Did I do the right thing?
November 4, 2006 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Did I make the right decision regarding my preschooler? Why am I always unsure of my decisions I make for my children? Oh my, it's so long.

My 3 1/2-year old son is a very sweet but rambunctious child. He was enrolled in a preschool program that is coveted in our area. It was a part-time program, and he attended three times per week. My older son attended the same school for two years prior to Kindergarten, and we had a very positive experience.

Since my 3 1/2-year old has been attending since August he has had numerous bad reports from his teacher. Everything from throwing mulch on the playground to growling at the kids (he likes to pretend he is a dinosaur), to talking too loudly. Mostly I had reports that he had a hard time following directions. On one particular day I had to sign a paper informing me of his offenses. On this day he fashioned his hand into a gun and was pretending to shoot, he was growling, he wasn't listening, and he was throwing mulch on the playground. Most of his bad behavior occurs on the playground. I suppose this is his time to let loose, and because of his age and developmental level has a hard time controlling his impulses.

His teacher seemed to like him though and interspersed in these reports were some compliments. She seemed to like me also, and my husband and I were making a great effort to teach our son what was appropriate behavior. We personally know two people that were asked to leave because of behavior problems. I knew that there was a possibility this could happen to us also.

All was going fairly well, but I started to feel that my son was being marked as a behavior problem, and my husband and I were apprehensive of stressing our 3-yearold with demands that he must be good, or else. On Monday I was one of the mom's that put on the Halloween party for my son's class. We had a great time, and the kids were absolute angels. In the middle of the party, his teacher commented to me, "Wow, Adam is being so good today, could you come everyday?" This comment wasn't offensive in of itself, but for some reason it rubbed me the wrong way. It made me feel that his teacher deemed his as a problem child.

After some thought I sent the coordinator an email stating that we would be withdrawing our son from preschool. The email was very brief and polite, and didn't explain the reasons we were removing him. The coordinator called me to discuss why I was removing him from preschool, and I basically told her what was happening with his behavior, the reports, and I also told her that I wasn't sure all of his behaviors were reportable offenses. Isn't this what preschool is for? To socialize children and teach proper manners and behavior? She was aware of Adam's transgressions--she and the teacher discussed his behavior problems.

Now, I feel that I made a bad decision. My son is asking to go to school at times, and we can't go back. They quickly filled his spot with a child that was on a waiting list.

I spoke with his teacher on the phone today and she said that she felt that my son was "very bright and marches to the beat of his own drummer." She also recommended that he be placed somewhere, because he needs to be in the presence of an adult other than his parents to learn how to comply with rules. Of course this place will not be the school we just left, because there is no room for us.

Was I overreacting to pull him out? I now feel incredibly guilty that I took him out of his class, and I took him out of the best preschool in our community. My friend said that his friends in class were asking for him.

What can I do to ease my guilt and remorse over this hasty decision? My son seems to be fine and happy. I know he is only 3, in the big scheme of things mayge it really doesn't matter, but I can't help to feel terribly bad about it. I seem to always make decisions that I regret.
posted by LoriFLA to Human Relations (42 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds to me like something had to change. Your concerns were valid. It's hard for someone on the Internet to know exactly what else could or couldn't have been done.

AFAICT, the worst case scenario is this: There was a problem. You solved it. There could have been a better solution than the one you chose.

If that's the worst mistake you ever make with him, you'll be the best parent ever :-)

My guess would be that your son will do better in a smaller group.
posted by winston at 8:08 PM on November 4, 2006

You were acting in the best interest of your child, don't be so hard on yourself. It sounds like you have a normal, rambunctious little boy. What could be so great about this preschool if they think a boy who gets dirty and pretends to be a dinosaur on the playground has behavior problems?

