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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For an introduction, my philosophy is AP, (and trying to do unconditional parenting), and I try to raise my girls with this in mind. With both, separation from me has been/will be gradual and with their needs in mind.<br>
Last Fall, my dd1 started a one-day-a-week (for 2 hours) preschool at the local family centre. It was free, and they had trained language specialists (she has a slight delay), only 6 kids (3 adults), so we thought it'd be a good thing for her. I signed up, but with reservations. When my sister was this age, she remembers being in a daycare she hated, and she cried whenever our Mom left to go to work. And Abby and my sister have some uncanny parallels in their personality. But lately she's been having a hard time letting me go when I drop her off. I know this is normal, and I just want to make sure that I'm not pushing her too hard, because I do enjoy having a bit of a break while dd2 and I do stuff like monthly LLL meetings, a playgroup downstairs, etc. Sometimes lately I've been staying upstairs with her, but one teacher (whom I like and admire otherwise) has been encouraging me not to stay, saying she does better once I leave. And when I pick her up, she's usually glad to see me, but full of happiness and excitement about the fun she's had. It's a lot of messy sensory stuff that I can't always bring myself to do at home.<br>
Anyway, the last time we went, she wasn't too keen on me leaving, but got involved in a pretend tea party, so I said goodbye and made to leave. She came to the gated door as I was leaving, and was sad, but not crying, but I kept going (I had missed the previous months' LLL meeting because I had stayed with her, so I really wanted to go. I had told her she could come with me to the meeting, but I'd rather she stay and it'd probably be more fun, as there was no playdough, crafts or story at the meeting).<br>
So I went. When I got back the previously mentioned teacher sad she was sad for a bit, but soon got into playing with the other kids. She was excited when I got back, so I asked her if she'd been sad or missed me and she said no. So far so good. But then one of the other mothers whom I've developed a relationship with said she cried for almost the entire first hour! Anyway, I am a bit shocked that the teacher downplayed this, and surprised Abby didn't mention it to me. She has so much fun and she says she wants to keep going, but I don't want to force her into early separation that she's not ready for. How can I know what is best for her and I and all of us? Am I just projecting my sister's past onto my dd, or is this something that might be harmful?<br><br>
thanks so much!
 

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no way I'd leave her if it takes an hour to get her to settle down!! Just my opinion. sounds to me like she's not ready to be away from you yet. Maybe you could hire a cheap teenager to come to your house and do messy stuff with her and then clean it up - jsut an idea...
 

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I would not leave my Dd if she were going to be sad for more than a minute or two. I think it's very normal not to want to part sometimes, particularly at certain stages.<br><br>
I think you need to talk to the teacher about the discrepency in how long she said versus what this parent said. I also think you should ask your Dd what she likes about preschool and try to get her thinking about what she likes. I think I'd want to talk outright about how it seems that she likes it but that she's sad about leaving.<br><br>
Yeah, so more talking about it is what I'd suggest.
 

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i'd talk to the teacher & get a sense of the time it takes dd to settle in. maybe the parent's perception wasn't accurate. maybe that was one random time that she was upset for longer. get more info before making any decisions. then , what rubywild said- talk to dd about what she likes & what makes her sad. lots of talking. dd is almost 3 & she's now really getting to the age when she can tell me what she likes/dislikes about non-immediate events. if your dd can pinpoint what makes her sad, (maybe it's not just you leaving- maybe that she's missing out on what you're doing?) that could help troubleshoot.<br><br>
there is a sweet book called the kissing hand about a raccoon going off to school. his mama starts a ritual with him where she kisses his hand & he can give himself a kiss from mama with that hand whenever he needs it. we read this to dd a lot when she was having a tough time going to daycare.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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It sounds to me like you think, in your heart, that she is not ready for preschool. I would go with that. I just had the same realization with my child. I actually started a thread in parenting issues about whether kids need preschool or not, just to be able to feel ok with my decision to pull my dd out of her school. She was also unhappy there, did not like that there were so many strange kids and adults who's names she did not know. Here is that <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=411979" target="_blank">Thread</a><br><br>
Another idea: Is there a way you could pretend to leave but really be observing without her knowing it? You could give her a set amount of time (in your mind) to settle until you step in to console her. You could also see what she really does there and how she really likes it. I've worked in many schools where this was been done. You just have to make sure she does not know you are there because that would change how she acts.
 

