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My 3 year old son just started Montessori and is finishing up his second full week. He attends 3 days a week from 9-1. He seemed fine when he did some shorter settling in sessions, but now he cries and says he doesn't want to go. This is his first experience of being away from me during the day in a school environment.<br><br>
The back story here is we just moved to the UK from the US about 3-4 months ago and he has a one year old brother. This last year has been very stressful on all of us and I have just recently come to realize how jealous he is of his younger brother. He says he doesn't want to be lonely. I say it's ok to be lonely and everyone is lonely sometimes. At home, he wants me to play with him constantly. I do my best, but some cooking has to get done and I must take care of baby as well. So, he has a hard to working on his own and certainly at school the teachers can't be with him all the time. He is also a bit aggressive toward the other kids, but this happens at home as well. So, he has a hard time playing with other kids right now, so he really may be lonely. I think he does enjoy himself there for the most part, but he seems to forget that and focuses on the sad part. Is it because Mama has left him and baby brother gets to go with her, and he's felt jealous of baby brother this whole last year?<br><br>
I've been trying to follow Gentle Discipline, Naomi Aldort, and the How to Talk So Kids Will Listen books, and I'm worried that maybe it's not right for me to be forcing him to go to school if he doesn't want to. I could make it as boring as I could here at home so maybe he wants to go back, but I think it would really be too hard on all of us and I don't know if he would really make the connection between having more fun at school.<br><br>
So, has anyone else been through this and what happened?
 

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I don't think it's uncommon, especially in the second week - the first few days sometimes the novelty gets them through it but then they cry. I'd give it some more time.<br><br>
I'd also ask the staff how he does after you go. How long does he cry? What's soothing?<br><br>
And then if you haven't already, maybe start a ritual or two for him. With my son we had a "hugs necklace" he wore for hugs from me when we were apart, and that gradually has morphed into kisses in his pockets (I kiss his hands and he sticks the 'kisses' in his pockets.)<br><br>
I also think keeping a sympathetic but upbeat attitude helps kids with these transitions.
 

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2 weeks is a short time, especially if it's only 3 days a week. That shorter schedule will make the adjustment period longer in most instances.<br><br><br>
You don't want to make your house less inviting or more boring. Right now, from what you described, your son seems sad because he loves being home. That's a good thing...it means you have a good home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br>
If you think this school is a good match and have good reasons for it, the thing your son needs is just a little more time. I also love the idea of a ritual ~ not only at home, but at school as well. The last Montessori school I worked at, there was a boy who started crying every morning about mid-air. After he was settled down and working, I noticed he enjoyed watering the plants. I began giving him the watering can every morning when he came in, still crying. For a few days, he took it and did it, crying. By the end of the week, he came in and excitedly grabbed the watering can. I would ask if there is a work that your son enjoys and if he can be directed to that early in the day.<br><br>
At home, I have heard a lot of success from parents that used this book and treat it as a normal, morning ritual:<br><br><a href="http://astore.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fastore.amazon.com%2Fmonteblog-20%2Fdetail%2F1933718005" target="_blank">http://astore.amazon.com/monteblog-20/detail/1933718005</a><br><br>
It's about a raccoon that is sad about going to his school, so his mother helps him by giving him a kiss that he can carry around with him.
 
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