Please help me to help my grandson! He is only 26 months old and his parents decided to take him to a nursery although I personally think that he is not ready yet to deal with this experience, the way that is usually given to all children by the nurseries here in Cyprus.
The reason I am saying this is that he is a lovely content boy (not spoiled), who is raised on Positive Discipline, with lots of love and affection by all of us, including his nanny who adores him. He has no other young children around to share his time with, so he is used to have lots of fun in a safe environment, and sometimes he plays with other children at birthday parties or on the playground , having an adult who is known to him always around. He is a happy, encouraged 2 year old who does not need to misbehave.
Now the nursery rules are for parents to stay with the child for an hour the first day and then go home together. The 2nd or 3rd day the mother will pretend that she will go somewhere for five minutes and leave him there with a teacher (a stranger). The following day the mother must leave him for ten minutes and then leave him at the doorstep in the hands of the teacher and say good bye (whether he is crying/screaming or not).
So my grandson went to this nursery for three days now and he was really scared and crying a lot when his mother went back, after leaving him for five minutes following the rules!!! Next week he will have to suffer more and more until he gives up.
I believe that this is a very dramatic experience for any child, because all these feelings of being abandoned all of a sudden will be stored in his subconscious mind and will always be part of his program!!!
Please Jane share your wisdom with me and advise me how to deal with this situation before we turn an encouraged child into a discouraged child because of Nursery Rules!!!!!
Thank you very much in advance, Elenitsa
Oh my goodness, you sound like a grandma. (You may know that I now have 20 grandchildren, including my 11 month old of my youngest daughter. I'm so devoted to him that I purchased a house in San Diego so I can spend lots of time here.) I tell you this so you'll know I understand. In fact, they recently tried to put Greyson in a 3 hour morning program (at 10 mos.) and he cried so much that they gave up. I definitely thought he was too young.
However, I think your grandson may be just fine. The big question is how does he act after his parents leave. I use to have a morning preschool (many years ago) and I could hardly wait for the parents to leave because the children would be just fine soon after they left.
Actually, the schools rules that you describe, sound good to me. Elenitsa, I don't know for sure if he is ready or not, but I have a hunch that he could be. I don't believe he will suffer feelings of abandonment (he is loved too much). It is very possible that he will learn to feel more confident and capable. A big part depends on the energy he feels from his parents (and on how he is once they leave.)
Following is an excerpt from Positive Discipline for Childcare Providers. At the end is my story of what happened when I felt so guilty about taking Mark to a Preschool when he was 26 months old. Keep in mind, that I knew this was a very good preschool and I had even trained the staff.
Child Development Concept
Crying is a language. In fact, it is the only language infants and very young children possess Adults would not be so nervous or annoyed when children cry if they accepted this fact. Children cry for too many reasons to elaborate here, but a few of them are frustration, fear, pain, or an effort to manipulate adults. No matter what the reason, the best way to deal with crying is with an attitude of dignity and respect.
It is never a good idea to tell a child to stop crying (never mind that it rarely works). It is even worse to tell a child, "Big girls/boys don't cry." We know adults mean well when they say, "Don't cry," but that is the same as saying, "Don't communicate. It makes me uncomfortable."
Parents will feel differently about crying when they understand it is a language. They will be more effective when they learn to understand (not speak) the language. They can also take time to teach skills that many help the child learn other ways to behave and communicate, as in the example below.
Elenitsa, I hope this helps. Remember, I don't know the whole picture, but I do believe there is a lot of "extreme" parenting going on these days. Let me know how it goes.
"Thank You" is such a small phrase that cannot express my gratitude for your wise thoughts and suggestions!!! Yes, I sound like a grandma (perhaps a little bit overprotective, which I try to overcome!!!).