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nap time at preschool

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  • nap time at preschool

    My son (3yrs) just started going to a mother's day out program one day per week. They have the kids lay down for a nap at 1:00, and turn on a video at 1:30 for the kids who didn't fall asleep. The movie plays until pick-up time at 2:30, and they are expected to stay on their mat and remain quiet for the whole 90 minutes. My son is the only one in the class right now who just can't do it. He gave up naps ages ago, and just truly isn't interested in television (I've actually tried to get him to sit through a show, but he just doesn't care for tv). So, he wandered around the room the first two times, and they will not allow him to do that anymore. I have him in the program (which is a really good one - I just love the director and his teachers) so that 1. he has an opportunity to play with other kids and 2. so I get a break. I'm thinking about just picking him up at 1:00 - it's not like I'm busy or he's missing out on any learning or even any play time - but I'm not sure if I will be sending the "rules are for everyone else and if I don't like it, Mommy will rescue me" message, or if it's the right thing to do because it will avoid problems at his school. Any thoughts???

  • #2
    using the t.v. to keep kids quiet does not seem like quality education to me. if your kid's not a napper, he's just not and it seems to me like they don't respect that quality in him (and probably other kids, too). have you talked to them about a compromise? can he read books? can he do some other quiet activity? is there another room where kids who don't nap can go?

    i don't see anything wrong w/being your child's advocate. i believe the message you're sending him is that you respect his needs and are working on ways to solve problems together.

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    • #3
      When I went to pick him up Wed., there were only 2-3 kiddos awake - 6-7 still asleep, so I think they are trying to please the majority and not disturb the sleepers. I bet if they had a larger staff and more rooms (this is a very very small program) they would take the non-nappers out.
      I thought about putting him in an actual preschool where they are there to teach a specific curriculum, but decided to go with the place that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling instead - it really is a great MDO program. (and they use non-punative discipline - Sam would totally freak if he had to go to "time-out", he has no concept of this)
      I think I will go and get him early and maybe talk to the director about working out an alternative in the future. It could be that they have a larger staff in the fall and scale down for the summer, who knows????
      I worry about the "rules are for others" message because I have a sister who does this to her kids. They are older (10, 12, 15, 16) and have never had to take responsibility for anything themselves - it's not good, and I don't want my kids to be as ill-prepared for the world as my neices/nephews seem to be (except 16 - she's typical oldest). I know - there is a world of difference between 3 and 10.
      OK - I feel good about not making him do something he's not truly able to do. =)

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      • #4
        Personally, I would encourage him to obey the rules. When he goes to school, he will have rules that there aren't exceptions for. IF I felt that he is really incapable of following the rules, I would start small. Pick him up at 1:30 so that he has to obey for 30 minutes, and see if you can lengthen the time. This way it isn't 90 minutes straight that he has to sit there, but only 30. This is a good opportunity to explain that everywhere you go has rules, and sometimes, even if we don't like them, we have to obey them.

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        • #5
          I think the main concerns in this situation are:

          a) Are their rest time rules acceptable to you? ie. do you think it's okay that he must lay and watch TV for an hour? (Or, if they're willing to modify them, are their modified rules acceptable to you?)

          b) Is your son ABLE to comply with their requests?

          As far as your concern that he will think "rules are for others" I would personally not be overly worried about that scenario because he is quite young and he has and will have many opportunities to learn how to follow rules in his life. For instance do you have rules that you follow at home, at the store, at grandma's house? I don't think this one situation will outweigh the many times he will have to follow the rules. You mention that your niece and nephew NEVER have to take responsiblilty. I think that it is the "NEVER" part that is the problem.

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          • #6
            Hi, I am speaking to this as a former child care provider also,

            I think it is unacceptable that the other children cannot get up and do quiet things on the other side of the room (reading books, coloring etc.) I would almost understand if there was only one person but you mention there is three! The TV rest period has been used usually by places where there is ONE childcare provider and that time is for her rest. If there is three they should trade breaks!

            I think if you want, pick him up at 1 and bring him home. You are not 'saving him' from not following the rules. You are in a postion of being able to remove him from substandard care (at that momment, the rest of the time you like you said). Please exercise your power! Most people do not understand a child who is not hypnotized by the TV so they may not be able to conceptualize HOW this is happening either. They should have an option for children not resting. What is the child to staff ratio? What are the ages of other children? When my son was 3 he no longer napped....what is the age appropriate outlet for non-nappers? With 3 staff I think that is awful...not just TV but that there is no other thing to do!

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            • #7
              There are 2 teachers in the room and I think there are 10 enrolled in the class. They are 3 and 4yrs. I think I will use a combo approach and speak with his teachers this week, but also come and get him early. Maybe 1:30 as Petie suggested. I'm not sure what was meant by "not allowed to wander during quiet time". I should get that clarified - they don't punish kids, so maybe they would call and have the parent come and get a child who was horribly disruptive or destructive (which he's just not by nature) which is what I'm thinking about anyways, just not for that reason. It will work out, as all things do. THanks for the input!

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