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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter is 2 and is just starting daycare for the first time. We visited for about an hour 4 times the week before starting, and this week she's gone MWF from 8-12. We need to work up to full time by early January.<br><br>
On Monday she was so excited to go to school, and I think it didn't really dawn on her that "Karen's going to school and Mommy's going to work" meant that I was going to leave here there. Aparently she did well, stood back and watched a lot (as is her style) and only cried a few times. She seemed a little upset that DH picked her up and not me, though. Her synopsis of the day was "mommy go work, my go school by myself. Play. Brush teeth."<br><br>
Wednesday morning she told me she wanted to stay home with daddy. Dropping her off was harder, and she gave me a hug tighter than she's ever hugged me. Aparently she cried "a lot" but she came home suddenly able to wash her hands by herself (hurray!) and seemed pretty unfazed.<br><br>
This morning was awful. She said she wanted to go to school as we were leaving, but in the car she started whimpering and said she wanted to go back home. When I was dropping her off, she was just a basket case, sobbing and screaming. Her teachers and the director seem to think this is perfectly normal and that she'll adjust.<br><br>
I feel like the scum of the earth.<br><br>
How long can I expect this to take? Anything else I can do to help the adjustment along? We can be flexible about our hours next week, but I told them I'd like to do every morning next week. Should we reconsider?
 

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Are you talking about it enough?<br>
I know you are a big talker, but making the routine the same every day will help --- as in "Mommy's going to work, daddy will pick you up and then when I get home mommy will cuddle and read stories (or whatever karen likes to do)." And don't forget the "mommy always comes back" portion of the saying goodbye and hello.<br><br>
An every day schedule might be easier. It took us almost 2 years to get comfy enough with going several days a week. Erin went every day for 2-3 hours when she started. Now she's there three days a week for almost 9 hrs at a shot.<br><br>
I do this parenting class with 12 other families. Erin is the only kid who's been in daycare for any real time. The kids were 18 mos to 24 months in sept. The routine is 45 minutes playing with the kids and 45 minutes parents and kids separate. It is one day a week and the kids all adjusted reasonably well within three weeks. However, some still cry and pitch a fit right as mom's leaving, I think just to let them know she's going to be missed. The kid teacher comes and reports to the parents that the kids have all stopped crying within about a minute of mom leaving. And it is true (i've gone to the bathroom and passed the room, peeking in before).<br><br>
So I guess what I'm saying is that I think the teachers are probably correct, she's doing great. Find your routine and stick with it. And don't feel like an awful mom. She's adjusting and she sounds like a slow adjuster. You're adjusting too and she probably feels your vibes.<br><br>
But be prepared she might be totally thrown by the whole travel to the west coast thing you've got planned.
 

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Wendy- I can only speak on a smaller scale (I only provide in-home dc to 3 children). IME it can take awhile for your dc to adjust to daycare. It is not uncommon for the child to not want you to leave or to be excited when you come. Until she learns that she can trust the dcp, she may feel quite upset for awhile. Sometimes it is better to get them into the routine, though it totally depends on your dc's personality and how they deal with change.<br><br>
You are not the scum of the earth. It is difficult to leave a child, but provided that you feel great about the place and the child learns to trust the dcp they will likely have a wonderful experience. I often have children who will still sometimes cry when their parents leave (bad day or not feeling the greatest, whatever reason), then when their parents come to pick them up they don't want to leave.<br><br>
I think that doing every day, but shorter hours might be better for her. She will get the consistency of being there everyday to get into a routine, but she won't have to be there to cope with her situation for the whole day.<br><br>
Best wishes to you! I know this is hard. I used to woh at one point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerc</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you talking about it enough?</div>
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We talk. We've got books. We talked to her cousins about their schools. School is cool.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I know you are a big talker, but making the routine the same every day will help --- as in "Mommy's going to work, daddy will pick you up and then when I get home mommy will cuddle and read stories (or whatever karen likes to do)." And don't forget the "mommy always comes back" portion of the saying goodbye and hello.</td>
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We're doing that.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">An every day schedule might be easier. It took us almost 2 years to get comfy enough with going several days a week. Erin went every day for 2-3 hours when she started. Now she's there three days a week for almost 9 hrs at a shot.</td>
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I just talked to the director. She seemed to agree. She actually said that she adjusting better than just about any kid her age she's seen that's not been in dc before.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But be prepared she might be totally thrown by the whole travel to the west coast thing you've got planned.</td>
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Ug. I know. The timing stinks. We'll be going to see her other cousin's school as well. Actually I think my mom picks her up everyday, so maybe I'll have my mom bring Karen along. She adores her cousins, so anything they do (and love!) is a good thing in Karen's book. It won't be continuity with this daycare or her routine, but it will continue to remind her that school happens, and it's something to like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>prmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Until she learns that she can trust the dcp, she may feel quite upset for awhile.</div>
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Thank you Sandra for your perspective. You are totally right. She needs to learn that Barbara and Karen to wonderful, loving people who won't let her down.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">You are not the scum of the earth. It is difficult to leave a child, but provided that you feel great about the place and the child learns to trust the dcp they will likely have a wonderful experience.</td>
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We love this place. I think they do great things with the kids, and I really like how they manage to give each kid some very personal attention. DD is going to love it, just as soon as she learns to get to know the dcps better. You are totally right.<br><br>
As with Kristin's comment about talking about it, maybe we need to talk about her teachers more frequently. Up until this point, mostly we'd been discussing the "mechanics" of the routine.
 

