3 year old starting preschool! How do you help with the transition?

Krystle - posted on 07/26/2011 ( 83 moms have responded )

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My 3 year old starts preschool in September and I'm so nervous 'cause we have never left her with anyone but my mom or husband's mom! Some people would say she is way too sheltered and that I kind of believe it 'cause she kind of is. I also have a 9 year old and I raised her alone until my husband came in to my life. But she was not as bad as this one! My husband expects me to go to school with her the first week! I think that's too much. I was thinking a couple of days because I know she is going to cry so much! We take her to church and she won't even stay in the Sunday classes because all she does is cry! She is a very shy kid. My husband is a homebody and so is she, so anything out of her comfort zone she doesn't like. Lately while dad is at work I've tried to get her to do more things. I need some advice. As much as I want to blame it on my husband, I'm freaking out and just can't handle the fact that she will be where she doesn't know anybody and will be crying! Thanks.

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Sarah - posted on 08/13/2011

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as a preschool teacher, I beg of you: unless there is a designated "parent's play" day or something similar...do NOT stay! Parents often do this, thinking it will help, but in fact it will only confuse her, as she will begin to think you will stay all the time, and it can upset the other children, whose parents can't stay. This in turn can further upset your child, who will see preschool as scary place where everyone cries! The best thing to do is to talk to her NOW about the changes in a positive light. "You'll have so many friends to play with." "You will do fun things with your teacher" "You're such a big girl that you can go to school!" See if you can meet with her teacher a few days before school starts so that she can get to know him/her and feel more comfortable with. Then, on the big day, play it up as something exciting. Make a special breakfast, let her pick out her "first-day outfit," and give her something of yours to bring with her. A necklace, a photo she can keep in her pocket, a spritz of your favorite perfume...anything that will remind her of you. Walk her to her class, help her get settled, and remind her that you'll be back when school is over. Don't hide the fact that you have to leave, but don't make it sound sad. Stay positive and encouraging. Walk her to her teacher and re-introduce them, then tell her you're leaving. A quick hug and kiss (she may try to cling to you, but the quicker you leave the faster she'll turn to the teacher for comfort, creating a bond with him/her.) I know it can seem heartbreaking, but I promise: she'll be fine! I've never had a student who was still crying 15 minutes after Mom left. Some will make a big show every morning, but those are usually the kids whose parents indulge the tears with prolonged hugs, snuggles, and unsure goodbyes. When you come to pick her up, let her vent her sadness if she needs to, but don't sympathize. (Validate her feelings, but don't say things like "It was terrible, wasn't it." or "Did you have a terrible day?" Simply respond kindly with "I'm sorry you were so sad." and "I can tell that it wasn't fun when I left.") Then, after she's told you all about the BAD parts, encourage her to share with you the fun things! If she can't come up with them on her own, come up with ideas of your own. "Did you meet new friends? Did you sing some songs?" It might take a few days, but she will likely be jumping out of the car and racing you to class in just a short while. Good luck! I know this time is difficult for Mom and child, but you will get through it! :)

Crystal - posted on 07/26/2011

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My child is 2 1/2 and I had the same issues with and she has been thru a tramatic experience as a kid. She has a very hard time with stangers or any social environment. I have to work full time and it was time for me to put her in a daycare so I could manage her needs and our own. I remember dropping her off the first day. It was aweful, they had to pry her off my left and I just remember her face as they pulled her off me and she was kicking and screaming in their arms and look on her face. The manager of the daycare talked to me before I left and told me one thing that I remember. The first week is harder for mom than it is for them. They make you feel so bad for leaving them. It was super hard the first few days, I felt like she would be so alone with no comfort, but by the time I got back at the end of my 8hour day she was off playing. She has been at daycare for a little over 6months now and somedays she still cries, wont walk in and throws herself on floor, but just think to yourself that after they adjust, they will meet friends. That by the time you get to your car and wipe away your tears, She will be ok and running around with her new found friends after she adjusts. Their are days now that I know my daughter does it just to make me feel bad and make me not want to leave her, but inside you have to do what is best for them. The best advice I can give you in advance is start now. Find a part time daycare or school and put her in it for 3 days a week and ween her off you. You will be amazed by the time September comes and she starts school what type of a new kid she will be and not to mention all the things they bring home that they have picked up or learned. This way it wont be such a shock to her when you drop her off at school. My daycare even told me he first week that I could call as many times as I wanted to check on her.. and believe me I did. I called twice the first day and once for about the first 3 days until I realized that when I called she was playing and okay. I don't know if the school will also let you do this, but someone once told me that they need to remember you are coming back. Don't stand there and comfort them while they are attached to you and sting out the process longer than it needs to be, that only makes the seperation worse. Just say you love her and will miss her and you promise you will come back for her. Another thing that worked for me to and some other people I know is this. Take an empty purse of yours and leave it at school where they put their backpacks. This way in her mind, she only thinks your gone for the moment, but your still there. Just like you left to go to the bathroom because their span of time is all the way developed yet. Then slowly start taking it away day by day until she realizes that when mom leaves, she will always come back ( or someone will be there to get her ) Also if she is this attached to you be prepared for Night Terrors. I don't know if she or the other one has ever been thru them, but my daughter started them when we started seperating her from us. I honestly think they are more horrible to go thru then the dropping them off process because you can't do anything to help them during it. Its normal though and from the seperation anxiety. Just don't fret it takes time, but remember you can do it.

