My daughter started pre-school last week. She cried, of course, and I felt terrible when she clung and didn’t want me to leave. I told the teacher that I would stay till she was a little settled, and I know what the debate on that is – that they don’t settle till they can see the mother, and there’s truth in that, but, I still knew it was not going to do her any good if I left her crying like that in the first week. Each child is different and I know that in her case she needs to feel a little secure before she likes anyplace, otherwise she develops an aversion. I wanted to give her the security that I was not leaving her there. So, I was the only (or one of the only) mother sitting inside with a child, not that that bothered me in the least. She looked at me and said “mama, don’t leave me here”. I promised I would not till she liked it.
I think it worked. The first week I went in with her and the next I would go in, like all the other mothers, but leave in about ten minutes- never slipping out, but telling her that I was going to be waiting outside, so she need not worry. She cried for a few minutes, of course, but not in the hysterical fashion she had done before. I told her that I’d be right there and take her home in a few hours. Somehow that worked. She was alright without me inside, maybe because she knew that I was around, or maybe not. I don’t know what worked, and I also know that part of it is cyclical, she’ll probably still cry sometimes.
But the thing is that she’s aware of the fact that now she has to do this, and I am not sure she loves it yet, but she likes her teachers, which is good.
The first day she put her little Dora bag on her back and walked away, I smiled and yes there was that silly lump, don’t know where it came from, but there it was in my throat. She looked back at me and smiled, told me she had just spotted a little Tellytubby doll.
She’ll probably learn to let go soon. Now, I have to do the same.