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What has been helping us lately, now that dd really is getting what is going on is 2 things:<br><br>
- she has a special bag that is for daycare that we pack her food in. When she sees it she knows she is going somewhere. We only use it for daycare and the sitter. She gets to carry it herself from the front door of the daycare into her room<br><br>
- knowing the names of the other children at dc. So in the car on the way there its "Sydney is going to see her friends Zoe and Derek and Catherine and Teacher Jenny ...... Playing with friends is so much fun...... Sydney sits at the table and eats her grapes and then she plays on the slide......etc"<br>
I learned to do this the hard way. Dh would walk dd to daycare but we had to change our routine so that I drove to drop her off. Dd was soooo upset the first time I did this, because she didnt know what was coming. I guess when dh walked her, dd had time to adjust to what was coming.<br><br>
Oh - I almost forgot - we have some pictures the dcps took of her playing at dc. They put pictures of the children around the room. So sometimes we look at the pictures and talk about school and her friends.<br><br>
Hope this helps <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the ideas, Amie! I was actually thinking that giving Karen her own bag would be good. It's amazing what tiny things affect their routines, isn't it?
 

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DD switched to a new daycare about 6 weeks ago and the transition has been tough. She cries and cries and cries when I leave, and we're both miserable. This week it went a little better, and I don't know if it's because of my new "trick" or just it's been the right amount of time to adjust, but FWIW:<br><br>
I started writing her a note every day at the table where she sits to eat her breakfast when she gets there. We get to her room, sit down together, and I borrow a crayon and scrap of construction paper. I write her a short note in all upper case letters (since she knows these letters) and give it to her to have her teacher read to her when I leave. It's been short ("RONNI - I LOVE YOU ALL THE TIME - LOVE MOMMY" or "RONNI - YOU ARE GREAT! - LOVE MOMMY") so she can remember what it says. Her teacher reads it to her RIGHT after I leave and then tucks it in her pocket so she can carry it all day.<br><br>
Just an idea. We had NO crying this week!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Geofizz</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for the ideas, Amie! I was actually thinking that giving Karen her own bag would be good. It's amazing what tiny things affect their routines, isn't it?</div>
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<br>
I didn't even think to mention it, but erin does have a diaper bag she takes to and from daycare every day. It holds only diapers (we bring home cds every day) but somehow seeing the bag helps her.<br><br>
And we talk about the kids a lot. For instance yesterday the whole ride home (about 10 mins) I heard about playing in the snow with Ivan (son of a fac. member in my dept). Ivan pulled erin in the sled in the snow. That was basically all we said, but somehow it was REALLY important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the daycare can't handle our prefolds and snappi routine, so we left Karen with a pack of disposibles on Monday. We've been bringing her diaper bag, but maybe it would be good to have a "school bag" for her sippy cup and morning snack.<br><br>
I love the notes idea, fiddledebi! Wow, that's great! I might do something like that, too. Another friend suggested I make a little indestructable book of our pictures and pictures of other familiar people and places for her to carry with her as well.<br><br>
I've been asking Karen what happened at school each day, and each day I get snippets of the day, mostly on the diaper changes and brushing teeth. They do standing changes for the wet diapers, so I guess that made an impression.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Geofizz</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, the daycare can't handle our prefolds and snappi routine, so we left Karen with a pack of disposibles on Monday.</div>
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probably not worth it now since karen could decide the potty is the cool thing any time between now and kindergarten but...we do fuzzi bunz for that very reason. We used to do prefolds and wraps and it just didn't work for dcp. The downside is everything (poop too) goes into the dirty bag. that's one mess I hate to deal with!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update!<br><br>
Well, things are certainly going more smoothly now.<br><br>
We took fiddledebi's advice on the note, but since they don't have crayons out when we get there I write a note at home. Karen gets to pick the color crayon and suggest one thing for me to draw. I need to figure out how to draw a train. I'm more of a flowers and butterflies kind of artist.<br><br>
In parallel with the note, I'm wearing my locket that has a picture of Karen in it to work every day. She has something from me with her, and I have something from her with me.<br><br>
She's carrying her own backpack ~ the cheapo plastic thing that had a bunch of doll accessories in it. I hope the zipper holds out. It's not looking good.<br><br>
"Orange snack." I'm packing her morning snack full of dried apricots and cheese crackers. She loves them, and it helps her eat something in the mornings, which surely helps her mood (she normally isn't interested in eating until 10-10:30).<br><br>
The only downside? Apricot diapers.<br><br>
Thanks ladies! I love that I can post a problem like this and get sympathy, understanding, insight into my daughter's mind, and concrete suggestions on things to try.
 

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Hi Geofizz -<br><br>
I'm so glad its going better for you. My dd is nearly 6 mo, and started dc at 3 mo, so it was a totally different experience, but it took about 5 weeks of going every day for her to get adjusted to dc. Now she loves it. She's laughing when dh drops her off, laughing when I nurse her at lunch, and laughing when I pick her up to go home.<br><br>
Daycare can be good.
 
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