My advice is to stop stressing and find another preschool with teachers who can actually handle real boys without trying to castrate them into a docile, complacent mold. Boys WILL be boys, and you don't want him being unfairly branded with behavioral problems nor do I think it's very wise to try to suck the life out of him. Your son will be fine.
posted by polyhedron at 8:11 PM on November 4, 2006

"Why am I always unsure of my decisions I make for my children?" People who are always sure of themselves can make very bad decisions, do not be hard on yourself.
The school sounds like any boyish behaviour will get a kid written up and that bites, young boys behaviour needs to be channeled and directed to make them come out ok but a certain amount of acting out is normal. You did fine, try again somewhere else.
posted by Iron Rat at 8:16 PM on November 4, 2006

Nothing creates more guilt than the decisions we make as parents. Remember that, it's both a warning and a salve.

FWIW, I think you made the right decision, your son deserves better than to be labeled as and treated as the class troublemaker and just because this preschool is perceived as "the best in the area" does not necessarily make it the best fit for your child.

Going forward, find him a new preschool, I'm sure you'll find one you and he will be happy with.

As far as feeling that you always make decisions you later regret, I highly recommend you avoid communicating your important decisions over email. I find the act of communicating in person helps me better put things in perspective as it opens avenues of dialog which often lead to solutions in a way that a final email can not.
posted by jamaro at 8:18 PM on November 4, 2006

I'm confused as to how making shooting noises while brandishing a finger gun, and growling while pretending to be a dinosaur are unacceptable behaviors for a 3 year old at recess. Speaking as a non-parent it sounds to me like the sort of imaginative play that should be encouraged in children. I think you made a good decision.
posted by subtle_squid at 8:38 PM on November 4, 2006

Isn't 3 a little young for preschool anyway? Can't you start them at 4, and then do kindergarden at 5? Or am I confusing the years?

Reading over the thread... I think it's possible you did overreact (you make no mention of any negative effects on your child, just on you), especially if this puts him out of a school environment for a whole year, but I imagine he'll live. And in 10 years, he won't remember (because who remembers 3? Anybody? Anybody?). Therefore, while you may not have done the right thing, you didn't do an awful thing.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:44 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

I disagree with the other comments. If I were in your position, I don't think I would have removed him. He shouldn't be sent the message that every time things don't go his way, Mommy will swoop in and take him somewhere where he can do as he pleases. While playing dinosaur and whatnot may be normal behavior for a child his age, he should learn that there is a time and a place for it. I also trust that his teachers know what normal preschool behavior is and that if they cited him for something, it must have been over the line.

It sounds like you have a hard time accepting criticism of your child, which really is not doing your child any favors.
posted by chickletworks at 8:46 PM on November 4, 2006

I can't think of a better time and place to play dinosaur, than during recess at kindergarten. I think to be honest, you might have been OK leaving him there (maybe after some persuasion he or them would have adjusted to each other), but I also think it was totally valid to pull him out. What kind of kindergarten reports kids for growling and pretending to be dinosaur? I suppose this is an extension of the "precious child must be kept in a bubble" attitudes of today. He didn't attack any other kids, he didn't hurt anyone. I'm sure you can find a better kindergarten for him, that suits his style. The "best" kindergarten in town isnt best for every kid.
posted by Joh at 9:01 PM on November 4, 2006

because of his age and developmental level has a hard time controlling his impulses

While this is certainly true...

my husband and I were apprehensive of stressing our 3-year old with demands that he must be good, or else

You realize this is your job as a parent, right? I realize this is AskMe, not JudgeMe, but it's precisely your job as a parent to teach things such as impulse control.

Whether you overreacted or not is beside the point, because it's already happened. Whether you feel guilty or not is completely irrelevant. The question at hand is, What are you going to do NOW to provide your child with the best possible education, on all developmental levels?

That's a bigger question than can be answered here, but I can tell you part of the answer will be, do something to help your child understand that throwing crap at other kids is a Bad Thing. It's not up to the preschool teachers.
posted by frogan at 9:09 PM on November 4, 2006 [3 favorites]

My parents pulled me from a preschool when I was that age too, in fact I was pretty much kicked out for being overly rambunctious after only a few days. It upset me at the time to the point that it's one of my earliest memories. My Mom made a big deal of telling me that it wasn't my fault they didn't like me, which was out of character for her as she was generally very strict, but it made me feel a lot better about the whole thing because my older brothers had me convinced I was going to prison.

