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  • Transitioning to Preschool

    Our situation will require me to return to work. We found a Montessori preschool that we like and registered our 2 1/2 year old daughter and started her. The first week went great. By the last day I was dropping her off and she was staying no problem for 3 hours. That weekend however she was sick, and was nursing almost every 2 hours during the day compared to once or twice. The next week just went downhill, and if I even mention going to school now, she starts to cry and wants to go to bed. I don't know if it was the cold, just normal seperation anxiety, the increased nursing over the weekend that mad the speration harder. I know seperating from me is going to be hard, especially since she hasn't completely daytime weaned yet. I'm just looking for suggestions that will help her make the transition with as little tears and stress as possible. Thanks.

    Mary

  • #2
    Hi, mberg2005! I wish I had the answers to that. The most I can do is share my own experience. My daughter also started school at 2 1/2 years old with absolutely no problems at all. My husband and I can't relate with stories of parents whose children experienced separation anxiety. But around the time that she started school, I also started working part time. Things were going well for a while but soon came the holidays and our whole routine just went crazy. Since then, my daughter has been nursing more than she was normally doing so before all these changes in our lives came. We also used to say that she was one 2-year-old who never had a tantrum. But since the changes in her life came, she has been really testing her limits (even in school). These "tests" come much more frequently whenever I've had a few busier days than usual. So I've learned to make sure I make up all that quality time "lost" on days that aren't as busy for me. Hope this is helpful.

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    • #3
      Mary, is your husband able to drop her off at school instead of you? Or maybe a grandparent? I know some other AP moms who had much better luck when approaching school this way.

      Hugs!

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      • #4
        mary,
        we go to montessori, too. when we enrolled, they told us to expect that he'd do great right away, but a few weeks in, may experience anxiety. and they were right! if i hadn't been told up front, i would have been alarmed. but i knew what was happening when he started showing sadness about school. it took another week or two and everything was back to normal. so maybe just supporting her feelings, encouraging her that she can do it, and things will be back to normal soon, too? let us know what happens!

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        • #5
          Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately my husband starts work at 7:00 and isn't available to help. We haven't left her with anyone besides us up to this point (which I'm sure isn't helping the situation) so I think anyone else dropping her off would be worst. I haven't tried taking her back yet. We may be relocating and until we have decided I didn't want to start again.
          Thanks
          Mary

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          • #6
            Have you tried working with her on things that might help her feel better?

            My daughter (3 1/2, she started at 3) loves her school, but she nonetheless often has difficulty separating from me in the morning. Techniques that have worked for us include:

            Giving her a special penny to keep in her pocket and feel/look at when she wants to be reminded of me.
            Agreeing to stay and read a book with her for a few minutes at the beginning.
            Enlisting the help of the teachers to engage her in an activity before I leave.

            In an advance preparation way, we've also talked with her about older friends and other children she knows who go to school, basically trying to give her the sense that going to school is a normal activity for most children. We've also reminded her of the fun things she'll have an opportunity to do at school, and talked about the friends she'll see.

            Good luck!

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