Jaime - posted on 08/14/2011

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Wow! Sounds like my daughter! She just turned 3 & is starting preschool in few wks. She is very attached to me & her Dad & It seems to have gotten much worse over past few months. I'm stay at home Mom with her & she is very shy. Even around family memebers (the ones we don't see very frequently) she won't talk & hides her face when they try to speak to her. Her cousins are all older so she didn't grow up having other little kids to play with. She has had 2-3 little girls in past that after being with for little bit she'll open up to & play with & be comfortable with. But add even 1 more kid to the bunch & she clams back up. My good friend has son her age & daughter who is 5 & we'll go to her house to play & the whole time she'll sit on my lap. She'll play with toys but only if i'm right there. I took her to the preschool last wk. to fill out forms & I was so upset bcuz all other kids were out playing together & she was glued to my side. She gets upset whenever we mention starting school & I've been told by her teachers that i'm to drop her off & leave right away. I can picture it now...she'll be screaming crying & being ripped away from me & I'm afraid she will never adjust. When we tried to take her to church like u I was told to "go ahead & we'll come get you if she doesn't calm down" so I sat thru whole service & got all excited thinking she'd made it only to go get her & find the head of child. dept. there waiting to talk to me about how i should maybe just leave her 10min. next time & come get her. Which to me, makes no sense bcuz then she'll think all she has to do is cry for 10min. & then Mommy comes to get me. Then she'll do that in preschool. Anyways, she cried off/on the whole hour of church & when the guy was talking to me he said "most children cry for 10min. & stop, but you have an exceptional little girl" with a smile on his face! I felt like he was mocking her & it made me feel like i've done something wrong as a parent. I know i should have taken her to do more things with other kids but until you have a child who won't let go of your leg in those situations & won't talk, you don't realize how uncomfortable it is for you & how you dread those things bcuz it draws attention to your little girl & how she is "shy". The friend i mentioned above has son who will be in her class but that won't matter to her bcuz she has never opened up to him. And this friend of mine has said many times that my daughter "needs" preschool & it will "help her open up & learn more" but i'm seriously scared that i'll get a call saying they can't take her bcuz she won't stop crying & isn't ready. At home & around people she feels comf. with she is a very energetic, happy girl. She isn't shy in least & actually gives us a lot of issues with being defiant & not listening so i'm not thinking she's passive. I'm doing this for her AND for me bcuz she has been a handful lately & I need some time to re-group bcuz she is non-stop. I also want her to open up & meet new friends so we can have playdates & I can meet new Moms. Now i'm doubting myself though & wondering if I should even try bcuz i know her so well & I'm not being negative by saying I KNOW she will be the one child in group that cries & doesn't stop. BTW, she's only going 2 days wk. for 3hrs. I"m trying to get 3 days for 3hrs. but on waiting list.

Heather Marie - posted on 08/12/2011

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We had the same fears for our daughter starting preschool. I took her to some preschool classes at our local recreation center to get her used to me not being with her constantly. Also, the class is only 45 minutes to an hour, so your child can get used to the idea of being without you gradually before not having you there all day at preschool. The first few classes at the rec center she cried and did not want me to go. But by the 3rd or 4th she'd was so confident and barely even cared when I dropped her off! Then when preschool came around I dropped her off and she had no problem! It was fantastic. She loves school and it's a great feeling when she's excited to see me when I pick her up:) Good luck!



Also, I strongly believe that even if your child cries, a good preschool teacher will comfort her or provide a distraction to let you leave. Eventually she will see that you always come back to get her and the crying will stop:)

Brennan - posted on 09/06/2011

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I feel your pain. As hard as it is I think it is better to start them out slow now then sending them for their first day of kindergarden unprepared (when they have to be there). It is peace of mind knowing that my three year only goes three days for three hours and is in a playful atmosphere. He just started last week and hasn't been happy when he leaves. It breaks my heart to see him cry. I remind myself that it is seperation anxiety and the only way for him to get over it is this way. He needs a little life outside of me and his dad and sister to play and make friends and know that I am always there even when I'm away for a short time. My daughter is eleven and went to the same pre-school. Although I stayed home with her also, she was more independent and egar to make friends. She was sad some days, but nothing compared to her brother. This is way different for me. It's tuff!

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Melissa - posted on 08/05/2012

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Night terrors are not voluntary and are a neurological condition not to be confused with nightmares. A child can give themselves nightmares, they cannot give themselves night terrors, which is a waking condition of a nightmare you can't snap yourself out of, in laymans terms. My autistic daughter suffered from night terrors for nearly a year when she was 4 years old.
Believe me, there is a big difference. If you try to "wake" a child with night terrors, they will attack you like YOU are a monster from the terror. Any comforting instinct you have for nightmares generally backfire when used for night terrors.
But yes, we have all given ourselves nightmares as kids, and adults! I know I've had several over my kids' total lack of sense of danger...

