What the Other Parent's at Preschool NEED you to know
PreSchool Drop Off
I don't always write topics that are a in your face attack on things I see around me. This is my last week working free lance (aka unemployed), my new job starts in a few days and I am readily looking forward to it. I love being home, love my kids, love getting to take them and pick them up from school. I do not love the amount of terrible parenting I have been seeing at the preschool drop off. I have a 3 year old in all day preschool, it is a preschool not a daycare, and not all the kids are there all day. In fact there are only so many all day spots and we were lucky enough to grab one last spring assuming I would find full time employment sometime this fall.
Today was one of those exceptional days though, a day that gets my blood boiling and makes it hard to think about anything else. I need to go read and calm myself but first I need to throw it out into the world and make parents think about their actions.
The kid that doesn't want to go
Today I had one of those kids too. Little man was crying, screaming, and the teacher had to carry him to the classroom. She knows I am okay with that and I know he is usually fine as soon I am out of sight. The problem at the moment is he knows I am working from home and that there is something at home that he wants to be doing. He thought he would try it today though because moments earlier another child threw a similar tantrum and right in front of all the other kids her dad picked her up and agreed to take her home because obviously she didn't want to go to school today.
Is your house a child centered house or a parent centered home? Who makes the decisions, who wears the pants? It should never be your children especially when comes to their education. If they can get away with it as a 3 year old, what will happen as they get older. That parent just taught his daughter not only can she get her way by throwing a temper tantrum, but school is not important.
Never let your kids determine that they don't want to go to school and that they don't have to. I don't care how old they are they can dragged into school, the school is more than willing to help you get your kids there if you willing to make the effort.
Lunch, food, and seriously?
We are lucky enough this year that school lunch is provided for the early learners. Yeah free food! Yeah no lunch making!
My kids are eating the lunch everyday and they don't have a choice. It is food, it is nutritious, and a good friend who actually works there says that even she likes it, good enough for me. Today at drop off I overheard a parent explaining that she is sending additional food with her not proportionally small child everyday in case she doesn't like the food. They really don't want her to not eat.
If my kids is hungry enough he will eat things he doesn't love. My older child tries to be extremely picky about foods, it doesn't get him far because eventually he is hungry and he has to eat what we serve him. For example if he refused to eat dinner, I leave it on him plate and reheat it later when he is hungry. He is 5 now, we only had to do this a few times for him to get the point, and usually he eats his dinner.
I had a student in preschool a few years ago that had sensory issue with food, her parents signed her up for hot lunch and barely looked back. Two years later she is eating so many new foods and even after having a few meals where she didn't want to eat anything, she is healthy and thriving.
Do not let your child determine the food that they are allowed to eat. Yes by all means give them choices, let them try new things, but do not them them dictate how your kitchen is run. Your child will not starve to death by missing one meal.
Don't Promise Your Kid the World
I have witnessed this so many times it is scary. The bribe.
Think this through parents. I am not above a bribe every once in awhile I will admit, but be careful what you tell your kids is going to happen in preschool or that they are going to get something for going.
I once had a kid in my morning kindergarten class whose parents told him he would finally get to play with scissors in glue if he went to school, he had 4 younger siblings, enough said. the first day of school is approximately 2 hours or less with kindergarten and I hadn't planned any glue/scissor projects for that day, those of us that have taught K know that isn't a first day activity. In the line up outside he asked me when we were going to play with glue and scissors, I told him that not today but soon. Those were the only words I heard from that little boy for the next three months. YIKES! I had broken the promise his parents made to him. Okay that is a little drastic but it is a true story.
My son has a little boy who finally started coming to school, after the parents left him come home several times the first couple weeks. They promised him toys, presents, and everything but the moon. Now every time the kids does something at school he asks for his present. The poor teacher.
Follow the School's Drop off Procedure
There is always that one parent that can't bothered to follow the school procedure. I secretly what to yell and criticize the parent, but my child is probably going to be in school with them for the next 13-15 years so I restrain myself.
Our school has a policy that you walk your child into the building and line them up. There is one mom that stops in the left lane of the drop off lane and lets her child out and sends him into school without barely pausing to see if he made it inside. He has to walk through the cars parked in the right lane and is alone until he finds someone to take him to his classroom (because he is also usually 5 minutes late). I know you are thinking how I could possibility know all this. I have tow kids in two different programs that start at two different times, 20 minutes apart. I spend a lot of time hanging out in front of the school with my youngest.
At a school I used to work at the parents had two specific places where they could pick up there kids, one for getting out of their cars and getting the kids was in back and then there was a drive thru lane where the teachers and secretaries helped the kids get into their vehicles and sent the parents and kiddos on their way. One mom always insisted on parking across the busy 4 lane road and walked her two young children through the drive thru lane of cars and then across the busy road, also forcing the schools exiting traffic to stop. It was dangerous and unnecessary.
Just follow the procedure, it is there for a reason and you breaking it is just pissing off the other parents which ultimately may hurt your child. I probably wouldn't invite the boy in question over for a play date because I really don't want to deal with his rule breaking momma.