U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-18-2014, 08:26 AM
 
2,607 posts, read 3,143,301 times
Reputation: 1460

Advertisements

Hello everyone,

My 3 year old son has started a new school and the environment is alot bigger than the one from which he comes. He started a year ago at a school that had a small class of 8 and two teachers. He completed that year and we enrolled him in a new school that goes through high school in hopes that he can be there for the long-term.

He's now in the school and it is a class of 16 and 3 teachers but there are numerous 3 year old classes at this school and, as a result, in the mornings the playground probably has 50 kids running and mostly playing independently. Most days, I have to coax him into the building. This is unlike him.

Help. Today my little guy cried when I left and he has NEVER done that before. Not even when I left him for the first time at his old school at 2.5.

When he sees his old friends from his old school (there are a few at his new school), he shies away and mostly plays alone. He played with his old friends at his old school. In fact, he was a bit of one of the rambunctious boys. He is now telling me he does not want to go to his new school every morning. This is a kid who always loved going to school.

The old school was grab the kid and kiss and hug the kid when coming through the door. This school does not try to be less nurturing, I think it's just that they are focused on safety, etc more since there are so many kids. They have to have their eyes looking around at all time.

Should I be concerned? I am. This seems unlike him, especially the crying part.

What can I do to help him adjust to this new environment?

What can I do to help him willingly leave the playground to go into class in the morning? The other issue is the school expects the kids to be able to play and then willingly go into class when the bell rings. My little guy does not want to do that. When he gets into the groove of playing, he wants to keep playing. His other school had activities inside the class when the kids came in so he never had to adjust to playing on a playground and then not...suddenly. He is 3 and I'm overwhelmed at these requirements. He is overwhelmed too.

I have arranged some playdates with his old friends in hopes that he will feel more comfortable when I leave him there since, at least, his friends will still be there.

I have also reached out to his teachers to express my concern and to ask for help.

Please provide any tips that you may have. This is the start of the second week. I would not be concerned if he was a kid who routinely cried when left or who did not play with other kids but this is not him and, as a result, I am concerned.

Please help.

Thank you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-18-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,661 posts, read 41,395,027 times
Reputation: 81992
Why did you switch from his previous school?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,884 posts, read 17,196,676 times
Reputation: 40782
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelySummer View Post

Hello everyone,

My 3 year old son has started a new school and the environment is alot bigger than the one from which he comes. He started a year ago at a school that had a small class of 8 and two teachers. He completed that year and we enrolled him in a new school that goes through high school in hopes that he can be there for the long-term.

He's now in the school and it is a class of 16 and 3 teachers but there are numerous 3 year old classes at this school and, as a result, in the mornings the playground probably has 50 kids running and mostly playing independently. Most days, I have to coax him into the building. This is unlike him.

Help. Today my little guy cried when I left and he has NEVER done that before. Not even when I left him for the first time at his old school at 2.5.

When he sees his old friends from his old school (there are a few at his new school), he shies away and mostly plays alone. He played with his old friends at his old school. In fact, he was a bit of one of the rambunctious boys. He is now telling me he does not want to go to his new school every morning. This is a kid who always loved going to school.

The old school was grab the kid and kiss and hug the kid when coming through the door. This school does not try to be less nurturing, I think it's just that they are focused on safety, etc more since there are so many kids. They have to have their eyes looking around at all time.

Should I be concerned? I am. This seems unlike him, especially the crying part.

What can I do to help him adjust to this new environment?

What can I do to help him willingly leave the playground to go into class in the morning? The other issue is the school expects the kids to be able to play and then willingly go into class when the bell rings. My little guy does not want to do that. When he gets into the groove of playing, he wants to keep playing. His other school had activities inside the class when the kids came in so he never had to adjust to playing on a playground and then not...suddenly. He is 3 and I'm overwhelmed at these requirements. He is overwhelmed too.

I have arranged some playdates with his old friends in hopes that he will feel more comfortable when I leave him there since, at least, his friends will still be there.