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It's a good sign that she isn't upset when you pick her up and that she wants to go back. My ds would burst into tears when I picked him up (on the few days that I actually left at all) when I tried putting him in pre-k at age 4. He also said that he didn't want to go back to school until the day before he died (hello, homeschooling).<br><br>
I would follow up on the discrepancy in crying times. Ds's teacher would tell me how fine he was when I could tell that he wasn't at all fine. I'm not sure how much of that was her not knowing him as well or her belief that kids just have to get used to it and over it. After all, it reflects poorly on her if the child is unhappy even if it is out of her control. I also think that in my ds's case, the teacher thought that I was the one that needed reassurance and that it was normal for children to cry. My ds, however, almost never cries so I am not dismissive of it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>4evermom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My ds would burst into tears when I picked him up (on the few days that I actually left at all) when I tried putting him in pre-k at age 4. He also said that he didn't want to go back to school until the day before he died (hello, homeschooling).</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Oh, how precious. I would have cried!
 

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I'm definately for talking to your dd about what she wants to do. I think that, at her age, if she didn't want to go, she would tell you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Sorry I've been away, but we all got sick this week.<br><br>
As far as being away from me, that's not always a problem, as she's spent a few nights away from us with my sister recently, and a few weeks ago she spontaneously decided to leave with my mil when mil was here for a visit, and spent the afternoon with her.<br>
My plan for tomorrow, is if she takes more than 5-15 minutes to let me go, I will take her with me to my meeting. I am coming to realize that this preschool arrangement may be more about my own needs than it is something for her benefit, but I do know she has a lot of fun, too.<br><br>
I will also bring it up with the teacher about the discrepancy in how she deals with the separation.<br><br>
boongirl, you really are right. When I signed her up, it was because we were/are having agression and jealousy issues with her and her sister (dd2, now 13 mos), and my own anger and depression issues, plus her language skills. And I really didn't want to (we're actually planning on unschooling, so it felt wierd to put my baby in a program like this), but I also wanted a bit of time away, and I thought she'd do well with making some friends (which she has), and getting to do messy stuff that I don't always feel like (good alternative, btw AM).<br>
I do sense that the teacher is trying to reassure me. A few times recently, I have stayed with Abby the whole time, but she discourages that, telling me she's 'usually fine once I leave'. Well, it doens't sound like that was the case last week!<br><br>
Anyway, here's kinda what I have in mind to say to her tomorrow. I want to type it out to practice what it'll sound like.<br><br><br>
"I'm a bit concerned about how upset Abby gets when I leave. I know that she has a lot of fun, and she's generally happy when I pick her up, so I hope we can continue to have her active in this great program. However, it is against my personal parenting philosophy to force a child into separation they are not ready for, and I want to make sure that my daughter is truly okay being here. I want to know how long she's upset for after I leave her. I do not hold you or the other teachers responsible for keeping her happy the entire time, in fact, I encourage both my girls to express the full range of their emotions, no matter how negative or sad.<br>
It has come to me through a source that last week, Abby was in fact upset for a significant portion of the morning. This is not ok for our family, and I do not feel it is neither normal, healthy nor desirable to separate a child from a parent to the point that the child experiences emotional distress.<br>
I hope that we can, in the future, better communicate about the condition of my child in this program, so that our family can continue to participate in a way that is comfortable for us, as well as fitting with our own values. This is something I feel is very important to the development of a strong, secure, and healthy child; goals I am certain we both share.<br>
Thanks for your consideration of our views"<br><br><br>
Okay this is more like a letter than a conversation. Darn, I wish I had a printer! Maybe it's too formal to print a letter, but I'll try to keep this all in mind when I am there tomorrow. Will try to update as soon as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I didn't get to talk to the teacher today because Abby didn't want to stay so she came with me to my meeting. She admitted part way through that she would have had more fun at playgroup.<br>
211`1111111<br>
Ok, my 13 month old is helping my type. gotta go.<br>
I will update next week when I plan to talk to the teacher.
 
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