Summer - posted on 01/11/2012

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Well my 3yr old started preschool Monday and it was find no crying, no kiss, no hugs, no nothing and my son is used to being with his grand parents, he isnt a shy kid but all kids are different - take today I drop him in school after 8 and he has been crying since then, I carry lunch at 11 and he was still crying and school finishes at 2:30pm so maybe i have him to shelter too

Janci - posted on 12/27/2011

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My son is the same way and I am aware preschool is the way to go. Sunday school he may last 1 minute. I don't want him sheltered either, at the park he will at with kids but always with my mom or mother in law. I am almost 8 mos pregnant on bed rest n Want to get him set before new baby. He's very smart n potty trained before 2.5 could u let me know if you get any good advise. Scared of having a child too sheltered. Sounds close to what your going threw. Thank u

Suzanne - posted on 09/05/2011

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I would treat it as no big deal, just be happy and positive. My girls are really looking forward to going to pre-school, although they have had childcare, and have been baby sat by friends and family. So a different situation. I am sure she will enjoy it and like the interaction with other kids and other things that she learns there will be fun. Good luck.

Hayley - posted on 09/03/2011

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Just be happy and confident. Treat it like its no big deal. SHe may get tearful and upset..but whatever happens don't let her see you getting yourself all worked up. It was never something that bothered me with mine but my Mother is a nightmare...I let her come with me on my daughters first day of school. I kept it cool...remained bright and breezy and my little girl (although a little nervous) followed suit. All was well until she walked into her classroom and turned around to see my bloody Mother holding onto the fence balling her eyes out. And yep you guessed it...my daughter erupted into tears, sobbing about how she wanted to come home lol! Its funny thinking back but I was so peed at the time :D

Leanne - posted on 08/29/2011

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My little boy was 2 years old when he started at daycare. I was worried about him at first, but I find if he or she has a special toy let them bring it with them.Try and find out when the smallest group of children go (which day) and this will make it easier. Helps the kids get used to crowds. Ur child will most probably surprise you. Josh went at 2years because he was getting curious about other kids , when at swimming lessons. Josh had a little paymate , who played with him all day. Make sure you are comfortable with the ladies or gentleman at daycare as your child will feel the tension if not comfortable .

Latasha - posted on 08/25/2011

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the one major advice I have for you is do NOT stay around to long because that affects his day and may want to go back home with you let him do things his self! My 3 y/o just started school on the 15 he loves it but one morning i hung around to long and he cried to come back with me!

Nathalie - posted on 08/13/2011

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I agree with Sarah Bruce post that will be the best way to do it im going though the same thing with my son and daughter, he is going to kindergarten in a new school n got so close to his teachers and now doesn't want to move on so i have been speaking to him and took him to his new school and I'm hoping all the hard work pays off on the first of school and my daughter is going to a new school also and been tell her that she would make new friends but she is only 3yrs old i hope this works for you too.

DeAnna - posted on 08/09/2011

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you should think positively. Maybe she won't cry at all...I'm sure for the first hour or so there will be an adjustment but as soon as she sees kids her age playing together she is going to want to be part of that. I think you may have more nervous about it than she will be. I say just stay postive with her and talk about preschool like it's a positive experience. My 3 year old is going to start preschool in the winter and we've been talking about it for months. Everyday we drive by it and he says that's going to be my new school soon:) It will be a great experience for you both if you just let it!

Lisa - posted on 08/09/2011

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Do not stay with her. if she doesnt get used to be away for a few hrs a day by herself, she will not learn. Yes she will more then likely cry the first day, but if yu stay, even the first day, its going to make it harder for her to get used to being independent. if you stay once, she is going to want you to stay all the time. dropping her off and leaving is the best thing to do. if you know your school district well, and you meet her teacher(s), then you should have enough trust to drop her off and go.

Kristin - posted on 08/08/2011

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I feel that if you are strong your child will be too. In my experience I have seen children who are given opportunities will blossom and become independent, and children who are sheltered tend to do things in spite of their parents' wishes. Be strong and let your baby flower. And about staying in the class, stay with her for the first day and then after that let her make her own friends, once she makes friends she will be fine. And she will learn.
Kristin

Tonya - posted on 08/08/2011

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When I sent my son to preschool the first time I stayed with him and helped him get started in his class. He cried a little but when it was time to go he was okay. There really isn't much you can do other than talk to her about it and maybe count down the days on a calendar. Do something extra special with her the day before and that might help her first day jitters.

Lisa - posted on 08/08/2011

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My daughter's school said it will be easier on the child if you dont stay there. if you stay, its will make it more difficult for them to learn to be by themselves. esp when kindergarten comes around. its better to not stay. would you stay at day care all day with the child if u had them there? you have to do whats best for the child....anbd that is to give them their space, if the school allowed parents to stay, every parent that has put their kid in school would be there if they had the chance

Katie - posted on 08/08/2011

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My sister is a preschool teacher and said to be wary of any school that doesn't let you stay. We never left my son with any one other than our mothers and one close family friend. He started preschool in January and I had planned on staying with him all day everyday if he needed me. He quickly made himself comfortable in the class. We practice attachment parenting and a well attached child is a secure child! I hung out in the room, for a while then left and came back. He missed me at the end of the day but really loved it, kept loving it and is excited to go back this fall! I would never walk out on him while crying. However, some kids do get confused with mom and a teacher present so reassuring her you will be back and frequently checking in on her might help, if hanging out doesn't work. Be open to the possibility she might not be ready or the school might not be the right fit. Having an "out" helped me mentally prepare when my son started. Keep the lines or communication open between you and your daughter and her teacher. You'll probably be surprised on how well she does. When I was in the class with him I started by introducing him to his teacher and pointing out things in the room that he was interested in then faded in the background and let him explore and interact on his own and when he approached me gave him some reassurance and encouraged him to go back to the group or direct questions to his teacher. Good luck!!!!!!

