Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Has Worked for You: Calming a Momma

So I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that D-Man had started preschool. The preschool he attends is a school-based program comprised of no more than 20 kids (3 teachers). D-Man attends his "school" on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30-12:30.

This, in my book, is just enough time for this momma to buy groceries, get them home and put away and wash a couple of loads of laundry all while eating my bon-bons and watching my soaps (and if you believe that this momma or any momma for that matter has time to eat bon-bons and watch soaps all day, I have a nice piece of property to sell you today!)

Anyhoo, this momma has to admit that it has been tough to let my three-year old sidekick walk away for 4 hours twice a week. To see him trying to fill Daddy's shoes back just a few short years ago to being well on his way to accomplishing that has been tough.

So, my question out there for all you mom's who've already been there, done that, got the t-shirt, how do I know that we've taught him right? How do I know that he'll behave like we've taught him? If he has a bad day and sits in time out more than once, is it all over? Do you find that your girls were different than your boys at preschool or school?

This momma needs her fears, anxietys and worries calmed. Help a girl out, PLEASE!

And for other great questions and answers, check out Rocks In My Dryer!

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$5 Dinner Mom said...

I'm with ya girl! I just started putting my 3 year old on a bus 4 days a week. It's part of the "developmental delay" program through the public school. It's TOUGH! I cried and cried. I followed his bus to school to watch him get off! I was sure he'd be wailing. Nope, he was fine! I was crying! This is the first step of MANY that will come along. No one tells you about these emotions, anxieties and fears. The baby stage passes in a blink and before we know it they'll be driving off to college! My thoughts and prayers are with ya!

Anonymous said...

You need to just trust the Lord that you are raising him to make the right choices. More than he is yours he is HIS! My son just went into first grade and sending him off to kindergarten was rough on me. This year my little girl headed off to preschool and it was much easier.

I've had many a post talking about letting go of my children. It's so hard and a constant battle.

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

Believe me, they'll let you know. :) I thought my son was on a roll, getting along, behaving, then suddenly became friends with "that kid" and both were sent to the office. At 3 years old!!!

I asked everyone possible and read a half dozen parenting books to help me through this tough time. If things come up at school, just know that THAT'S the area you need to focus on most at home. For us at the time, it was following instructions. The teacher shouldn't tell the kids to clean up and have 2 kids completely ignoring her while adding to the mess...

I have a good bunch of parenting tips on my blog if you want to check them out. Sounds like we have a lot in common! Nice to "meet" you!!!

Heidi said...

My ds is quite different from my dd at school - she is reserved, and he doesn't have a shy bone in his body. But he behaves better at school than he does at home. And I've noticed that his teachers are very good at keeping the kids, with all their various personalities, in line. I think my dd was reprimanded once during two years of preschool. My ds just started, but I suspect it will happen more with him. Look at it this way - it's very likely that your kid will not be the worst-behaved one. :)

Llama Momma said...

Take a deep breath.

Here's the thing: you'll keep on teaching him and influencing him, even though he's going to school two mornings a week. It's not over yet, Mom!

fern said...

I am a mom of two teens who went to preschool many years ago and now I am a director of early childhood services. These are questions I get a lot, not just in September, but throughout the year, so this comment will probably be long. I am warning everyone now!

First, good for you! Allowing and encouraging our children to become independent individuals who can function well as part of a group and be a contributing member of a community can be difficult for children and parents. But it is a good thing.

It is very hard for parents to not know what their children are doing every second of every day. Separation anxiety happens with both parents and children--often much harder with parents. If you want to know what is going on and you want to check in on your child--call the director and ask her to peek in and let you know how it is going. If she is teaching, don't have a long conversation-just a quick check. If you want to peek in yourself, wait until your child cannot see you at a window or door--or ask another mom to peek in while you wait in the hallway. If your school does not allow parents to peek in the classroom-find another school.

To the questions about behavior--if a school uses time-out as their form of controlling behavior, think about if this is the best place for your child (you have to look at everything and weigh the plusses and minuses of any program). In my opinion, preschools should do everything possible to redirect children from inappropriate behavior. They should be catching behaviors before they happen, they should be talking about what good behavior looks like (gentle touches, walking feet), they should be talking with the children when there is a conflict and try to help the children find their own solution to the conflict. Also--developmentally, 3 year olds, after a while, can learn to take turns--sharing comes later. It is essential that we understand where children are developmentally. We want children to develop their own inner controls and sense of fairness and right and wrong. Generally, punishment doesn't work.

To the question of how do you know if you are doing things right--you don't. You have to go with your best information and faith in yourself and your God. When my son was less than a year old, I looked at my father and I said "I won't really know if I am doing this right until he is an adult, right? He said "yep" We all do the best we can.

A few years ago I wrote an article for a professional journal about how the separation and trust that happens with preschoolers and parents is the same as the trust and separation that God and Abraham had to have in order for Abraham to follow God and begin a new journey. Preschool is a new journey. Raising and educating children is holy work.

I know have gone on and on (but I warned you), but this is an area I have researched and had much experience with.

Good luck moms!

Anonymous said...

I would say to you that every mom feels that way the first time you let them go. All of the sudden you are placing your little on in a new world. My youngest (2 year old) went for the first time two weeks ago. Oh - my heart ached for him. But I truly believe it is the best thing for him. Yes, my boys have been in time out...no it did not make the world crash. :) I believe that giving these opportunities to make some mistakes causes them to understand why they make the choices they do. As a mom, we precipitate their behavior and can stop some of it before it gets out of hand. At a school, that is not the case. A child gets the opportunity to learn how to control their emotions differently and how to control their actions. I would say try your best to enjoy the days that you have a break and then enjoy the days you have your little one home!

rachel kendrick said...

I think the fact that you're worried already says how much you care. My wild little hooligan, who is now in 2nd grade, has shown me that there will always be better- and worse-behaved kids. . .You just have to trust that you've done the best job you can. (As an embarrassing (sp?) sidenote, I was THAT kid in kindergarten who got my name on the board EVERY day. . .for talking. . .Ssssssooooo, there's nothing wrong with THOSE kids, either, ok?!)

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

The fact that you are asking shows you are already on it. Just keep in touch with the teacher. He will be fine. Bless you for being so concerned!