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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My son was previously in a daycare class that consisted of

Customer Question

My son was previously in a daycare class that consisted of younger toddlers. At 2 ½ years of age, he was the oldest child there (most of the children were younger than two). We went through a tough stage where he cried and clung to me every morning, but during the last month or so we actually got to the point where he enjoyed going there and I struggled to get even a simple good bye kiss from him when I dropped him off.

After talking to his teacher and the director, we made the decision to move him into the next classroom. Because of some strange patterns that happened in enrollment, he is now the youngest in that classroom. (Ages range from 2 ½ to 4 years, and every other child is at least 4 months older than him). Ideally, there would have moved to a class for children age 30 months to 36 months, but there simply weren’t any kids that age to place in that class. He already knew a lot of the kids in the class and we felt he was ready for it. I knew that he would be a lot busier and the class was much more structured.

The first week that he was in the class things were o.k. When I dropped him off in the morning, he would give me a high-five and a kiss, and then go join the other kids. Yesterday morning was a bit rougher—he cried when we got in the car and said he wanted to go home. But I was still able to put him down when we got there. This morning was a nightmare. He cried on the way there and said he wanted to go home, and when we got there he clung to me and I had to actually hand him over to a teacher. I heard him crying for me as I walked down the hallway.

I mentioned to his teacher this morning that he’s been struggling in the morning, and she said that the room is very different than what he’s used to. They expect the kids to do more for themselves, they have more structure, their naptime is shorter (and we haven’t been able to successfully adjust his bedtime yet), and they require that every child at least sit on the toilet during bathroom breaks. (I think he’s the only child that isn’t potty trained yet, and she said that he’ll sit there and say he wants his mommy. I haven’t forced the potty training issue with him at home. If he wants to try, I let him.) It’s handled as a preschool class.

I’m trying to determine if the change in his demeanor over the last few days is simply because he’s tired and trying to adjust to everything. Of if it’s because the higher expectations are just too much for him to handle at this point.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 9 months ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help with this parenting issue.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your son is not adjusting to the class because his social development is not at the same level. At 30 months old, he is in a structured environment with children who are 4 to 28 months ahead of him and at a very different level of psychosocial development.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe it would be in his best interest to move him back to the other class where he was thriving before. I also believe that he will have better long-term development if he returns to the younger class.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You were starting to type something and I would be interested in hearing your comments if you wish.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are handling the potty training correctly at home and there may be some indirect pressure at school for him to "perform" up to standards.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that his self esteem will also be increased or lowered depending on which class he is in. Being at the bottom in the older class is already harming him and he will thrive again in the younger class.

Customer:

That makes perfect sense to me... When he was with the younger children, he did well even though they too were at different developmental levels. But he had a lot more freedom to do what he wanted to do, and he also took on the role of 'helper' and guided the younger kids. The daycare brought it an 'expert' last week to do a full assessment of each child's fine motor, gross motor, and speech skills. I was shocked when they told me that he was below average on gross motor skills. Then I looked at their assessment and saw that he was 'unable' to jump off a bottom step. He's a complete monkey and jumps off from everything, so I think it's more likely that he refused to do so.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He may decide on his own that he wants to advance. The "experts" often don't look at the whole picture and do not see that he is not cooperating or rebelling because he is not happy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This is a simple solution if the school authorities do not object. If they do, tell them that you will consider removinghim from the school because he is not thriving at the bottom of the barrel, but does well as the older child/helper. This gives him self-assurance and will help his development.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Hopefully, they will agree with you, particularly now that they have "decided" that he is a bit behind in his development because of their skewed assessment.

Customer:

That makes sense to me. When he was in the younger class, he was also at a different development level. But he also had more freedom to do what he wanted to do, and he took on the role of ‘helper’ and directed the younger kids.


Last week, his daycare brought in an ‘expert’ who assessed each child’s gross motor, fine motor, and speech skills. I was shocked when this person told me that he was below average on gross motors skills. One of the ‘skills’ that he was ‘unable’ to do was jump off a bottom step… He’s a total monkey at home and jumps off everything. I know he’s capable of doing so, he just, for some reason, chose not to do it for them.


At this point, I need to decide what to do. Moving him another daycare where there’s a tighter age range is certainly an option. I also know that two of his 29-month old friends from the other classroom are supposed to move into his room in about a month. (According to some state guideline, they have to be 30 months to move). But I’m not sure that even being back with his friends will help. It may, however, force the daycare to re-insitute the older-two’s classroom.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that your son is not thriving in his current situation and it is up to the day-care to respond to his needs, and not for him to respond to their needs.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I suggest that you do what you feel is in his best interests. He needs to be secure and happy in order to benefit from this experience and that is the foremost priority.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Children adjust and mature at different rates and this is no indication of either their intelligence or their future performance.

Customer: I apologize for the duplicated information... For some reason I can't see what I've typed.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It could be because you are using a phone, or because of a glitch in the system. I could switch to Q & A mode and you could see all better but then we would have to write back and forth and the JA computer would then put you in line where I would have to answer questions directed to me in order of which they came.

Customer:

I'm going to schedule a meeting with the director and see what she proposes as a solution. I understand that it's a unusual situation that there's such a lack of kids between the ages of 30 and 36 months. But he shouldn't have to pay the price for that... If she can't fix it, I'm sure we can find someplace that can!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will work with you in any way that best suits you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I see what you are writing so this is working.

Customer:

I think you've answered my questions. I knew something was really off-kilter this morning whent they told me that they require him to sit on the toilet. (He was doing really well at potty training there at first, but I suddenly noticed at home that he doesn't even want to try).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is a reasonable request. You can tell her that you spoke with a licensed professional clinical counselor who works with children and my recommendation was that it would be in your son's best interest to be the older one in the group rather than the youngest.

Customer:

Thanks for your advice!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that you are totally on top of the situation and will make the best decision.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep him and all of your family in my prayers.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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