Lisa - posted on 08/08/2011

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my daughter was 3 1/2 when she started pre in sept of 2010. it was hard at first, esp since she couldnt ride the bus till was 4.

With being home with me for 3 1/2 yrs, it was very hard on her for the first 3 months, but the teachers were amazing with her. She did cry the first month, but as the days went on, she did really really well.

She will be starting kindergarten in the fall. She will 4 1/2 t when she starts. She is a little nervouse yet again, but with already riding the bus last school yr, she should be ok.

you wont be allowed to go to school with her. are you driving her every day, or are you putting on her the bus> if you are from NYS its a law they can not ride the bus till they are 4. So we had to drive our daughter for 3 weeks to school.

Your little one be fine. Its going to be rougher for you sending her, then it will be for her to go. Once she is there, she will be fine. if you drive her, just hand her over to the teacher, and walk away with ut making a big deal about it. she may cry for the first time or two of being dropped off. But trust me, by the end of the school yr....what a difference!

Danielle - posted on 08/08/2011

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Hi Krystle, I know the feeling because our son started in preschool last year when he has just turned 3 as well. One thing that made us decide for that was the fact that he was asking for it. A few tips: visit a few schools with your child prior to deciding in one. She will be your best sensor for a good and safe place. Also, make sure that the school is flexible about you coming and staying (if needed). That made us feel a lot more comfortable with the school we chose for our boy. Also, I would say that if you feel she is stressed, I would not put her in school just yet (unless you absolutely have to). Our boy also has not been with anyone else except us and family. Yet, when he was ready to go to school, there was no crying or even looking back. He just charged in the room and he loves it till this day.
Good luck in your decision.
Danielle

Carla - posted on 08/08/2011

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I understand your feelings. I am sending my 6th child to pre school today. He is excited!!! I suggest you do two things, first meet your teachers and staff and the other is volunteer after the first two weeks are over. Children need to learn to be on their own and how to socialize with other children. To handle conflict and to be independent. My oldest son will graduate in June 2012............. I know he can make it on his own if it is what he chooses. The greatest gift a parent can give their child is their independence, even if it makes us cry doing it. Goodluck!!!

Katie - posted on 08/08/2011

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So you are both going to have seperation anxiety - so you need to read up on how to deal with that. Both my boys went to nursery but what they taught me was you need to have a saying you tell her everyday. She will know when she hears it your going to leave but that you always come back. So mine is always "I will see you after naptime (exclude as they get older), playtime and tea time. I love you!) with a kiss. That way they knew what to expect which was that I will always be there to get them after they finish naptime, playtime and tea time!! Hanging around prolongs the crying and lets them think if they cry you will stay instead of getting on with playing. Its much harder on you then them!! I would also start leaving her with someone else for a few hours a week. Help get her ready for the full day by building it up now instead of just expecting her to be okay with it in Sept. Also, explain it all to her. She can reason now and ask questions, let her. Don't hide anything about school from her and make her excited about it. Most of all - show her you believe that she can do it and she will have the confidence to do it. Good luck!!

Melissa - posted on 08/08/2011

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If she has a favorite stuffed animal, allow her to take it with her to school. It will help a lot with the transition. Also find a picture of you or the two of you together to keep in her schoolbag so when she misses you she can look at it and remember that you are coming back for her. Going to school with her seems like it's helping, but it is actually prolonging the pain for her. She will likely cry and even possibly freak out when you have to leave (my daughter did this), but about one minute after you're gone, she'll be involved in a craft or getting to know her teacher or another child. The longer you stay, the more she'll anticipate you leaving and build it up in her mind about how awful it will be. Don't stay! Remind her of how much you love her, she's safe and you will always come back for her and get out of there. Then, when you leave, if you're like me, you can cry in the parking lot : ) It should take 3-5 days and she'll likely make the transition beautifully. Good luck!! It's so tough, but have faith. Children are much more adaptable than we could ever imagine.

Darla - posted on 08/08/2011

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I wish my child could start pre school at the age of three. She is very bright, but where I live they can't even "test into" the class. My daughter sounds a lot like your daughter, I work so she does attend daycare, but at church she won't even venture back to sunday school. I have even offered to go back with her. I think, if it were me, I would try to find a couple people who's child was also attending the same school. Then set up a play date so they could make friends before school started. I hope that helps a little bit. Good Luck

Sarah - posted on 08/07/2011

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It's hard, I know. Personally my preschooler was fine - but I had friends whose children did not handle it at all well, and the best advice I can offer is to talk to the preschool teachers, visit the preschool several times before she actually starts, talk about it with her, and let her know that above all, you will be back at the end of the day. Maybe organise a special outing afterwards, just the two of you, so she can tell you about her day? It depends - my daughter was so tired, she literally couldn't cope with any more stimulation after a day at preschool, but hers goes all day (9-3). Mainly, I'd say communicate with her teachers - even call throughout the day to see if she's okay. Our preschool encourages parents to call if they are concerned, and has excellent communication with the families whose children attend there. Hope this helps!