IMHO It sounds like you made the best decision for your son as doubtless he knows on some level that the teacher thought of him as a bad kid. Whether or not it's justifiable (and in my case it was because I was a pretty naughty kid) I'd urge you to reassure him that he's not a monster and to work on getting him a positive experience at his next school The teacher is right, he does need to learn to deal with adults and authority, but as my Mom told me: there are lots of schools for all different kinds of kids. My next preschool was fantastic and I remember it very fondly and the teacher made me love school. Lasted all the way till first grade, lol.
posted by fshgrl at 9:37 PM on November 4, 2006

Kids don't come with owners' manuals. That's the problem. There's just never a clear "right answer" to the questions you have as a parent.

The thing is - you care about your child, you did what you thought was best at the time, and even if you're second-guessing yourself now, he's only 3-1/2. If you really want him to go to preschool, you could get him into one for next year, no big deal. In the meantime, you'll have time to really focus on making some memories with the two of you. Take lots of pictures, get back on a waiting list for another preschool, have a playgroup if he needs friends, and don't worry. He'll be just fine.
posted by eleyna at 10:01 PM on November 4, 2006

If this school is not an option for you anymore, don't worry about whether it would be nice to have it as an option. Look forward rather than back.

There are lots of other good options for your son right now -- other preschools if his behavior seems like normal little kid behavior (which it sounds like to me from your description), or even waiting a year and working on socializing with other kids in smaller play groups if you are concerned about his ability to handle a scheduled rules-intensive day. Lots of kids wait an extra year to start kindergarten, exactly because not every kid develops their various skills at the same time. Some kids are able to sit still and follow instructions very young, but those same kids may not be able to invent a long story all on their own, or may not be good judges of other people's emotions, or whatever -- there are lots of different skills, and they don't all arrive at the same time for everyone, so there's nothing surprising about a 3.5 year old who isn't great at sitting still.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:46 PM on November 4, 2006

"Did I make the right decision regarding my preschooler?"

My gut reaction is that this is normal behaviour for a little boy, and you were right to feel that the teacher was unreasonably singling him out.

My experience of dealing with teachers over things like this is that it leads to more trouble. Most teachers see themselves as competent professionals (as indeed they mostly are) and take criticism hard. Sometimes strife is a matter of personality rather than principle - no teacher can like every kid - and it's easier just to seek a different teacher. In a preschool there won't be multiple teachers at the same age-level, so changing preschool is the only option.

"Why am I always unsure of my decisions I make for my children?"

Because that is the nature of parenting when you really care. Since we don't have parallel universe simulators where we can verify the outcomes of different actions, we just have to make the best of it.

However, can you imagine him saying, years from now, "My mother took me out of preschool when I was three and that one decision ruined my life"? I can't.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:13 PM on November 4, 2006

Now, I feel that I made a bad decision.

I can't help but agree with you.

By acting precipitously you made a stupid mistake that could potentially have far reaching consequences, but which will probably require nothing more than finding a new program for your son.

Don't be so hasty in future, ok?
posted by The Monkey at 12:39 AM on November 5, 2006

You did fine. Trust yourself to be your child's advocate.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:41 AM on November 5, 2006

Yeah, you did OK. Some kids are just not ready to deal with the structured preschool environment at three and a half; they're busy working on other things. Try him again next year.
posted by flabdablet at 2:42 AM on November 5, 2006

Maybe if you had pulled him out of a great college, I would worry -- but I don't think preschool is going to make that much difference. He sounds like a fun, normal kid and the most important thing is for your son and yourselves to be comfortable and happy, not always worrying about screwing up.
posted by ukdanae at 2:42 AM on November 5, 2006

One day your son is going to need to mix with kids who didn't go to "the best" preschool. I don't see any harm in that happening sooner rather than later, and it may well actually be a good thing. You'll feel better when you've got him into another program.
posted by teleskiving at 2:43 AM on November 5, 2006

Please don't feel bad about your decision. You did what you believed was best for your son. He sounds a lot like mine when he was the same age; he's nine now and has "calmed down" considerably. I think I would have done the same if his kindergarten teacher said the same about him. When I was looking around trying to decide which kindergarten to enrol him in, I refrained from choosing a particular kindergarten with teachers who seemed to label him as a "troublemaker," kind of like what you described. I ended up choosing a kindergarten with teachers who were very patient with him and he learned a lot about self control while making lots of friends as well. He loved going there.

