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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today when I went to pick ds1 up from preschool, ds2 was asleep in the car. So I parked in front and called the classroom. For some reason, there was no answer. (They have never not answered the phone before - I assume someone was on the other line or just couldn't get to it. Also, one of the regular teachers was sick today.) I was standing there kind of wondering what to do, when one of the other parents showed up and started walking in. I was just about to call to her when she turned to me, and said "Oh, do you have a sleeper in there?" I said, "yeah, but there was no answer on the phone." She asked me if I wanted her to get ds1 for me. I immediately thought about not wanting to acclimate ds1 leaving with someone other than me or dh, and said "Yeah, just ask the teacher to walk him out. Thanks!" A few minutes later she comes out with her daughter and my ds.

So I'm wondering if I should say something to the preschool teacher about this. Basically they let him leave with someone who wasn't his parent. Now, this particular mom has had an older son in the school previously, so the teachers have known her for many years. And it is a very small little preschool, no other classrooms or anything. And the teachers know that I sometimes can't come in if ds2 is asleep, and they probably had heard the ringing phone that they couldn't get to and assumed it was me. And I had in essence told her to go ahead and get him by starting my reply with "yeah." (But the teachers didn't know that.)

BUT. Shouldn't they be pretty strict about not letting a child leave with anyone other than the parents without prior approval? I'm actually not as concerned with their particular policy, but with ds1 getting the idea that it is okay to leave with someone else, particularly with the whole "my mom told me to come get you" line.

I can understand why they figured it was fine to send ds1 out with her, but it kind of bugs me. I don't want to be the uptight paranoid parent, but I kind of feel like I should say something.

Would you say something? If so, what would you say?
 

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I would def. say something. If she's not on your approved pick up list, she should not have been able to take your ds1 out to you. If they were able to see you out the window or something, that might be a bit different, but i'd still mention it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think they could see me out the window. One of the things I liked about this preschool is that you can't really see or get into it without someone noticing you. You have to walk down a little outside hallway through a gate that has a bell on it to get the front door. It is possible that they peered way out the top of the one front facing window, but somehow I doubt it.

I guess I should say something. I hate this part of being a parent!
 

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Well, you could always ask them about it and share your concerns. Turns out that this time was totally ok, but you of course don't want there to be a time when it isn't! I would just ask them about it. Maybe a very easy explanation on their part and you can iterate your thoughts. Doesn't have to be a big thing for them to understand where you are coming from.
 

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I don't know about this. I guess I'm a little mixed on what I would do.

If I had been in a similar situation, I wouldn't have been upset that the other mom walked my kid out because I know what the school's policy is, I know that they would never allow a "stranger" to come and get my DD, I know they were doing it to convenience me. I would also be afraid that my speaking up would then cause the school to say, "well, we can't walk kids out when there are others that need our attention at the end of the day so if your child is asleep in the car, you'll just have to wake him up and bring him in".

I just think that sometimes we have to use our human sense about things and not necessarily follow the strictest interpretation of the law. But then again, I'm all about the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law.

I guess the way I'm seeing it is that you made a request to change the way things are done - it's not like you pulled up to the school and some strange woman was standing there with your kid.

I'm probably rambling. In a nutshell, no, I wouldn't complain.
 

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Interesting question. Technically, they really shouldn't have allowed this other mom to breing your son out of the school without your permission, either by word or in writing. I know they would not have allowed this at my daughter's former preschool. Most schools have a policy about children being picked up by other adults than the usual parent or caregiver, and that policy serves two purposes, one to keep the children safe and two to cover the school's a$$.

Bad judgment on the part of the teacher. Even if she felt safe, it's not her place to make that decision for you or your child. She's not his parent, you are, and she had no way of knowing that this woman had your permission to walk your child out of school.

On the other hand, you sort of "enabled" it, so rather than make a complaint, perhaps go to the teacher or director and discuss what happened and acknowledge that you played a role in it, but that you were surprised that the teacher allowed your child to go with this other mom.

