The Preschool Blues

In a little over a week, my 3-year old starts preschool. We felt it was important for him to start school before baby arrives so he has his own “big boy” thing that is his and his alone and remains a constant when life gets crazy in a few months. The other big reason: socialization. He plays with kids at church, at the playground and at the library, but other than the kids he sees weekly at church, has no constant group to socialize with and learn all the important things about playing and learning in groups, like sharing, taking turns, interactive play and more. It’s only two days a week and he’ll get to spend the rest of the week with his grandmas, just like he does now. 

I don’t know who is more apprehensive, me or him. He was in daycare from 5 months to a year and his only primary caretakers since then have been family. We went to visit family in California at the beginning of the year and tried to go on a double date, leaving him with his cousins and their babysitter. It was a disaster. 

I know it will all be fine, especially after the first month. He had a hard time at the beginning of swimming lessons but now easily goes to his teacher and trusts her. He loves his speech therapist and I am constantly amazed at what a Type A, people pleaser he is during speech therapy. He tries so hard and converses with her in such a mature, respectful way. 

I told my husband that he gets to do drop offs for the first few weeks because I don’t know if I can handle the stress of him clinging to me. His teacher is coming to our house next week to meet him one-on-one and there’s a preview day in a week, where I get to hang out at the school with him for the morning. But then Monday will come, and he will be there with new people in a new environment and I am so worried about him. But I know he will do just fine, eventually. 

Any tips on making the preschool transition easier for him (and me)? 

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2 thoughts on “The Preschool Blues

  1. pH was in daycare from 8 months to almost 3 years, then did preschool (if you want to email me, I’ll tell you which one, and I do know some of the rumors about various options), then was home with me full time before K. I’m not going to pretend my child is representative, but we had phases where she was clingy and phases where she was not, and it had more to do with her age/maturity and overall happiness at the place she was being left.

    (Which is to say: she may be clingy and sobbing when you leave and bounce back immediately, although you will spend the whole day feeling like someone stabbed you in the heart–daycare and preschool–or it may really not be a good fit. Trust your gut. I assumed the later for Kindergarten when it really was a disaster from start to finish. By first grade I took her first “get me out of here” at pick up as a solid clue and pulled her after two months, but a few months later at three separate camps of varying degrees of enjoyment, she could scarcely be bothered to say “bye” before running off to her class/group.)

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