What I'm trying to say is, the "best" preschool in your community may not necessarily be the best preschool for your child. Teachers are people too, and I've found that there are certain combinations (teachers and my son) that simply don't work. Neither are necessarily at fault, it's just the chemistry that's not working. So don't be too hard on yourself, and just try to find another preschool for your son.

"Why am I always unsure of my decisions I make for my children?"

Because that is the nature of parenting when you really care.

I agree wholeheartedly. Take a breath! Good luck!
posted by misozaki at 3:28 AM on November 5, 2006

Thanks so much everybody for the comments. They are helping me feel a little better. I am debating whether to keep him home until he is 4, or finding another program.

Mayor Curley, I can't believe you can be so terribly mean. I don't think my child is perfect, nor do I expect teachers to coddle him. I met my son's teacher before he went to school and I explained to her that he was a wild man. Daily after I recieved the bad reports I would agree with the teacher, and try to make ammends. One time he made another child cry when he growled in his face and I Everyone can see how this is going to turn out. You're going to insist others are at fault for your son's every misstep his entire life and your son is going to turn into the self-centered dick that feels entitled to do whatever he wants regardless of the consequences to other people.nsisted my child apologize. Holy cow, my kid has apologized and was put in time-outs more than I was in my entire elementary school carreer.

I am not blaming the school, but honestly they didn't have much tolerance for normal 3-year old behavior. I wonder if you have children Mayor.

Everyone can see how this is going to turn out. You're going to insist others are at fault for your son's every misstep his entire life and your son is going to turn into the self-centered dick that feels entitled to do whatever he wants regardless of the consequences to other people.

Wow, I can't see how you can say this. I am not the type of person to blame others for my problems, nor do I wish to instill that attitude in my kids. I am not blaming the school. I am blaming myself for pulling him out of school. Did you read the question? I do believe in consequences. My kid stood out at that school, he did have some behavior problems--but I don't think they were that terrible--he is only a 3-year old boy. I felt pulling him out would safe us the upset of being kicked out. In the last week before I pulled him out he was asking not to go. I thought it was a good idea at the time.

Anyway, I still feel sick to my stomach over the whole thing. Thanks again for the comments.
posted by LoriFLA at 4:49 AM on November 5, 2006

Jesus, Mayor Curley. She's talking about a three and a half year old kid. I've been around kids that age that have real behavioral problems- and I mean REAL problems, violent tempers that lead to bloodshed, bullying, frightening lack of boundries toward other kids and adults... This kid seems fairly typical, and he needs to be reigned in a little. Just a little, because he's barely past being a toddler. If the teachers at his school were that quick to judge him a troublemaker, I'd tend to think they were more concerned about the tours for potential clients than the children themselves. (That's what seems to make a lot of 'good' preschools, IMHO.) You did well by advocating for your boy, Lori. And I know you'll know when to draw a line with him, too. All the best.
posted by maryh at 4:58 AM on November 5, 2006

Thanks so much maryh and everyone else.

Please excuse my typing errors in my last message.
posted by LoriFLA at 5:14 AM on November 5, 2006

I just read your comment to Mayor Curley. Look, there was a little boy at my son's preschool who was in far worse shape than what you've described. At three, he would erupt into awful tantrums, go into kicking fits, and scream like a howler monkey, but by the time he was nearing four he was a completely decent thoughtful child. Preschool isn't always the best judge of what a kid becomes, because during those years and months they change in so many profound ways it can be hard to keep up. Please don't let a thoughtless comment bring you down. You're the best judge of your son, and I know you take your responsibility to him and his future seriously. You did the right thing.
posted by maryh at 5:17 AM on November 5, 2006

I'm just more and more impressed with the community here!

IMO, one of the qualities of a good parent is agonizing over parenting decisions and seeking advice when unsure.