You'll have to think of some other solution when your ds2 is asleep! Can you put this other mom on your pick-up list? That way she would have your permission to bring him out to you.
 

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This was a situation where the child was in no danger whatsoever. The mother (who they knew well) went in and said "So and so is outside with a sleeping child and asked me to walk her little one to her car". The teacher, knowing this woman well has no reason to believe has recently turned into a child -stealer. She also knows you have another child. She also knows where this woman lives.

There is nothing wrong here. You can't extrapolate that if a person she didn't know walked into the building and asked for your particular child that she would have released the child to her/him without checking that this person was who she said she was (most schools have you fill out a form listing who is allowed to pick up your child).

Let's not turn everything into cause for alarm.

I wouldn't complain. You asked, both women are well known to the school, etc etc etc.
 

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Oceanbaby---

Before you talk with them, I would clarify in your mind exactly what you hoped they *would* do in that situation.

I assume your DS knows this woman? Or does he not? (the mom who got him out of class). Because in an emergency wouldn't an adult he knows be coming to pick him up saying "Your mom told me to"?

Obviously they should not be giving him to just anyone, but who *do* you want him to go with and under what circumstances. If you do not want them to give your DS to a known (other child's) parent in the future--- what do you want them to do?
 

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:

you could explain to the teachers that you were worried about the message it was sending to ds if the other mom was someone he didn't know, but other than that it seems like a perfectly safe situation. i wouldn't worry if it was my child.
 

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Our preschool also walks ds out for time to time when dd is sleeping. In the situation you described, I would imagine the teacher walking with the other parent to the gate (we park right in front) to get visual contact with me b/f letting ds go.
 

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I don't think this is a big deal. However, since you are concerned, I would say to the teachers something like "Can I add [other mom's name] to my safe list in case she has to bring out dd again?" That should get your point across without sounding pushy or paranoid about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the replies. They very much echo how I feel about this myself.

His school has a policy of not allowing anyone other than those on the preapproved list to take kids from the classroom. Only dh and I are on that list. But what's the point of an approved pickup list if it's not followed?

They also have a policy of picking up and delivering kids at the street if the parent asks, so calling them and having them deliver or come get ds is not usually a problem.

What I had hoped they would do is when the mom had said "Hey, ds's mom is outside and wants me to bring him to her" they would have said "Thanks, we'll bring him out."

It's not so much that I'm upset that the school put my child in danger - they didn't and I understand why they allowed him to leave with the other parent. Ds does know the other parent, but not real well. But I don't like ds getting the message that it's okay to leave with whatever adult, albeit familiar, that shows up and takes him outside.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by UUMom
This was a situation where the child was in no danger whatsoever. The mother (who they knew well) went in and said "So and so is outside with a sleeping child and asked me to walk her little one to her car". The teacher, knowing this woman well has no reason to believe has recently turned into a child -stealer. She also knows you have another child. She also knows where this woman lives.

There is nothing wrong here. You can't extrapolate that if a person she didn't know walked into the building and asked for your particular child that she would have released the child to her/him without checking that this person was who she said she was (most schools have you fill out a form listing who is allowed to pick up your child).

Let's not turn everything into cause for alarm.

I wouldn't complain. You asked, both women are well known to the school, etc etc etc.
What she said. I think that you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Like the pp said, just because they released your son to another parent whom they know and trust doesn't mean that they would release him to just anyone. Frankly, if the were so busy and short on teachers that they couldn't even answer the phone, then sending your son out with a trusted parent was probably more responsible than leaving the other kids unsupervised or under-supervised so that a teacher could walk your son out herself.
 

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Why not just mention it to them?

"I was concerned because I was expecting a teacher to bring ds out. I don't MIND that so and so brought him out, but I wanted to know if this was the norm"

If it is practice to have a teacher bring the kids out, then I am surprised they changed this...
 

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I don't think it would have occured to me to be overly concerned in that situation, especially if it was your usual pickup time, they knew you had another kid, and the mom was well-known to them.

