Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tears at Pre-school

When you become a parent you know that you would do anything to keep your little one safe and happy.  You are their protector, you are the one they run to when they need a cuddle.  You will wipe their tears and make it all better.  So when your little one goes to pre-school or nursery for the very first time and it doesn't quite go to plan, it can be one of the hardest things.  

                       

My three year old daughter has been attending pre-school since Easter, and this month we increased her hours to two full days and a morning.  We had a wobbly beginning at the start of the year, and she would get anxious before going to pre-school and then tearful as I left. I'd ring up the pre-school after 30 minutes and they would reassure me that she was fine and had settled well.  Sure enough, when I would pick her up she would be running and laughing with the other children and wouldn't even notice I was there.  

Those drops off when she would cry would break my heart.  I'd come home questioning if I was doing the right thing by sending her, if I should just wait a few more months. But the drop-offs got easier. She got used to the routine and began to happily run in.   

Last week though after 6 weeks off, at drop off, my daughter burst into tears and cried and screamed, 'mummy, mummy don't leave me'.  It was awful. What I wanted to do was scoop her up and tell her that it was ok and we would go home together and play.  But I knew that wasn't the best thing to do.  

As the parent, I know that she enjoys pre-school and that it is good for her.  I knew that she had to get used to the routine again. But in that moment I felt so guilty and heartbroken that my little baby was upset.  I just about made it out of the door before bursting into tears myself.  

I rang up the pre-school after 30 minutes and they told me she was laughing and dancing.

The next day, she was absolutely fine at drop-off and toddled in to sit next to her friend.  Today, she had a little cry but went with one of the teachers to go and paint a picture as I left. 

I know for some children going to pre-school is not a big deal. That they take to it quickly, kiss their mum and dads goodbye and laugh and giggle on their way in. 

But I think for some, its not that easy.  And that's ok. 

As parents I think we think we must be doing something wrong.  That our child is clingy. That maybe they aren't ready if they cry when we drop them off.  But I think that's wrong. 

Every child is different.  

I want to tell those parents that you have to give it time and allow them that chance to settle in.  Only you can know if your child is ready.  But guess what? Even if they are ready they can still become upset and tearful saying goodbye.   

I know my daughter is definitely ready for pre-school and I know that in a few weeks she will no longer cry as I say goodbye. 

My daughter runs out of pre-school with about 6 paintings she has done for me.  And yesterday she started singing in the bath a song about the jungle which she's never sang before.  I was so proud of her! 

My advice is hang on in there.  Tears at the doors are ok and in time they will soon turn into happy smiles and excited tales of the days adventures. 

Here you can read about my daughter's first day at preschool and an update from earlier in the year. 

Thanks for reading, 

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