Crystal - posted on 08/07/2011

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I'm getting ready to go through this with my 2 year old son. I think you are doing the right thing by putting her in preschool not only so she learns to be away from you but also for interaction.
To make things a LITTLE easier, start now by talking to her about what they will be doing at preschool and whatnot. Maybe try to get in to meet the teacher BEFORE hand so your daughter will feel a little at ease. You can go the first few days, but anymore than that will just enforce her "attachment" issues. Hope that helps

Erin - posted on 08/07/2011

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Hi Krystie,
My son starts kindergarten in two days and he is autistic. I am nervous and feeling the same way you are. I have no real advice for you, but if it were me, I would go and be with her the first week too. My son's speech teacher made him a little book with the school's picture, his teacher, the classroom, etc, so we can read it to him before he starts school so he can get used to his surroundings by reading the book. So, maybe if you could take some pictures of the teacher, school and etc, where she will be at, your daughter wouldn't be so scared. Also, another idea would be going with her the first week and gradually ween yourself off from her. Spend less and less time with her during preschool. I know it is hard, I am dreading having my son go to school, but I know he will have so much fun once he is there. :) Hope this helps! :) ~erin

Tiffany - posted on 08/07/2011

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You need to get her used to being out of her comfort zone. Even if she does cry you have to ignore it and let her start to learn on her own that mommy and daddy can't just be there all the time. Dont go to school with her. Her teachers are trained for this kind of behavior. She might throw a fit for the first week but she will get over it. Drop her off at school and leave. Do not give her that special attention she is used to getting when she cries. Just ignore it and she will learn that she has to do things she might not want to and mommy and daddy won't be there all the time.

Kiley - posted on 08/05/2011

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Ps we started our daughter in their summer program bc it's much slower paced than the standard term, and the staff is the same. Plus, she was the only new student at her time so she got lots of attention from staff as needed. The children at her school are very gentle and sweet so they have been instrumental in helping her acclimate. Is starting early an option for you?

Kiley - posted on 08/05/2011

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I am a preschool teacher and the mother of a 2.5yr old who just started preschool. In choosing our site I made sure our ideas on early childhood education were compatible as well as discipline (we exclusively use Positive Discipline). After determining her school, we went for a few short visits together and met all the teachers (3 counting assistants). Afterwards we talked a lot about the teachers (pics can be useful-maybe take some at a visit) and the school. Reading books about going to preschool was invaluable. We also replaced the characters' names in the books with her real instructors. Her first day I did stay for about an hour but she only stayed for a third of a day. After that first day, her lead teacher and I evaluated how long she should go for day 2. Just keep open lines of communication with all envolved parties. Be sure her teachers are aware this is her FIRST experience away from mom and discuss how they plan to work with her on this issue. As a teacher I can't tell you exactly whatI would do, not knowing your child, but it will probably be something ong the lines of holding her and singing then spending a lot of one on one time with her, especially while she acclimates (in a nut shell). I think the amount of time you spend with hev at school depends on her, as well as your thoughts and her teachers thoughts. Congrats to your family though-it's an exciting & special time :)

Angela - posted on 08/03/2011

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Hey Krystle, I understand exactly how you feel, my 3yr old will be starting pre-k this fall also, and again she has never been away from home. She is also really shy and extremely stubborn. when my oldest started school, i was scared for her as well, but she adjusted really quickly and her teacher said she was a pleasure to have in class. I used to teach preschool and alot of the things I would tell parents is to just let them be. Our worst fear is that they are going to scream and cry all day and be terribly truamatized by us walking away. (FYI- not going to happen) most kids cry for no more than 5- to in extreme cases 15 minutes. the teachers are (and schould be) really good at redirecting the childs attention to something more positve. best thing to do is reassure the child that you are coming back to get them, explain that school is ahappy place with lots of friends and games and toys. it also helps to take the child to the school for a couple of hours before she actually starts and let her interact with the other children. most of all, smile and let her know how much fun she's going to have. and on the first day, when u drop her off, again reassure her that you'll only be gone a for a little while and that you are coming back to get her and when u do, you are going to want to hear how much fun she had. (now this is the hard part) give her kiss and walk out. ( I used to stand by the door until I heard her stop crying-but you got to be really strong for that cause your first instinct is to run back in and pick her up) The more you linger the more she is going to throw a fit. School/preschool is the hardest moment for a mommy because its the first sign on independence (and knowing that our baby isnt a baby anymore). Expect this behavior for about a week, once the child gets into the routine, it'll be like clockwork, and then their wont be any coaxing, they want to go. REALLY BIG TIP- If your child hasn't calmed down or doesn't seem to fit in after two or three weeks(investigate a little further, it could be a teacher that the child feel uncomfortable with or maybe she really ins't ready for school just yet. But again look into it.)

