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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DS (18 mo) has just started in Montessori toddler program this week. His big sister already attends the 3 - 6 yr old class & loves it.
He is very upset on drop off, though the teacher says he's starting to adjust very well - even the first day he sat quietly for story time in her lap. DH is dropping off & picking up because the first day was just too hard with me passing him over to the teacher - she doesn't want to take him from my arms, and I don't really want to do that either!
He's very verbal, communicative, and he tells us he's fine with going back to school the next day. He's only going for an hour per day this week.
Teacher wants DH to stay a bit & observe (where he can't see him) tmorrow, so he can see that DS actually does calm right down & interact with her & the other kids, that they aren't just "saying that" to make us feel better.

I guess my question is just that... the school opts for the quick pass over & bye bye method - in order to keep peacefulness & order in the class room. Meaning basically, DS & DH walk up to the classroom, say hi to teacher, kiss parent goodbye, and teacher immediately guides DS into class, DH leaves right away. It's hard because I truly believe the teacher when she says that he calms right down... and though I want to believe he doesn't think we're just "passing himoff to a stranger" (he's familiar with the school and has met the teacher previously a couple times), but its still just hard. I just want to know that other parents babies have gone through this transition, and come out on the other end unscathed. He doesn't seem to be having any other troubles outside of school so far, his anxiety or irritation level is slightly raised - i.e. he doesn't want to get in his carseat or sit in the cart, etc. is being a bit more defiant than usual, but other than that, seems perfectly happy & normal outside of school. I just had this image in my head of him walking happily into school, bye mom! and going about his day until I came back. I think I was being unrealistic. Just wanted to hear some others' experiences with this age & starting school.

Thanks.
 

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We had it pretty easy - both kids started school/daycare around 9 months and both were fine, mostly. With DS we had a short phase of protesting around dropoff. But in watching lots of parents over 5 years I would say, the teachers have it right. Short and sweet and off you go. I would think that at 18 months, your DS is still taking cues from you. He doesn't know that you've checked this place out and are sure that it's fine, but if you act like it's fine, then he also has confidence that it's fine. If you show worry and concern, I don't think his conclusion will be, oh thank goodness, mommy cares about me enough that's she worrying that I'm ok, but I know that I'm ok. It's a much shorter connection - mommy is worried and therefore perhaps I should be worried.

I really believe the quick passing of the kid with a big smile and a kiss from mom sends the right message. All is well and you, dear child, are going to a fun and safe place for awhile. After all, if this weren't true, you wouldn't be sending the child there. Your DS is doing great, having fun, and is ready to return the next day. No need to introduce him to the idea that anything is amiss when it isn't.

You might still be worried and I would do what the school suggests and arrange some kind of check-in. I called the school every day for a week or so after DS started and he was always fine by the time I got to my office 5 minutes away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
But in watching lots of parents over 5 years I would say, the teachers have it right. Short and sweet and off you go. I would think that at 18 months, your DS is still taking cues from you. He doesn't know that you've checked this place out and are sure that it's fine, but if you act like it's fine, then he also has confidence that it's fine. If you show worry and concern, I don't think his conclusion will be, oh thank goodness, mommy cares about me enough that's she worrying that I'm ok, but I know that I'm ok. It's a much shorter connection - mommy is worried and therefore perhaps I should be worried.

I really believe the quick passing of the kid with a big smile and a kiss from mom sends the right message. All is well and you, dear child, are going to a fun and safe place for awhile. After all, if this weren't true, you wouldn't be sending the child there. Your DS is doing great, having fun, and is ready to return the next day. No need to introduce him to the idea that anything is amiss when it isn't.

Thank you thank you for saying this. It's been my feeling from the start - that prolonging the goodbye would just make it harder all around. And I know this is the right place for both our children.

But I think in returning to work (after being a WAH mom for 4 years) and sending DS "so young" to a program (when I didn't send DD until she was 3 yrs), is giving me a sense of doubt which I'm sure he can read. It's not doubt in the program... its just doubt in my own mommy decision making.

Really, I KNOW this is the right choice in the long run for all of us. Its just been a tough week for me emotionally. He's handling it better than I.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate it.
 
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