Our local village pre-school takes children at 2 1/2 years, which seems ridiculously early especially as boy-o has only been with us 6 months. But back in April I put his name down on the waiting list and he started in the middle of September.
He attends 3 mornings a week - which if it seems too many I fully intend to cut back on. But he seems to be loving it - it gives him freedom to run about and mix and socialise with other children. He comes home from pre-school talking about what he's done and who he's played with. This is really positive to me - 7 months ago he was barely talking and really only playing alongside other children - he actually interacts with them now.
There is a secondary bonus - it's getting him used to not been with me 24/7... and as I am going back to work in just over 2 months (ugh!) he's got to get used to this.
He comes home with paintings and stickings and activities that he's done. I can tell that he's not entirely settled because he's obviously flitting from one thing to another - but he's getting there. The staff are lovely and have listened when I have spoken about his anxiousness and separation anxiety... they are spending time with him, getting to know him. I wrote what felt like an essay in his second week, explaining that he will sometimes have unusual reactions to what should be common events - flashbacks!
The first week I left him, he was fine. The second week he wanted me to stay and play with him - he likes it there, but would like it more if I could play with him as well! This morning there were tears again - we'll see, we will see...
I've spoken to our SW about it - she is happy that he is settled enough to go. She knows that I will pull him out if there is any problems. I'm seeing the fact that he is upset when I leave him as a positive - he has a good attachment and likes me to be there with him! We send him with a sticker of him plus me, or him plus M or him plus the dog, so he can see us. I've got a photo laminated and put in his bag which the staff know if he gets unsettled they can pull out.
I hope we've made the right decision... sometimes it feels so mean to leave him there!
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