Author Topic: Starting Preschool  (Read 1062 times)

mistershankly

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Starting Preschool
« on: March 01, 2017, 03:02:00 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians, Im looking for some advice for transitioning our daughter to preschool.  Our daughter is 2 years and 8 months old, and she started preschool today.  The transition initially went smoothly as she started playing with the other kids her age.  She lasted 2 hours before breaking down in tears after which my wife was called to pick her up.  We figured there would be a transition period for her to become familiar with her teachers and classmates but want to know if anyone has advice on helping a child with this transition.  Ive heard a range of experiences from parents about smooth transitions to transitions that took weeks to settle in.  The school has glowing reviews from parents, and our experience during the orientation was excellent.  The teachers at the preschool seem exceptionally nurturing and attentive, but we also want to make sure were helping our daughter with this big change in her life.  Any suggestions and experiences would be greatly appreciated.

calimom

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 09:25:23 PM »
It sounds like you guys are dealing with it well. Your daughter is still a baby after all, and it's a huge change. That your wife was able to go to her made your DD feel safe and loved. Every preschool is different, some are ok with parents spending some time there; others prefer you disappear so the child can blend in. I'm guessing this is a full day program? If so is it possible to sometimes go for lunch with your DD and the other kids?

And talking with your DD about how nice the school is, the exciting things there are to do there (without being overly effusive) is helpful. Having the dialog about how daddy spends his days, how mommy spends her days might suggest to her that now she has "her" day, with important activities that are slightly separate from the family, but the family gathers together at the end of the day is a concept she'll grasp.

Hope it all gets better soon, sending support!

mistershankly

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 11:54:38 AM »
Thank you for the reply and encouragement.  Yes, this is an all day program but we have yet to make it to lunch time without her breaking down.  This morning was a little shaky as she was hesitant to go but she warmed up once she was there.  She was waving to the teachers and saying "hi" as she walked in so I figure it could be worse.  We're taking it day by day until she feels comfortable staying longer.

StarBright

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 12:27:17 PM »
It took a full week and then shaky drop offs a couple of days into the following week for our kids to make the transition easily.

They needed to understand that it was a weekly routine.

My oldest is 5 and he still has a hard time on Mondays sometimes, just because "home days" are so much fun.

Sounds like you are doing a fine job and your daughter's reaction is 100% normal :)

mm1970

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 01:22:39 PM »
It took a full week and then shaky drop offs a couple of days into the following week for our kids to make the transition easily.

They needed to understand that it was a weekly routine.

My oldest is 5 and he still has a hard time on Mondays sometimes, just because "home days" are so much fun.

Sounds like you are doing a fine job and your daughter's reaction is 100% normal :)

This.

When kid #2 transitioned from daycare to preschool.  Day #1: 2 hours with me there.  Day #2: 4 hours with me not there.  Day #3: Full day me not there.

Kid #2 starts kinder this year.  Kid #1 (who is in 5th grade) says: "Make sure you pick him up from school the first week, don't put him in after school care!"  Well, not sure that is possible, but definitely the first few days.

mistershankly

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 12:34:27 PM »
So far so good.  Day 3 was a little rough for her to separate from me, but she was playing with the other kids as I was leaving and out of sight.  I read somewhere that infants and kids are wired for resiliency, and I can see it playing out now (no pun intended) with the way our DD is courageously adjusting.   I'm really proud of her for hanging in there.  Thanks again for all of your insights!

LadyMustache

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 12:48:54 PM »
That's great! Sounds like she's settling.

One quick thought: Have you thought of checking some positive colorful kids' books out from the library on starting preschool. I did this and read them to my kids and talked about all the fun stuff they'd be able to do there and that helped a lot.

FLBiker

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 06:47:14 AM »
Thanks for sharing this!  Our DD will be starting preschool this fall (~2.5 years old) and it's helpful to see that this is normal.

mistershankly

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 02:40:59 PM »
An update for those who are interested... we switched to half days (drop off at 8:30am and pick up by 12:30pm), and things have gone fairly smooth.  I also stayed with her for about 30 minutes the first 3 mornings of half-days until she pretty much ignored me and I could leave (first morning was tear-filled as I left but the all mornings since have been fairly smooth).  DD is getting the swing of things so far.  She usually takes an item from home with her (her favorite plastic egg or a small stuffed animal) which makes her really popular with the other kids.  The teachers are fine with her bringing something and the item is usually forgotten within 15 minutes of entering the classroom.

Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and advice!

StarBright

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 07:30:08 AM »
So glad it is going well! Thanks for updating us.

High Income Parent

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Re: Starting Preschool
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 07:48:08 AM »
We've gone through this with five kiddos now and they all had some separation anxiety. It all took from a few days to a few weeks and there will be relapses too. Usually it is because another kid was mean or she fell down on the playground but they all get over it.
I think it is a bit of a badge of honor when kids have separation anxiety because you must be a pretty awesome person for someone to break down and cry just because you are leaving them for a few hours. :-)