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We had a bit of an incident at ECFE this morning (sort of a playgroup/parent education class, held once a week, for those who don't know).

In the age group that dd is in now, 2-year olds, the parents and children separate for part of the class time, in theory anyway. Dd has a very hard time with this, and has only agreed to it a couple of times. Today she wouldn't, so I stayed with the kids and the two teachers assigned to watch them while the other parents left to go to another room.

One of the women in that group is the normal teacher for the class. She just had her second baby three weeks ago, so is on maternity leave, but came today with her older son (well, and the baby) to participate in the class. Her son, J, has a hard time with separation, too, but it normally isn't an issue because she's usually there with him as the teacher. This was the first time they've come just as participants and had to separate.

A little about the two teachers in charge now: One has been there for a couple of months, so the kids are somewhat familiar with her. The other is the substitute for the one on maternity leave, and this is only her second week. She's quite young and inexperienced. Neither of them have kids, and neither of them seem overly comfortable with the kids. They don't quite know what to do when one of them gets upset, their interactions seem kind of forced, etc.

So anyway, J started crying as soon as the parents left, and the substitute was sort of trying to console him, but not doing a very good job of it. I give her credit for trying, but she was really out of her element. And besides, he didn't want to be consoled--he just wanted his mommy.

When the normal teacher is there, she is very good about coming to get the parent when a child is upset. She knows the kids well and knows when they can be comforted and when they can't, and she doesn't let them cry for more than a couple of minutes.

Well, J was crying for at least 10 or 15 minutes, with absolutely no glimmer of hope that he was going to stop. It was just breaking my heart, and I kept waiting for one of the teachers to get his mom, as I thought was the policy. At this point, I asked one of them to call the room she was in and let her know she needed to come back, but they both just hemmed and hawed and didn't do a darn thing.

So I went and got her myself, explaining to her that J had been crying this whole time and that the teachers weren't going to come get her. I was pretty upset, not only for J, but also thinking that this is how they would handle dd if she got upset and I wasn't there. If it was her crying for me and they didn't come get me, I'd be pissed! To the mom's credit, she didn't seem as angry with them as I would have been, but she did say that she would talk to them after class (as she is the actual teacher and knows how things should be done). J was fine as soon as she got to the room, and played happily the rest of the time.

Then I got a call after we got home, from the director of the program, who isn't involved in our class. She had talked to everyone involved there and wanted to get my opinion on the situation, and wanted to make sure that I wasn't upset or anything. She said the substitute felt bad, which I could sort of tell at the time, but I wasn't too concerned with her feelings when there was a two-year old crying for his mommy. One point I made on the phone was that I know J better than the sub does, and I knew that he wasn't going to calm down with anyone but his mom, so maybe she'll get the hang of it more once she gets to know the kids. Anyway, it sounds like they more or less understand that that's not okay, and it shouldn't happen again. I'm still a little nervous about leaving dd with them (assuming she'll ever let me!).

I really have mixed feelings about this whole class now, though. I've been feeling for a while that most of the discussions with the other parents are frustrating to me because none of them parent the way I do, and now this... but dd has made some great friends there (as much as two-year olds can), and looks forward to seeing them. I suppose we'll keep going, and hope the sub doesn't hate me!
 

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Wow, id be ticked too I think. I hope they will go get the parent from now on too. My son was in daycare in my highschool when he was a couple months old (I was in 10th grade). They would call me if he couldn't be comforted within a short time, well one day they didn't call me for a long time and when I went to feed my son he was purple in the face from screaming! He had laid in his little crib and screamed for what one childcare aide had said was at least 20 minutes. I was livid, and we walked out that instant and did not come back. It's hard to see the little ones cry, I would have gotten his mommy too
 

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You definately did the right thing! Good for you!!! And from another MAma who has two children who are uncomfortable with out Mom around, and who may cry, THANK YOU!!!!!!! You handked it wayyy better than I! I would have been SO MAD!!!!! ANd showed it, esp if it were MY children!!!
Ok, I will calm down now


I have to say that this is the exact reason why I will not leave my children unattended in any class for any means. I do not care what the protocol is for the gruop. IMO children under 5 should not be MADE to seperate from thier PArents anyways as they do in some classes. I only enrolll my girls (who are 4) in classes that are parent participation, or parent friendly. Our local LIbrary program is more children only, so I have spoken to the gals who work there about my feelings and how my kids react to certain situations, they are to come get me AS SOON as there is a problem( and I sit near the door because I am fully aware of my girls usually coming out at least once to get me) I also make sure to talk to them about going in there alone, see if they want to today and if htey do, then thy have my permission and th eteachers to come and get me right away if they change thier minds. Also, if they tell me befoe class, teh i get to participate with the class.

sorry fo r typo';s trying ot hurry
 

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You absolutely did the right thing!

When I leave my kids anywhere (ex: church nursery), I always make a point of telling the caretakers to come get me if my kids can't be consoled. My exact words are, "I'd much rather come get DD than have her cry." Sadly, not all parents are like this. I've had parents who were annoyed when I pulled them out of church to attend to their inconsolable babies. But that's another rant...

Anyway, I'm so glad that you talked with the supervisor and made sure that the policy was clarified for the sub. At our ECFE classes, we are in a room with a one way mirror, so we can see the kids, but they can't see us. And for the 2 yo classes, the parent group doesn't leave the room, but takes place in a different part of the room. That way, parents have a chance to talk, but no child is forced to stay away from his/her parent.
 

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You did the right thing. If your DD enjoys the time with the other kids and you don't enjoy the time with the other moms AND you don't trust the caretakers, just stay with DD.

I didn't leave my kids with anyone at that age except for DH and during emergancies.
 

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i also say you did the right thing
and that is also why i never leave my baby with anyone else but hubby and grandma for over 2 minutes (and that is only for under 2 hours adn she is 1 and 1/2 and this has only happened 3 times)
anyway
i also had a simular exp when visiting my inlaws at their church nursery
they were trying to convince me that i should leave dd at the church nursery. they were giving me all the detail of how they tag the kids and mathc you up with beebers so you can be paged blah blah lbah
not only would i never leave my kid with a group of strangers...but esp when whe was in the midst of uncertainty during a trip to a new place to see unfamilar people and sleep (granted with me) in an new bed etc...you get the point i am sure, and they (my inlaws rolled their eyes and did not at all get it)
anyway
so i played with her in the nursery adn she had a great time
and turns out that day for "some reason" the nursery was only staffed with young middle/highschool aged girls who were at best clueless and wel meaning about "cute babies"
any way
long story short (cause i had a lot of issues with real safety concerns many times during my hour there)
several babies screamed for long periods of times and the girls didi not know what to do adn they passed the babies around and parents were not contacted....despite the POLICY that was even written on the door of the nursery beside where they hand the pagers....
any way
finally i stepped in and insisted that they even inturpt service to find the momma (apparantly she did no get an "activated" pager and their church is huge so they did not know who she was or where she would be sitting.....)

anyway
i second the fact that you just can't trust other people with your babies (under age 10 hahha)
and after only select people
 
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