I think your decision was fine, and I'd probably do the same thing with a child of that age. Hopefully you didn't tell him why you were pulling him out, though, because he's too young to understand on any level other than "they rejected me". I don't agree with a PP that pulling him will teach him that you will swoop in and take care of any future problems he has. Maybe if he was older, but not at this age.

I'm a huge believer in trusting our mommy instinct. Your gut told you that your son was in a poor environment for him, and you acted on it. I think more (otherwise mentally healthy) parents should trust their instincts rather than make decisions that don't feel right on the advice of others.
posted by forensicphd at 5:33 AM on November 5, 2006

Thanks forensicphd. No, I didn't tell him why he was leaving. For all he knows school was just a couple months long. I don't think it is phasing him much at all. He keeps asking to ride bumper cars with dad and visit my sister at her house. He hasn't asked about school in a few days.

I have heard great things about a local Montessori school. I think I will give them a call.

I do have a terrible habit of debating whether the decisions I make are the right ones. I often second-guess myself. I wish I could be more confident in my decisions and move forward.

Thanks again to all of the supportive comments and answers. I am starting to feel a little better about the situation.

jamaro, thanks for your advice about not making decisions over email. That is something I won't do again.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:56 AM on November 5, 2006

"in the big scheme of things mayge it really doesn't matter"

Just so. And since it isn't reversible, why analyze it further? Find a new program and move on.
posted by LarryC at 7:18 AM on November 5, 2006

As others have pointed out, this probably won't be The Most Crucial Decision Ever Made regarding your son.

A few thoughts though --

I do think of some children as "difficult." There are difficult children out there. Is it so horrible to admit that? It's not like I treat them poorly and it's not like I think they're ineducable. I put a lot of energy into working with them to improve their behavior. I never single them out in front of other children or make them feel picked on.* These things are a given with teachers.

In your case, the real crime would be if his teacher just ignored him, because developing good social skills is an important part of preschool. Ideally you and the teacher would both work on improving behavior, which can be accomplished without stomping out his imagination or stuffing him full of meds. You can say, "Being a dinosaur and growling is fine as long as you're only being a dinosaur with other dinosaurs," and teach him to invite kids to play dinosaur without scaring the crap out of them. That's not the same as saying, "Never play dinosaur again because make-believe is bad."

Children behave differently when there are 19 others around. Parents rarely see their children in that setting, and when they do, there is yet another set of behaviors because, well, their parents are there -- so it's easy to dismiss a teacher's concerns. You need to trust that the teacher sees behaviors you don't see.

I work well with wild children and I love playing make-believe, so I sympathize. Personally I think letting kids be crazy in their free time is great, as long as it's clear that there are different expectations and rules between home and school.. and that doesn't mean school can't be fun.

*If the teacher was picking on your son, then you did the right thing. That's such a damaging approach, and kids do remember.
posted by Marit at 7:32 AM on November 5, 2006

I'm merely suggesting that no one should be surprised when he grows up to be a dick because his mother already thinks he can do no wrong and there's no better way to raise an entitled dick.

Please tell me how you came to the conclusion that I believe my child can do no wrong? I am aware of my child's behavior and I don't make excuses for it. I also don't believe it is abnormal for his age. I have two entirely different boys with differnt personalities. My older son is reserved, calm, and is very well-behaved. My younger son has a more outgoing personality and is very high-energy.

I don't raise my children with a sense of entitlement, and my husband and I were certainly not reared this way. Actually, I make a very concenentious effort to ensure that my children empathize and think of others. My kids are sweet, caring boys just like most kids. I don't believe they are perfect and I never have. I am talking about a three-year old child who is a little on the wild side. I don't know how you can make such accusations and be so terribly judgemental Mayor Curley.

(My wife is an early childhood education consultant. That does not make me an expert. But it does make me acquainted with stories about difficult, overprotective parents who take offense to a preschool appropriately trying to correct behavior. And I hear a story like this a couple of times every year.)

