Leaving your 3-4 year old crying at preschool - Isn't it the same as Crying It Out? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 95 Old 09-27-2013, 12:53 PM
 
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Crying - I want to clarify it's not that I don't think children shouldn't cry. Crying has a purpose. I have an issue with causing a child to cry. If I know something I am going to do is going to cause distress I want to make sure there is value to that distress.
I also see this topic not about crying, but about response to crying. Specifically response to crying when child is feeling lonely/abandoned. I would have an entirely different opinion about, "Is it okay to forcibly brush your child's teeth every night even if they cry every time?"
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#92 of 95 Old 09-28-2013, 05:12 AM
 
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At least one commenter above complained that she didn't like when some parents stayed because she couldn't/wouldnt and then she felt it was upsetting to her child that she was unable to give the same amount of love. That's called jealousy. And it's ugly. Why should I not give my child what I think is best for them?

Wow, Sheepdoc, did you study how to tap dance on the guilt buttons?  I think I'm one of the commenters you're talking about, and I'd like to unpack this a little.

 

1.  When I take my kids to daycare and preschool, I generally do have a need to leave them.  (Now and then there's a day when I could, say, either spend the day with my kids OR do something else, and the kids are contented at school and the something else is urgent in one way or another, or possibly just helpful to my sanity, in an "I did all of our Christmas shopping in the middle of a weekday when the mall wasn't crowded," kind of way, or "I took a yoga class, and no part of dinner came out of the freezer."  But by and large, we signed up for these programs because we need childcare.)

2.  I think most parents love their children a similar (large and unquantifiable) amount.  My love for my children is not less infinite then the love of the mom who comes and stays until circle time.  I don't know why that woman is staying until circle time.  Maybe she's nervous about fit with the program and this is her way of checking it out.  Maybe she or her kid has a special need.  Maybe she's volunteering in the classroom.  Maybe she's secretly the NAEYC accreditation team.  I am quite certain she doesn't love her baby more then I love mine.  And if she did?  I am not at all sure that staying with her baby at preschool longer then I stay with mine is an expression of that.

3.  My adult and rational certainty about point two does nothing for my kid, who just wants to know why I leave and that other person's mom stays, and why, at 7 in the morning, when he has clearly expressed the preference that I stay with him, I am gently prying his fingers off of the knees of my work pants and smooching him goodbye.  It just looks to him like that kid's mom is expressing less confidence in the care situation then I'm expressing, and so maybe I'm wrong.  I can think of alternative explanations, he's not so good at it.  I think it is best, as a parent, if I understand that not all the ways that other parents interact with their children are going to be the ways that I do. 

 

My kids are quite willing to put forth the notion that my love would be best expressed in ludicrous ways - if I loved them, they say, we'd go to Disneyland, we'd live in a tent in the woods, we'd be having ice cream for dinner, and they could stay up all night playing on a Nintendo DS that I would go to the store and buy them right now.  It's for me to act as a parent and a rational adult and to behave in ways that will keep them safe and healthy, and prepare them for a positive future, whether that future is tomorrow or a productive adulthood. 

 

I have not found the research about crying and cortisol to be compelling - that research was done on people in abusive situations, not on people coping with everyday stresses of a relatively comfortable life.  There is neither any way to prevent kids from reacting largely to those stresses, nor any evidence that the ordinary stresses of a comfortable life cause harm. 

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#93 of 95 Old 09-30-2013, 10:44 AM
 
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Exactly. They are choosing for whatever reason, their priorities. That does not make it the healthiest choice or even a harmless choice for the child. It may be the best option for that family's needs. That was not the subject of discussion. We knowingly do potentially harmful things all the time. We speed, we yell at our spouses, kids. We use bad language. We stay up late, we eat junk food.

Huge eyeroll here. I have to laugh. So daycare is unhealthy and harmful? You have to be kidding me, right?

 

I had a job I LOVED. Did I financially need to do it? No, I could have been a stay at home home on DHs income. My kids could have stayed home. I would have been with them 24-7. Perfect, eh? But I would also have been angry to be giving up my dream job, incredibly frustrated about not challenging my brain, bored, and very bitter. What kind of mother would I have been to my kids? Do you think I could paste on a fake smily face all day, and they could not feel my real emotions under the surface? They would have feed off my emotions and they would have been stressed, unhappy kids. Do you think they would have felt safe and comfortable? Whatever cortisol that was released as I walked down the hall (and disappeared before I even made it to the door) was infinitesimal compared to what it could have been if my husband, society, or some other factor forced me to be a stay at home mom.

 

Kids don't need parents who do or don't send them to daycare. They need loving, supportive,happy and healthy parents, who treat each other and their children with respect, who show consistent boundaries and give them a safe environment in which to grow up to be healthy, loving, caring adults. 

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#94 of 95 Old 09-30-2013, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sheepdoc View Post

Crying - I want to clarify it's not that I don't think children shouldn't cry. Crying has a purpose. I have an issue with causing a child to cry. If I know something I am going to do is going to cause distress I want to make sure there is value to that distress.
I also see this topic not about crying, but about response to crying. Specifically response to crying when child is feeling lonely/abandoned. I would have an entirely different opinion about, "Is it okay to forcibly brush your child's teeth every night even if they cry every time?"

 

Re: causing your child to cry: my reality is, freaking EVERYTHING makes DS2 cry. If he doesn't get what he wants, if I can't stop cooking to read him a story, if it's Daddy's turn to put him to bed (OR Mommy's...). And here's the thing: DS2 really WANTS to go to preschool, yet he cries every single time I drop him off. Then, when I pick him up, he's all smiles and can't wait to show me what he's done and talk about his new friends. So, as a parent, I am making a conscious decision to MAKE my child cry. Because even though he's shy and sensitive and wants to be with me all the time, he ALSO wants to do these new things that he really enjoys. 

 

As a parent, I realize my child has conflicting needs - and I'm helping him explore those. Even if it causes tears.

 

ETA: So really, I don't see this as a black and white issue at all.

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#95 of 95 Old 09-30-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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ETA: So really, I don't see this as a black and white issue at all.

Exactly! EAch of us knows our child the best, and knows how they react to situations. I can really only count on one hand the number of times each of my children cried at drop off. The predominant reaction was to wave goodbye to Mom and run off. When they did become tearful, the loving, warm, supportive preschool teacher helped each of my children to understand those feelings, to figure out what to do about them, and they felt as a result like competent strong youngsters. There was never a time when this sort of goodbye increased their anxiety or caused them to be less trusting. In fact just the opposite! They each came to trust terrific teachers who could teach them differently than mom or dad. They learned new strategies, and they learned that even though they felt sad in passing, they really were o.k.! Mom didn't have to rescue them. 

 

Also there is a huge difference between the occasional cryer, and the child that is having a difficult time overall, even after an adjustment period. The child who continues to struggle usually has some larger issues going on that need to be resolved. Because the majority of preschool age children in high quality preschools, separate just fine, have a good time, and then are glad to see their moms and dads afterwards. 

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