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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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My family is pressuring me to take my 21 month old to drop-off

Resolved Question:

My family is pressuring me to take my 21 month old to drop-off preschool a two mornings a week. I already work part time, so I have time away from him for 2 half days and 2 full days every week. That feels like enough to me.

I would like to take him to a teacher-led playgroup twice a week where he can play with the same kids and have a consistent structure but I could still be there if he needed me.

I feel like my mama's intuition is pretty good in terms of how quickly and how much to separate but I feel a lot of outside pressure about how important it is for toddlers to be "independent". Any thoughts?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
Well considering what you said in your previous post. I think the preschool situation is not a bad one because it would satisfy his need for academics and you can get him the social skill experience in a play date situation (one-on-one) where you can intervene if needed. The preschool situation would also provide you with early childhood professional support on how to handle his amazing intellectual skills.

After thoughts....can he go to preschool while your at work? If you feel strongly that he is not ready, I would go with your intuition....because as I said previously your mother's intuition seems good. You could also do as a trial of one month and see how you feel then.

Edited by Bonnie on 9/12/2010 at 7:47 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hmmm.....but how do I know how much separation he can handle? I know the common wisdom is that it is OK to leave a crying child at preschool - easier said than done. Theo has a sunny temperment (thank goodness) but I notice that underneath the cheerfulness is a very sensitive streak and I do think Mama is still home base for him.

Are there any clear signs of when a child is ready for drop-off?
Expert:  Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
The best way to know is by his reaction during the drop-off time. You would naturally take him inside and help him adjust to the transition and then observe...does he cling or easily separate? Then the other piece of helpful information will be his behavior while he is there...after you leave. If upset, how long until he calms down? Does his mood stay upbeat throughout the entire time or is he getting sullen after one hour (then it just might be too long).
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