Kyleigh - posted on 08/03/2011

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I sit down with my kids while they went to preschool for the first 10 minutes , then snuck out soon they got used to me pickin my DD up and it will all work out, just gotta get used to routine good luck

Jewel - posted on 08/03/2011

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My daughter is 4 and has only had my husband and myself to care for her. While the transition is hard it is worth it for the child to get out and explore new things. I helped my child who was always w/me by getting her involved w/ a playgroup. While I was there she went off on her own to play w/the boys or the kids in the park, as long as I could see and hear her. She also loves to escape from the nursery at church but I remind her to stay w/her teacher or buddy. Teachers now a days are well equiped to handle kids who are very shy, your daughter isnt shelted just loved alot. Talk to the teacher about your concerns, see if u can stay a short time to volunteer. Quick goodbyes work best and to remember if she is constanly crying and cant handle school this year then say thats ok. Get involved w/your local library and find a good kids program for story time, gets her involved w/others. See if your city has any local groups you can hook up with for support like MOPS(moms of preschoolers or a local playgroup. Im scared to death as well to leave my daughter in a class sitting because she likes to take off. But I have to try to let her fly or she never will. I hope I have helped u and dont worry she will be ok. J:)

Rebekah - posted on 08/03/2011

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Take a deep breath! It's very normal for kids to cry on their first day of school... but you need to stay calm. If you start freaking out and get nervous, she will too! She will feel your anxiety and that isn't going to help her cope.

On the first day, go ahead and stay with her, but I'd suggest shortening the time each day and try to stay "hidden" as much as possible. This will help her not concentrate on WHERE mommy is and actually get involved with other kids or an activity like coloring, building blocks, or whatever.

If you have a REALLY good school, the teacher will give her LOTS of attention - that's a good time to leave, whether she's crying or not. You trying to soothe it will not work - she's hoping for a "rescue" not a soothing to stay. She will transition on her own, takes about 3 days... unless if she's the type that shocks you and handles it great on the first couple of days, then realizes "oh no! I'm being dropped off again"... then you might have some issues after 3rd day... which can take up 2 weeks for your child to adjust fully.

Start preparing her now. Tell her she's going to school - take her to a school, show her what the kids do, have her play with other kids (with you with her and then with you nearby), etc. Help her see the days she will go on a calendar and help her know how long she will be there - do a picture of time (if it's a half day, draw a sun for the morning, picture of a snack for AM, and then lunch picture, and then pickup picture). This helps her associate how long she will be there and when to EXPECT your return.

If she doesn't cope after 2 weeks of trying and you are no longer staying with her at school - you might want to consider the following: (1) a new school, a child that doesn't cope after 2 weeks isn't comfortable at all and something there is bothering that child or (2) homeschool.

Melissa - posted on 08/03/2011

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Hi I started my little girl at 3 yrs old she is sheltered to we have no family near by so she has never had a sleep over at nan or pops either. We have stayed home alot too but I tried my local playgroups in my area an started out like this an it's Fun for u both she learns to distance herself as well as play with new friends. When we started preschool I stayed for the first 20mins an told her I love u go have fun with Ur new friends an I would encourage her that she was going to have a fun day I will be back soon ok an leave, when I left I was mess I laughed at myself thinking this is silly she will be fine the teachers are helpful in Luton u know what they done for the Dayan that put my mind at ease I totally agree with Crystal horvath with all she said as this is basically the same with my little one just remember Ur not alone an she won't be either Good Luck Caring Mum

Tiffany - posted on 08/02/2011

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I am a stay-at-home mom and I am also sending my 3 year old to preschool in Sept. I appreciate everyone's comments. I agree that we need to say goodbye and let the teachers introduce her to the kids, etc. And let her know we'll be back. Certainly easier said than done and I will be in the same boat with you in a few weeks. It will take a lot to not cry for me!

Deb - posted on 08/02/2011

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Hi, I had exactly the same with my little one, went through all the conventional pre kindy options to no avail and she was unconsolable to the point of making herself sick every day. I eventually found an alternative type of schooling which allowed the children to add depth to there knowledge and we went back to basics, attended play school for 2 hrs a day twice a week with either myself or husband and slowly she became more confident in her environment and has now graduated to cycle 1 and is loving it. The transistion was easy and bubs is now so confident she pulls us in, in the mornings as she absolutely loves it. The one thing I learnt, was to take a step back and look at why she was the way she was and looked around for the best thing to suit her nature and personality as she is also a real homebody. Some children just thrive in the busy times at day care, others need nurturing into things, it will happen. Another important thing for me was taking the time to know the people going to look after my little girl, as she does not like harsh toned voices, its important to take into account all aspect of what your daughter finds frightening etc.... it is hard to start with but it is all phases and loving them increases our knowledge of what works for our kids... I also had to put her before work and was lucky enough to be able to take the time off to get it right. She is now an independant blossoming little girl, learning so much every day she is full of new found knowledge everyday, and bursts with excitement to tell you everything she has done during the day. She is still a homebody, but understands about regularity, her time our time etc knows we are always there when her day ends at school and now responds positively. Overcoming your own fears also helps :). If you want more info please do not hesitate to post. I was where you were 6months ago and everything works out :)