I have also reached out to his teachers to express my concern and to ask for help.

Please provide any tips that you may have. This is the start of the second week. I would not be concerned if he was a kid who routinely cried when left or who did not play with other kids but this is not him and, as a result, I am concerned.

Please help.

Thank you.
First of all, in my area, even preschools or day care centers do not allow the staff to "kiss and hug" the children. The exception may be some type of preschool ran by a church group, group of parents or something similar. Of course, if a young child is hurt or needs a little reassurance an adult may give a child a quick hug or maybe a kiss on the top of their head but "kisses and hugs" when they arrive each day is IMHO extremely unusual.

So, it is not that his new school is less nurturing (if that is what you meant) but his former school was especially "touchy-feely". One of our former Junior Kindergarten (4K) teachers used to ask each four year old child at the end of the day if they wanted a "High five or a hug" and would give each child a quick hug when requested. However, a very few parents complained (they said that only parents should be allowed to hug their children) so she needed to stop doing that.

It is likely that your son is just overwhelmed by the amount of children compared to last year and will adjust fairly soon. Perhaps, asking the teacher to help him find a "buddy" to walk into school with or perhaps he can stand next to his teacher when they walk inside.

Is there some type of warning bell that signals play time is over in five, or two or whatever minutes? That is very common with children that age. Perhaps, you can remind him. "When the teachers blow the whistle it means that you need to start finishing up your play and you will need to go inside in five minutes."

If they do not have a bell or something like that for the whole group, perhaps, one of the teachers can give him an individual "heads-up" by telling him "Play time is over in five minutes". Of course, with that many children it would be difficult but it may help him a lot.

If this is a big problem you can help him at him by practicing when you say playtime is over, it is over and not just let him continue playing until HE decides that he is done. Perhaps, even practice on a weekend on the actual school playground.

Usually these adjustment problems are short lived and do not cause any long term difficulties. A few tears, even a few complaints about school are not unusual for three (or four or five) year olds the first couple of weeks of school.

Why are you on the playground when the children are playing at school? Are all of the parents there until the children go inside? If you are there, you can tell him, "The bell will ring in two minutes." and you can give him a kiss and a hug and a cheery "Have a great day, Honey".

Good luck.

Last edited by germaine2626; 08-18-2014 at 09:12 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:26 AM
 
2,607 posts, read 3,143,301 times
Reputation: 1460
The previous school only went up to 4K so we switched him to a school that is through high school since we knew we'd eventually want him to go to the other school long-term and 3K is the entry year for the other school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
Why did you switch from his previous school?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:34 AM
 
2,607 posts, read 3,143,301 times
Reputation: 1460
Thank you for your feedback. Hmm. Maybe his other school was unusual as preschools go (it was a preschool). It was not run by parents. Every teacher was licensed and in fact there was 2 teachers for the class of 8-10. And there was a focus on being nurturing in addition to the academics. He was in the 2K class. Do you mean that most 2K classes do not hug and kiss the 2 year olds? If so, that is news to me and perhaps his other school was much more nurturing than typical. I had no idea (but we loved it bc I am a nurturing mom and I liked him being someplace that was similar to the way I treated him).

Do I understand you to be saying that even 3K teachers (as opposed to 4K and up) do not typically hug and kiss the students?

I will ask about pairing him up with a buddy and having him walk inside next to one of the teachers. Thank you.

No, there is no warning. There is one bell. When that one bell rings, the kids are to immediately stop playing and go line up for class. Yes, parents are encouraged to play with their children on the playground. That is why I am there and yes there are other parents there as well. I suspect there would be even more but many may have a work schedule that requires them to leave a bit sooner. So, yes, there are other parents there as well. I will give him a heads up in advance. That is a great idea. I will also ask one of his teachers to give him a heads up. Thank you.

Do you think it non-concerning that he has never cried before and he cried today? Is that not cause for concern?