I am neither difficult or overprotective. I don't think any of my friends or family would describe me as difficult. I have never had a problem with any of my children's teachers in the past. I am pretty much a go with the flow kind of person.
And how can you assume that a little child is going to grow up to be an entitled dick, as you call it, just because his mother is unsure if a preschool program is right for him? Or feels badly about withdrawing him from the program?
posted by LoriFLA at 7:34 AM on November 5, 2006

What's done is done, you've gotten enough comments about that, I just want to offer a suggestion for his next preschool: Take your time in choosing one and be sure to visit and observe it.

Preschools are usually private and because of that, become whatever the director or corporation behind the director want it to be. Some are full of laughing children having fun and having more freedom to express themselves, some are full of little bodies sitting in nice neat rows and have a more rigid structure.

Try to find the preschool that meshes best with your son's personality, a place that will respect that he's marching to his own beat, yet provide proper guidelines for discipline.

If you're worried about these kinds of decisions in the future, just do your homework and learn all you can before you make a choice.

Good Luck.
posted by NoraCharles at 7:57 AM on November 5, 2006

I met my son's teacher before he went to school and I explained to her that he was a wild man.


You tell the school that your kid is a wild man. School teachers report that your kid is a wild man. You get your feelings hurt and pull him out of school (hastily, by your own admission) because you think they're labeling him.

I think you made a decision emotionally, instead of thinking about the consequences beforehand. Since you say that you regret a lot of the decisions you make about your children, I wonder if you have a habit of making decisions before you've had a chance to calm down and think hard about them.

Your kid will live. There are plenty of preschools out there that will suit him. Next time, though, try to sleep on it or discuss your problem with someone before acting rashly.
posted by stefanie at 10:00 AM on November 5, 2006

[removed MC's comments, please take follow-up derails to metatalk or email]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:28 AM on November 5, 2006

stefanie, the teacher is an aquaintance from high-school. We just had a friendly conversation at a casual meet-up before school started. I didn't use the words wild-man, but I did tell her about his personality and how I thought her could benefit from some structure. Maybe that was a mistake.

I may have made an emotional decision. It just didn't feel right, but who knows, it could of been the wrong decision. Like you and many others have said, I have to move forward and find another preschool.

Thanks again. Metafilter is awesome.
posted by LoriFLA at 10:37 AM on November 5, 2006

Nthing that parenting is full of self-questioning.

Also nthing that your son sounds very normal. Growling while playing dinosaur? OK. Pointing a finger and making "pow" sounds? OK. Only at recess? OK.

Did he ever hit or bite another kid? No? Then, he's not that bad of a problem, comparatively speaking.

Hang in there. Find a better match of daycare for your son. Trust your gut whenever you can. :-)
posted by lilywing13 at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2006

Oh, for heaven's sakes...they reported him for playing dinosaur? Sounds like a silly school anyway. My gosh.
posted by onepapertiger at 9:10 PM on November 5, 2006

We have a four year old who exhibits the same behavior traits. i will probably be submitting numerous Ask MeFi's on this one. He has been asked to leave certain venues, and he is demonstratively "wilder" than the other kids. For what it's worth, he's currently diagnosed as ADHD, and appears to be quite bright.

Our solution was to head this off at the pass, so to speak, and homeschool him (obviously, this won't always work for everyone). That's working well so far. He has great problems with impulse control and self-calming (examples: normal speaking voice is a yell, always, unless reminded. Minor levity causes maniacal, uncontrolled laughter--no better way to describe it.) He will hit other children, if only as a wild swinging smack and not in anger.

I guess the point is that you're not alone, and I probably would have done the same thing. Heck, we did do the same thing at a summer camp he was in. So don't feel bad about it, and feel free to email me. I could use the advice!
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:39 PM on November 5, 2006

Congratulations, you have a winner!

Your child has imagination and energy. These are good qualities. Oh, wait, this is, what, 2006? I take that back.

You have a terrible child. Only robots are welcome in the New World Order.

Please, the really good ones tend to be difficult! How could it be otherwise? A bright child is a threat to a mediocre teacher. Remember that. The trick is, to get your child to appear to conform, while he discovers how to get along in the world on his own terms.

