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Am I being overly soft about preschool?!

(9 Posts)
NamasteGirl Thu 06-Mar-14 20:26:47

Ds is 3.5 and has only ever been left with my mum other than us. We have found a preschool that we like which he can start at next week, but Im worried. I think its partly my motherly concern that Im leaving him for the first time somewhere unfamiliar, and also guilty because I know he is going to be v v upset. The school say they find it best for the parent to just dump him off and disappear from the off, but I know hes going to go nuts and i think I would too if I was him. Also, he seems to have a bit of seperation anxiety, he follows me around the house every day.

I feel v guilty and Im not sure whether to start him there next week or not. Can anyone advise?

Littlefish Thu 06-Mar-14 20:32:39

I'm a pre-school teacher and have to say that I disagree with their "dump and run" policy. We encourage parents to make their own decision about whether they should stay with their child for the whole 2 weeks of settling in sessions, stay for part of each session, or drop them off. Every child is different and I simply don't believe it's appropriate to have a single policy for every child over such an inportant issue.

I have one family where there is separation anxiety and 6 weeks after the child started, they are still be accompanied by a parent at each session. I can see this continuing for at least another month. This is an unusual situation though, and almost all children manage to be at nursery unaccompanied after 3 - 5 settling in sessions.

Flibbedyjibbet Thu 06-Mar-14 20:36:45

Not sure what month he is but as he's 3 1/2 I'm guessing there's a chance he'll start "big school" in September (my DD does)?

It would be easier for him to "learn" to be away from you in a pre school setting, also you are probably going to do shorter sessions at preschool rather than a full school day.

He will (maybe not on the first day) enjoy it, make friends, learn to socialise without you and do some great activities each session that you can't possibly do day in day out at home.

Plus, you will invigorate and re energise away from him clinging to your ankles meaning your time together will be even better.

NamasteGirl Thu 06-Mar-14 20:36:45

Thanks for your input. I will call them tomorrow and say Id like to help him settle in more. If they dont like it I guess we can go elsewhere!

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 20:38:31

Yes my son's preschool encouraged parents to stay at first and then gently leave their child for a short time to begin with and then when they were fine it would be a whole setting.

He might surprise you - I thought DS would cling to my legs but he saw a computer and didn't look back grin He loved preschool. (And didn't spend all day on the computer!)

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 20:39:02

Setting? Session.

NamasteGirl Thu 06-Mar-14 20:44:35

Flibbedy- no his bday is September so he wont start til next year. But you make some good points, tink it would benefit him to be there once settled.

apermanentheadache Thu 06-Mar-14 20:48:55

I think there has to be some sort of halfway house about this. I would not be at all happy with any setting that insisted on drop and run from the very first day - that just seems cruel if the child has literally never been there before and is unused to childcare. Equally, I can't see how months of accompanied visits can be helpful unless a child has very very severe separation anxiety.

Littlefish Thu 06-Mar-14 21:01:48

apermanentheadache - you're absolutely right! The case I outlined of accompanied visits for a couple of months is definitely the first time I've had to do it. Almost all children settle within a couple of weeks. Some settle on the first day, without a known adult being present.

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