting a little more attention.

Plus in the older kids section, he has to deal not only with the new daycare environment but kids who are bigger than him, are toilet-trained, can just take things away from him while he is playing with them, etc. At least with the younger ones, he has already been through all the stages they are going through and is familiar with that.

Really would not hesitate to put him with the younger kids at all. He can always move into the older section in a few months.

Just another thing to add, in my daughter's daycare, children are not moved to the next section unless the director of the daycare thinks they are ready and while the groups are generally set by age, a child does not necessarily enter the 1-year old section when he is one or the 2-year old section when he is 2. It all depends on the child's development and on the places available in the next section.

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#10 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 02:06 PM
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I think you have to feel comfortable with the person entrusted to watch your child, or you'll never get anywhere.

But having said that, I don't think that temporarily moving your child into a situation with more supervision is a bad thing. At our preschool the classes are divided by age, BUT there are certain developmental milestones that must be achieved before you move on.

When my baby started she was about 18 months, but they put her in the 12 - 18 month room because she'd never been in daycare before and, because she'd been in an orphange, she had special issues about separation anxiety. The first day we left her it was only for 45 minutes and she screamed inconsolably until I got back. It took about a month of progressively longer stays until she felt comfortable that I was going to come back for her each time.

She did so much better in the room with two teachers for six kids, where she could be cuddled and attended to with greater frequency. After about 2 months she 'graduated' up to the 18 month room, and she's been completely on track (in fact ahead of most her class usually) ever since . Now she looooves school, can't wait to get there in the mornings. She chatters on about her "friends" and "Ms Kotti" (her teacher), and can't wait to tell us what she did at school when we pick her up each day.

If you like this center I'd try the room change and see how that goes before thinking of switching. I think it's good that the director and teacher are sensitive to problems for you son and what they can do to help him.

Let us know!
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#11 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 02:15 PM
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I don't think there's anything wrong with the center suggesting a maybe-temporary move to the other class; I don't think it's a negative judgment on you or the kid. I also don't see an issue with bringing the director in- it may be policy, but even if not, the teacher couldn't have a good conversation with you about it while also managing her class.

However, the incidentals you mentioned make it sound like neither of the teachers you've observed at this center are really engaging deeply with their charges. That would make me worry.
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#12 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 02:36 PM
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I also wouldn't take the teachers attitude as "resentment" of your son. She may have been frustrated that she didn't have the tools or support to deal with this. She may have very little experiance with children who haven't been in this environment since birth. She may have been stressed about how to give him all the attention and teaching he needed without neglecting all the other children. Likemost people said, daycares usually have soft transitions waiting for certain milestones to be reached. that may be why she went to the director. Perhaps the *problem* isnot about what your son can and cannot do but a director who placed a child in the wrong class. The teacher may have known beforehe ever got there that he would need some time in the younger class until he learned the ropes.She may have been ticked of that your son was in a class where his needs couldn't be met. try to give her the benifit of the doubt here

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#13 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 06:39 PM
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When we first enrolled Isaiah into child care it was a rough transition. He napped twice a day still, unlike the other children in the class, he was used to be around adults and older children rather then smaller ones, he was very attached to me and still nursing. It wasnt easy going. They did (as some one else suggested) get another teacher in the class to help him out. Being that it was a Montessori toddler program they are required to do a lot of things that most wouldnt expect from a toddler. Following directions, putting things away, doing things in a certain order, etc.. Our teachers understand that they need help sometimes and are ok wtih talking to the parent about it. That is what would have upset me as a mother in this case. Her going behind your back to speak with the director before speaking to you. I think starting him in the young class might be benifical to him. To get him use to that enviroment. The transitioning him to the older group. I hope things get better.
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#14 of 14 Old 03-25-2006, 07:18 PM
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I think you've gotten some great advice here. I disagree with the idea that the teacher went behind your back or tattled by going to the director. When my son had a sub in his room at preschool for a few weeks I once got a note home saying he was "having trouble sharing with his friends" and asking for my advice on how to help him do that. Honestly I thought that was bizarre, I have no idea how one encourages 2-year-olds to share, he is my only child and he doesn't have to share at home. I frankly consider the teachers and director to be the experts on handling toddler behavior in a group setting. I think a teacher absolutely should look to the director for guidance before raising issues with a parent.

Anyway I think the suggestion to move him to the under-2 room is a great one and I wouldn't take it as a judgment on his maturity level but just recognizing that he would benefit from the closer attention in the younger children's room. In my state the difference in ratio for an under-2 room versus an over-2 room is DOUBLE. At my son's school they have only 5 children per teacher in the 1-2 room, but as many as 10 children per teacher in the 2-3 room.
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