Since your main concern seems to be your son getting the impression it's OK to leave with just anyone, could you potentially come up with a "password" that the teachers know and your son knows? Then you could have told the other mom the word. I've seen that suggested as a common solution given to use with older children and I don't see why it couldn't work for this as well in conjunction with the approved pick-up list.
 

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I agree with Lovebeads and UUmom (and others) who have said they wouldn't complain/mention. Because they know you have a little one who could easily fall asleep in the car, and because the other mom has been well known to the preschool teachers for multiple years, and because you did say "yeah" in response to her question. I know you added the "just have the teacher walk him out" part but if they are busy, and it is not their policy to walk each child out (some schools do this, every day, every child) and the other, well known mom offered.... well, I think this falls under what reasonable people would find an appropriate thing to do.

You can have a discussion with your ds on who he can go with, where and when. I think more important than never letting him go (even from school to the parking lot) with another adult is to teach him to trust his instincts - which he already has even at preschool age.

You know the school would never let him go with just any adult who walked in and asked for him. Do you think he'd really go even if that happened? If you complain about it, they will get to the letter picky about the rule and you will just have to wake your sleeping child (and so will the rest of us) instead of letting kids occasionally walk out with another parent (and classmate).

I have many times walked kids in or out with us - or had my child go with them when my dd3 was asleep or sick or we were in a huge hurry. Only once did another mom (when I offered to bring her child up) hesitated (and she and I actually do know each other more than most of the parents - knew each other before being in preschool together but the kids don't know us other mom well) and said exactly that - she didn't want her son to think he could leave with someone other than her. That was fine - I didn't get him.

I understand keeping our kids safe and trying to make good choices in that regard - it is our most important job. However, I find it sad that we live in a day and time when another mom, the parent of a child's friend and classmate, can't walk our child 30 feet to help us out. I think we can go TOO far (know I will get flamed for that...) in our protectiveness. But I am one who really WANTS my children to trust, be attached to, feel safe with other adults besides me and dh. We are their parents and of course love and want the best for them, etc. But many, many other people (relatives, friends, teachers, coaches) also can safely spend time with my kids.

When filling out the emergency forms for dd1's elementary, we also had to put in the three or four people who were allowed to pick dd1 up in case of emergency. I listed my sister, my brother, and a couple of good SAHM friends. But I also wrote in (and told the office staff) that really the parent of anyone in her class could take her home or drop her off to my home in the case of an early school closure. Before anyone starts thinking that I am completely loony (well, go ahead anyway I suppose...), dd1 goes to an alternative public elementary with 68 kids K through 5th grade (50 families) and has gone there for four years so I know these families well enough to feel comfortable with this. I also know the office staff (were they to find themselves in this situation and not able to get a hold of me or dh by phone) would choose to send her with one of her good friends.

Rambling now but I just think we should cherish the fact that other moms WANT to help us - we need more of that, and less distrust of anyone not in the child's immediate family. I know it is not that you necessarily distrusted this mom, more focusing on the message it sent to your kid. So that is my painfully LONGGGGGG way of saying that no, I wouldn't bring it up to the teachers.
 

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I hear ya on worrying about what kind of message it's sending when someone says "your mom said it's ok for me to walk you out today" but I wonder whether or not your child KNOWS which adults are on your "pre-approved pickup list" (Have you had a "only Mommy or Daddy will ever pick you up from preschool - you are not to go with any other adults you don't know" conversation?). Just because it's a big deal to us as mommas doesn't mean it's a big deal (to have a list) to our children. And are you sure that this other momma said to your son "your mom said for me to take you out to her" OR could she have said to the teachers "Oceanbaby has a sleeper, would it help you (meaning the teachers) if I walked him out to her?" and then the teacher said "DS#1, Jenny's mommy will take you out today because Miss X is out sick and I have to stay in the class"

I don't think I'd address it with the teachers, honestly. I think I would try to figure out what part of the situation truly bothered me and brainstorm a strategy. Maybe give DS a "secret code" for this situation (or a ribbon that the "pickup momma" would give him to let him know that you give him the ok to deviate from the normal routine) or just accept that other parents in his class are willing to help you out and be grateful for their assistance.
 
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