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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,<br><br>
I'm kind of new to the Gentle Discipline approach, but have read Naomi Aldort, which I liked very much, but find it challenging work to follow her suggestions all the time. So, I'm looking for opinions on this issue I'm having with my 3 year old, who has just started a great Montessori school. He cries about going to school because he doesn't want to be lonely. He is used to having me play with him all day, although with the addition of a one year old brother, he does have share me. He is jealous of his baby brother and I've really clued into that after reading the Aldort book, so I am trying to be sensitive to that. Anyway, the teachers can't be with him all the time and he hasn't learned how to play with other kids yet and often seeks attention by pushing and hitting.<br><br>
I could say, ok...you don't have to go, but I really think he likes it when he's busy with work there...it's totally the kind of stuff he loves to do.<br><br>
AND, I really need some time without him here. The baby is not getting his naps that he needs because he is so distracted my big brother, who intentionally disrupts nursing and sleep. We have been a co-sleeping family and it just doesn't work to get them to sleep when they are in the same room. Yes, I could do a stroller nap, but not twice a day. And, I can't leave the two boys alone together for a minute or someone gets hurt and I need to feel like I can get some things accomplished. So, basically for my sanity, I would really like him at school. Since we have moved, we have no family or close friends around that I can rely on to help out.<br><br>
Has anybody been through this and what happened? I
 

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i haven't had that same situation but when my dd was born my ds (3) and i started having time where we would do something fun and engaging, just the two of us.<br><br>
it helped SO MUCH with the crabiness he was having.<br><br>
also, is your program a half day or full day? do you have the option of a half day?<br><br>
all that being said, we tried pre-school (not montessori because we don't have it out where we live) when my ds was 3 and he just wasn't ready. so we pulled him out until he was 4 and it went much better.<br><br>
another option i just thought of would be to have someone come to your house and help you with stuff you need to do. maybe you could take the $$ you would spend on montessori and get a mother's helper for a couple of days a week. then he could be with you but still have someone able to play with him or do the dishes or hold the baby so you can play with him.
 

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It sounds like it might not be the right school for him. Maybe look for something smaller, where he can get more attention.<br><br>
Don't worry too much about this one or that one when it comes to parenting guides. Listen to your child. If he's acting out and stressed at school, or otherwise doesn't enjoy himself after he's gotten over the transition, take him out and find another situation for him--a regular nursery school, or an in-home daycare, maybe.
 

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That happened with our son. We just pulled him out. He was miserable, not ready for being away for so long and, frankly, he was bored. He was used to a pretty creative life here at home, and then school was sort of OK now we are all going to do this, put down what you're doing, now we are all going to do the next thing, now we are going to stand in line. Ugh.<br><br>
Anyway, fast-forward to now (years later). We are homeschoolers but he is now in a democratic free school two days a week and he LOVES it and I am at long last getting that mom-time I needed. Yes, it was a long wait but it was worth it. They are little for SUCH a short period of time; why not enjoy that time with them and remove that source of struggle and strife. Just a thought.
 

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I'm not sure what his schedule it, but I could see how a five day program would be way too much for a three yr old. If he is in a five day, or a full day program, could you look into a three half day?<br><br>
If it is a three half day program, I would probably keep sending him at least for a few months to see if he adjusts. If he still isn't adjusting I'd find a new school. Even the most amazing school isn't going to be a good fit for everyone. He might do better in a home montessori setting with a really small group. He could have more time to make a best friend.<br><br>
If he's not making friends, all the cool activities in the world aren't going to make him like his school.
 

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Is he upset at the idea of separating from you or when he's actually there?<br><br>
My experience has shown that 3 year olds often have a resurgence of separation anxiety. It comes with cognitive development. They can now think ahead a bit. They remember more too. They remember that they don't like to have you go, and can apply this to new situations -- "I don't like to leave mom, tomorrow I have to leave mom, I don't want to go to school."<br><br>
If it's just the idea of separating, and he's happy and engaged there, then I'd see if you can work through a couple more months. If he's not happy while he's there, I'd let him stop. Talk to the teachers and see what they think.<br><br>
Is he there 5 days a week? That is a lot for a 3 year old. Would 3x a week be an option? (I wouldn't recommend less than that, because then the transitions get harder, not easier.) 3 is also young for preschool. A lot of kids do better at 4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He attends 3 days a week and they are half days. Today we had a rough separation, but when I picked him up(after I had posted original message), he was quite happy to be there and even wanted to stay longer not to miss story time even though we could have left immediately. Although the school has a lot of kids, I think the model fits him because he is free to do what he wants at almost all times and he really likes to do practical life type work. I think the issue is the separation from me. I wonder if I planted the "lonely" seed in his head when after the first time he was sad I asked him if he was feeling lonely at school. Anyway, I appreciate all of your comments. Thank you!
 

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3 half days a week sounds like a good fit to me.<br><br>
If he 'just started' too, remember that he's had time to realize that this isn't a short term thing and that he's going to have to do this separation every time he goes. That can feel overwhelming to a little kid.<br><br>
When ds went through this, we worked out a plan with the teachers. (I WOH, him not going was not an option, even though he only went 3x a week.) We arrived earlier than the main group of kids (about 10 minutes). This was a quieter atmosphere, which helped ds a bit. Because there were fewer kids, the teachers could spend one-on-one time with him. And finally, I learned to 'hand him off' to a teacher rather than try to get him engaged with an activity. Although ds is an introvert, he needed that personal contact with a teacher to ease the transition. I had thought that being engaged in an activity would distract him. It turns out he needed a person to comfort him.
 
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