Kim - posted on 08/02/2011

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Hello there Krystle. I have 5 children, 4 biological and I totally see where you are coming from, no matter how many kids you have it is still very hard to see them growing up and becoming more independent. I say stay with her the first day to reassure her, then the next day a few hours and ease her in slowly. When it comes to leaving her there full time then just keep reassuring her that Mummy is coming back soon to collect her. Tell her she is becoming a big girl now and she will be meeting new friends to play with. My first son who is 5 in September is starting full time school in September and I am also nervous but I know he will be fine once he meets new friends and got alot to occupy him. Chin up hunni it will all see right in the end. Maybe it is a good idea in between now and September for her to stay away longer so she gets used to been apart from you maybe one wkend a month at ur parents' or ur husband's parents'. All I say is reasurrance is the key hun.
Hope this has helped anything else you want to know feel free to message on here.
Take Care
Kim XxXx

Johanny - posted on 08/02/2011

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My 4 year old twins are starting preschool next Monday and one of them is extremely shy. From different people I have talked to and the preschool teacher. It is very normal for them to cry A LOT, and the best thing we can do is reassure them we will be back, but leave them there and walk away even if they are crying. It takes 20-30 minutes for them to stop. I let you know next week how it goes.

Jennice - posted on 08/01/2011

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My three year old is also abut to enter prek and I'm a little nervous that the overwhelming amount of kids their are going to be. Everyday I talk to her about a dierent aspect of school. For example, I explained to her what a teacher does. A teacher is there to teach you about many dierent kinds of things. I think that breaking up to her the school situation my help with anxieties either party feels

Jennice - posted on 08/01/2011

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My three year old is also abut to enter prek and I'm a little nervous that the overwhelming amount of kids their are going to be. Everyday I talk to her about a dierent aspect of school. For example, I explained to her what a teacher does. A teacher is there to teach you about many dierent kinds of things. I think that breaking up to her the school situation my help with anxieties either party feels

Lindsay - posted on 08/01/2011

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It's something that is very hard to break.. My daughter cried everyday of her 3 year program and half of the 4 year program sticking around I believe adds more stress to them as for it did with my daughter I told me to just leave Her and I had special necklace that were the same which the teacher said helper her and the teacher I would remind her that mommy was around ur neck so if u needed to hold me just touch the necklace the teacher also said she was able to say the same thing and it helped claim her down. Maybe try something like that.

Lynn - posted on 08/01/2011

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I was exactly like your child in preschool and I still remember hating it to this day. When I had my little girl she showed a major independent streak very early and I knew she was going to be the opposite. To encourage her we put her in a short 30 min class with other kids once a week when she was a year old so she could get used to other kids. Then a home daycare with different kids, and now we are finally moving to preschool at age 3. I feel like from this experience that ALL kids are different and just respect that. It sounds like you might be better off taking this year to slowly ease her into some things - like some library story times with other kids, a music or dance class for toddlers, something that is not too overwhelming and try to boost her confidence, then have her go to 4yr preschool. Looking back this is what I wish my parents had done with me. Good luck :)

Amy - posted on 08/01/2011

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This kind of transition can be really tough, but it is definitely harder on us than it is on them! If possible (and this should be possible on the school's end) transition her slowly. First, go for a visit, just 20 minutes or so for a tour and a meet & greet. Go twice if that eases your mind. Stay with her the whole time, point out all of the things you know she likes, etc... and talk with her afterwards about what she liked. Try to get her excited about her new school and all of the things she will do and learn and all of the friends she will make. After a visit or 2, drop her off for about an hour. Be sure the staff knows that she is going to have a hard time and that someone nurturing will be there to support her through it. And be sure she met and talked with that person during the visits... Call after a few minutes if she was crying to see how she is, but try to keep her there the whole hour. After that, leave her a little longer, maybe 2 hours. I don't know how long the program is, but if it is just 1/2 day, she should be ready to stay by the 3rd day. She really might surprise you and WANT to stay longer once she starts to enjoy herself. You could always call to check on her (try to resist the urge to talk with her, though - once we are out of sight & they are settled, we are out of mind and it is better that way!). If the day is a full day, leave her there for the mornings only the first week and then afternoons the next week. Good luck! I hope it goes well and that she really enjoys it! I just transitioned my 3 year old son this way and it worked like a charm (did the same thing for my older son too and by day 3, he was in heaven!!)

Benita - posted on 08/01/2011

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We did a similar thing with our youngest. We didn't realise we had until she started school and sobbed her heart out. We cut her school days to Monday Wednesday Friday for a month or so while she adjusted and gave her a familiar toy and told her her toy wanted to go and meet new people and learn. She settled down relatively quickly then and was ready to do five days in quite a short time.

Marcia - posted on 08/01/2011

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I to had a hard time letting go of my second child, I think i was more up set inside than him. I had to trust the process and the great thing about children is their innocent and They can't hide a bad day or feeling. Give your child time for independence. It's ok to cry and hard to let go. I'm about to go through it all over again next year when I oldest boy start primary.The unknown and wanting him safe and not hurt. x

Erica - posted on 08/01/2011

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When my daughter went the first day they called to say she wouldn't settle and the worst thing u can do is go back there to get her if your other child is at the same school where her kindy is request they send yur other daughter to see her so she knows she isn't alone then after have them call you to let her speak to you that way she knows your still around i done all of this and now she has a little cry but is fine also try to find a teacher she likes stay with her for 15mins then let the teacher befriend her once she gets side tracked sneak away she may cry but chances are she might not..