What do I know of 3 years olds, anyway. But I bet I'm not far from the truth. He's bright. Cultivate that.
posted by Goofyy at 5:24 AM on November 6, 2006

You did the right thing. In the future, trust your gut, then sleep on your decision, and then go for it. Your son will be 100% fine.

In the future, I would not tell the school that he is a wild man. Let them find out on their own. If it keeps coming up, you might explore some options for dealing with it. It might be ADHD (I used to be an educator so I can say with confidence that chemicals DO affect behavior!!!), or it might be boredom. Very bright kids act up or act "strangely" when they are not stimulated enough. If it keeps happening, dialogue with him as much as he can (why does the dinosaur bite other children?), and also push him mentally. Do some 5 year old math workbooks at home, play Concentration or other educational games and see how he does. If he still just likes playing dinosaur and plays roughly, then just discipline him and train him to act appropriately. And put him in martial arts or something.
posted by orangemiles at 8:39 AM on November 6, 2006

Thanks so much for the comments. I am starting to feel better about the situation.

Today, the school we left has offered to put my son in another class with another teacher. I don't know if I should do it or not. The director was aware of our son, and is still willing to let him come back, so I am tempted to try another teacher.

I also have an opportunity to go to a Montessori school that has a wonderful reputation but is quite expensive. They follow a classic Montessori curriculum--AMI--whatever that means.

Today my son was asking to go back to Ms. Jane's class (his old teacher). This broke my heart because he can't go back. I am wondering if I send him back to the same school he will wonder where his old teacher and his old friends are.

My husband and my sister say I shouldn't worry. They think that he will make new friends and like his new teacher within a week and all will be well. I have heard that the new teacher is really laid back and has had rambunctious boys in her class without problems.

I know I sound completely neurotic, but I don't know what to do. Most of the time I feel better about the situation, and then sometimes I feel like crying when he asks to go back to Ms. Jane's class. I can't seem to get a grip.

Again, thanks for the comments. Hopefully my emotions about the situation will calm down a bit.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:27 PM on November 6, 2006

LoriFLA, that sounds like very good news! Could you bring him to meet the new teacher after school some day soon, and then decide?

On a side note, are you getting out of the house and talking to other grown-ups about topics other than your son? I don't mean that in a patronizing way at all -- I just mean, I know that when I am worked up about a decision I have to make, I sometimes obsess in a way that just makes me more upset without accomplishing anything. It might help to try to get your mind off this for a little while. See if you can meet a girlfriend for lattes in the park and talk about football or tv or something other than kids. :)

Your son will be okay, whether in the old school or a new school. Really, really, he will be o-kay. Both of the options you have right now sound very good. You can't make a bad decision here.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:06 PM on November 6, 2006

OK, I'm confused. How can growling and acting like a dinosaur and forming your hand into the shape of a gun be "difficult"?

Your son sounds . . . pretty normal. But then, I grew up with much rowdier people. When we were kids, back in the 1970s, we used to play "Guns." We would chase each other around the neighborhood with toy guns and shoot imaginary bullets at each other. How antisocial! How sociopathic! From time to time, we would get into actual, honest-to-gawd fistfights. Even me. As wimpy, shy and fat as I was, I still got into fights. I didn't win many of them. But I still had them. And we turned out OK. I suspect that in today's Brave New World, we would have had our plastic guns confiscated and been doped up on Ritalin.

That preschool sounds uptight. Your son sounds like a normal, high-spirited kid. Please don't worry so much.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:02 PM on November 6, 2006

LobsterMitten, we are going to the old school today to meet the new teacher.

I am obsessing. Who knew this kind of thing would make me so upset? I hope it goes well today. My husband is taking him because I am going back to work and have orientation all week. I am so nervous. I am trying not to feel regretfull any longer.

I will update later if anybody but me is interested. :) Thanks again!
posted by LoriFLA at 4:26 AM on November 7, 2006

My son went to school yesterday to a new classroom. He had a very good day. I think it will be a great year, if I can just drop some of the guilt.

I so appreciate all of the comments and advice. It has helped me a great deal.
posted by LoriFLA at 3:59 AM on November 8, 2006

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