I have doubts as to whether we should have left him in the smaller environment longer and tried to move him over to the other school later. Hopefully, this will all be short-lived as you indicated and your tips will work perfectly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
First of all, in my area, even preschools or day care centers do not allow the staff to "kiss and hug" the children. The exception may be some type of preschool ran by a church group, group of parents or something similar. Of course, if a young child is hurt or needs a little reassurance an adult may give a child a quick hug or maybe a kiss on the top of their head but "kisses and hugs" when they arrive each day is IMHO extremely unusual.

So, it is not that his new school is less nurturing (if that is what you meant) but his former school was especially "touchy-feely". One of our former Junior Kindergarten (4K) teachers used to ask each four year old child at the end of the day if they wanted a "High five or a hug" and would give each child a quick hug when requested. However, a very few parents complained (they said that only parents should be allowed to hug their children) so she needed to stop doing that.

It is likely that your son is just overwhelmed by the amount of children compared to last year and will adjust fairly soon. Perhaps, asking the teacher to help him find a "buddy" to walk into school with or perhaps he can stand next to his teacher when they walk inside.

Is there some type of warning bell that signals play time is over in five, or two or whatever minutes? That is very common with children that age. Perhaps, you can remind him. "When the teachers blow the whistle it means that you need to start finishing up your play and you will need to go inside in five minutes."

If they do not have a bell or something like that for the whole group, perhaps, one of the teachers can give him an individual "heads-up" by telling him "Play time is over in five minutes". Of course, with that many children it would be difficult but it may help him a lot.

If this is a big problem you can help him at him by practicing when you say playtime is over, it is over and not just let him continue playing until HE decides that he is done. Perhaps, even practice on a weekend on the actual school playground.

Usually these adjustment problems are short lived and do not cause any long term difficulties. A few tears, even a few complaints about school are not unusual for three (or four or five) year olds the first couple of weeks of school.

Why are you on the playground when the children are playing at school? Are all of the parents there until the children go inside? If you are there, you can tell him, "The bell will ring in two minutes." and you can give him a kiss and a hug and a cheery "Have a great day, Honey".

Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:57 AM
 
16,017 posts, read 17,803,127 times
Reputation: 15804
Since this larger school is basically all the way up to 12th grade, the rules about hugging students and kissing them are probably for all grades and meant to protect people from accusations of child abuse (an unfortunate problem nowadays).

A buddy system would probably help him. He may certainly be intimidated by the larger numbers of children at this school especially since he came in from a two year old classroom with only 8 children.

Since you already made the change, you may want to emphasize that he is a big boy now and that is why he is going to a bigger school. Can he have a picture of you to keep in his pocket or backpack and would the teachers let him get that out to look at when he is scared? Are there activities at this school that are more exciting and fun that you can talk to him about? Have you spoken to the teachers? What do they say? Does he stop crying when he has been in class for a few minutes?

How focused on academic activities is this classroom? If it is not play-based, I would suggest pulling him out and placing him back in the other school.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,661 posts, read 41,395,027 times
Reputation: 81992
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
I would suggest pulling him out and placing him back in the other school.
I agree.

It sounds like this new school is overwhelming. There are enough issues to adjust to at age 3 without adding "regular school" expectations to the list.

He has his whole childhood to attend the other school.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,884 posts, read 17,196,676 times
Reputation: 40782
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelySummer View Post
Thank you for your feedback. Hmm. Maybe his other school was unusual as preschools go (it was a preschool). It was not run by parents. Every teacher was licensed and in fact there was 2 teachers for the class of 8-10. And there was a focus on being nurturing in addition to the academics. He was in the 2K class. Do you mean that most 2K classes do not hug and kiss the 2 year olds? If so, that is news to me and perhaps his other school was much more nurturing than typical. I had no idea (but we loved it bc I am a nurturing mom and I liked him being someplace that was similar to the way I treated him).

Do I understand you to be saying that even 3K teachers (as opposed to 4K and up) do not typically hug and kiss the students?