Rita - posted on 08/01/2011

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Wow Krystie! My heart goes out for your daughter (& you too). This is so unfortunate & unhealthy (for your daughter) that you & hubby have sheltered your daughter to such an extent. I'm shocked that she's 3-years-old (same as my eldest son) & that she's not interested in meeting new children & new adventures. But at least you're admitting as being part of the culprit. Right now my hubby & I are looking for a preschool for our 3-year-old. I share your fears (only my fear extends to having to let go & allow someone other than myself to care for my child) it makes me so nervous because so many terrible things are always happening each time I turn on the news channel. Perhaps you should find a preschool that provides flexibility to your schedule. I'm a SAHM & I found a school that will allow me to enroll my child part-time for only 1-day per-week, 2-days-per-week, or 3-days-per-week. We're planning to start our son on a 1-day-per-week attendance for only 5-hours & see how he transitions. Then we intend to move him up to 2-days-per-week after about a month of attendance (for a month), based on how well he handles it. Finally, we will move him up to 3-days-per-week until he turns 4-years-old (at which point he'll start full-time for 5-days per week.). Last week I took my son with me to the preschool of interest to allow him an opportunity for 'meet & greet' and he responded very well to the staff. We met with the school's administrator & also my son's (would be teacher & assistant if we selected their school). I had a ton of questions, remaining at the school for over an hour & a half; and, I never felt rushed or hurried by the administrator. Perhaps, this method (if available in your area) will help with a smooth transition for your daughter. Btw, when we were leaving my son was requesting to stay & since our visit he's been requesting to go to school. Good luck to you & your loving 3-year-old daughter.

Janelle - posted on 08/01/2011

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My 3 year old is very social, but she still cries when I leave her places - even at times with family. So this summer I signed her up for sumer camp once a week for two hours. I was working her first session, which I think was a blessing in disguise, so my husband took her and she cried for a few minutes but that was it. Next week is the last day and I've taken her to every other session and she has not once cried. So my point is that she may be stronger than you think she is, but she probably won't be as traumatized as you think. She will have her days, my daughter had trouble last week going to her bible school class, by I think its worth the try because what is the alternative? Unless you are going to homeschooling her, she is going to have to learnto go to school and

Frances Marie - posted on 08/01/2011

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I had an easy time sending my daughter to school. She saw her cousins go to school so eversince two years old, she wanted to go to school. Her cousins gave her the impression that school is fun which made her want to go. so she asked me if she can go to school at 2.5 years old. I enrolled her last june (our school calendar is different compared to the US) when she turned 3 and everyday, she looks forward to her classes and gets disappointed when there's none.

Julia - posted on 08/01/2011

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Sheltereing her is causing her more harm than being good for her. Start leaving her in Sunday School for short periods. Take her to the Library where there are other kids her age. Let her go to a friends house for 30 minutes at a time (without mom) . She will begin to realize she's having fun without mom and will begin to grow and mature in her young life. Mom, you are training her to be shy and depedant on you by not exposing her to life. It may have alot to do with your insecurities more than hers. Love her , be there for her, but encourage her to grow !!!!

Lillie - posted on 08/01/2011

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Personally, I believe that children are very resilient and can be adapted to any situation. I have never taken my 4 year old to day care and he has always been raised by family members as well. Most importantly, I have found that kids will react/act out/behave the way you expect them to... If you expect her to cry and continue to respond in a way that prevents her from learning to deal with social situations on her own, she will learn that she doesn't have to. As a parent especially, I focus on preparing my son for times when I will not be there for him because I know that I will not always be able to be at his side. As hard as it is to let her cry, sometimes, it is the only way. We are recently teaching our son to sleep in his own bed-we realize we have let him sleep with us too many times and then we don't sleep well either. It broke my heart to hear him crying in his room, walk down the hallway, stop at our bedroom door, immediately stop crying and go back to his room to go to bed. Although teaching him to sleep in his own room is our goal, I never want him to think he cannot come into our room. However, it worked. The next night he went to bed on his own and we have continued to keep that boundary. I hope this helps.

Amber - posted on 08/01/2011

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My son has a January birthday so by the time 3 year old preschool started, he was closer to 4 than 3. We had trouble with him crying every time he went to school. It was just 2 times a week from 8:20-11:15 and I made him go every time. The teacher was excellent and he really grew a lot that year in maturity. My daughter turned 3 in July and even though she rarely talked the first few months in preschool, she never once cried. By the end of the year she was still quiet but had warmed up to her classmates and teachers a lot. I'm a SAHM and was an educator in the public schools. I don't believe 3 year old preschool is going to make or break a child when it comes to their education. You should try it for at least 6 weeks and if she hasn't started to adjust by then you can always take her out. She won't be "damaged" if she doesn't go at this age. I actually think the bigger issue is your husband's distress about her becoming more independent. He may be a homebody but he had to grow up and go to school and work and leave his parent's home. This may be something you need to sit down and discuss with him. You could start by getting a sitter outside of family and go grocery shopping to just leave her for an hour or so. Maybe go for an early supper sometime with your hubby and hire a sitter. Start taking her to programs in your town for children. The library's story time, arts and crafts, even the local YMCA has childcare for free while you workout. Believe me, the more you do now before she actually starts kindergarten, the better. If she's never been away from you when she starts going to school all day everyday, that will be a huge issue and very stressful for you and your husband and it may give her a bad taste for school for the rest of her career.

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