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Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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We wanted to put our 21 month, who is at home with my wife

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We wanted to put our 21 month, who is at home with my wife full time, into a 2-1/2 hour / twice per week preschool. His first day was Wednesday, and he had a major fit. My wife is now wondering if that was poor decision and if we should remove him. Can we scar him if we keep taking him there, and how long can we wait to try to keep him in there? Thanks. Rob
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It is very common for a child to show distress when left with strangers, especially at the age of 21 months, when they may be becoming aware that they are separate from their mother (a very young child believes it is as one with the mother) and therefore feel what is known as separation anxiety when the mother (father, or other caregiver) disappears. The child's understanding of this is very new and they need to learn, through experience, that they will be safe and happy and that mummy (always read or daddy) will return after a while. So what you need to do in order to instill this confidence is to be confident and happy when you leave your child at nursery, and always turn up when you should in order to reinforce the trust between you. If you are anxious when you leave your child, your child will pick up on your anxiety and will feel less secure. If you tell your child you are going to do something, then do it. If you say no, then mean it and carry it through. It is inconsistency of what you say and do that will confuse your child and instill distrust. Remember, children may think that they don't like rules, but actually they are very important to them and without them, they become mistrustful of their environment and less contented in themselves. Routine is also important, so establish a routine if you haven't already, before going to nursery, so your child knows what is coming for them on that day. If you persevere, you will have a happy confident child. If you give in at the first hurdle (as hard as it is when are crying for you) then your child will learn that they only have to cry and be distressed in order to get their own way. As your child grows, this habit will become intolerable and the child will become responsible for decisions that should be being made by you, the parents. If your wife enjoys work she will have more resources to give to your baby when they are together. Your child will learn so much at nursery that cannot be taught at home, such as socialising and becoming happy to be with others. I bought a book with my first child called 'what to expect - the first year' and it was fabulous, easy to read and covered everything imaginable and things I never saw coming. You can buy it on Amazon or eBay for a reasonable price. It became my bible for me and my next two children. If you buy a copy, I am certain you won't regret it. I do hope this helps you to keep strong. Think of the lessons and how you want your child to cope in the future. Happy parenting!!! Best Wishes, Sarah
Oooops, sorry, it's the next book in the series that you will need,What to Expect - The Toddler Years. It too, is fabulous. If you have another child in the future, the first one I mentioned - The First Year is great. They are selling on eBay for only a few dollars. Best Wishes, Sarah
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