I will ask about pairing him up with a buddy and having him walk inside next to one of the teachers. Thank you.

No, there is no warning. There is one bell. When that one bell rings, the kids are to immediately stop playing and go line up for class. Yes, parents are encouraged to play with their children on the playground. That is why I am there and yes there are other parents there as well. I suspect there would be even more but many may have a work schedule that requires them to leave a bit sooner. So, yes, there are other parents there as well. I will give him a heads up in advance. That is a great idea. I will also ask one of his teachers to give him a heads up. Thank you.

Do you think it non-concerning that he has never cried before and he cried today? Is that not cause for concern?

I have doubts as to whether we should have left him in the smaller environment longer and tried to move him over to the other school later. Hopefully, this will all be short-lived as you indicated and your tips will work perfectly.
I don't want to imply that there are not any "hugs and kisses" in preschools but it is something that is incidental and not ongoing. Of course, there is appropriate affection but in most preschools it is not the same type of "hugging and kissing and sitting on laps, etc. etc." that some parents do at home.

Keep in mind that when you are dealing with children from a variety of different home lives and levels of affection a teacher needs to be careful in what they do in a classroom or day care center. You may not realize it, but some parents are extremely offended & upset if someone other than them hug or kiss their child (even if it is a regular babysitter or nanny or the child's teacher).

I would not be overly concerned about him crying once or twice (or even a few times). Heck, I have known adults who have started college or new jobs who have gotten teary eyed a few times in the beginning and he is only three years old starting in a completely new environment.

His brief crying may not even be connected with the school itself. Does he need to get up earlier? Is the car ride a lot longer? Is the school day a lot longer? Are the mornings, before school, different now than last year? Is he eating different things for breakfast? Has his nap schedule or bedtime schedule changed?

Or he just may miss the "hugs & kisses" when they walked into school last year. You can give him a few big hugs and kisses before you leave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Since this larger school is basically all the way up to 12th grade, the rules about hugging students and kissing them are probably for all grades and meant to protect people from accusations of child abuse (an unfortunate problem nowadays).

A buddy system would probably help him. He may certainly be intimidated by the larger numbers of children at this school especially since he came in from a two year old classroom with only 8 children.

Since you already made the change, you may want to emphasize that he is a big boy now and that is why he is going to a bigger school.
Can he have a picture of you to keep in his pocket or backpack and would the teachers let him get that out to look at when he is scared?
Are there activities at this school that are more exciting and fun that you can talk to him about? Have you spoken to the teachers? What do they say? Does he stop crying when he has been in class for a few minutes?

How focused on academic activities is this classroom? If it is not play-based, I would suggest pulling him out and placing him back in the other school.
Nana has some great points.

Also, if they have a warning song in the classroom you could sing it to your son at the appropriate time on the playground. I used to sing just one sentence "Finish up, finish up what you are working on, it is five more minutes to clean up time" together with holding my five fingers in the air. This really helped my young students prepare for the end of the activity. (of course, I had a lot of other transition cues, but this was one that would work well for you).

Last edited by germaine2626; 08-18-2014 at 10:30 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 10:21 AM
 
2,321 posts, read 2,476,582 times
Reputation: 2645
I might be concerned that he has run into some mean kids in his new school. I'd probably discuss the problems with his teacher, etc. and ask that they keep an eye on things for awhile.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-18-2014, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,884 posts, read 17,196,676 times
Reputation: 40782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Molli View Post
I might be concerned that he has run into some mean kids in his new school. I'd probably discuss the problems with his teacher, etc. and ask that they keep an eye on things for awhile.
Although, this is possible (but IMHO, very unlikely) I think that the change from being with only 8 children all day to now having 16 children in his classroom and 50 children on the playground would be a more likely reason for his temporary adjustment problems. Or his wake up time, nap time or bedtime has changed, or his classroom environment changed from 100% play time to slightly less playtime or other reasons.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top