We have undertaken quite an emotional project with my 3-year old son. His emotions are very raw right now, and I feel as though we are getting very close to the heart of the issue. He is currently in preschool two days a week. I know that while he’s in school he stuffs his emotions (they all come out as soon as we get to the parking lot). His teachers have commented on his “moodiness”, and the fact that he gets frustrated very easily, but that has been the extent of it until now. He has started being more defiant and uncooperative with the teachers, and growling at them (which he does at home too). I think his school behavior will worsen as we continue to work through his trauma. I am however more concerned about my son and the effect the school environment is having on his ability to heal, and our ability to make progress. I’m considering taking him out of school so we can focus on healing without added stress (not to mention the conflicting information he’s receiving from his teachers about expressing emotions). As a Mama, I’m way too close to this to have any real perspective, and I don’t trust that I can make the right decision without some guidance.. Has anyone pulled a child out of school to work through some issues, and if so was it a good decision? Would I be depriving him of something? Am I trying to shelter him? ANY feedback would be helpful! Thank you all,
My first recommendation is to trust your gut. Your gut will give you a sense of whether it is safe to proceed or not.
If your child is growling, it is a signal of distress. He is not feeling safe. His sympathetic nervous system has been activated. That means he is in a state of fight or flight. Anybody in a state of fight or flight does not have access to his/her higher brain centers which start coming on line right around the age of two. In this particular state your son’s capacity to benefit from a preschool experience may be limited at this point and time. Brains learn best when there is a felt sense of safety, predictability and a sense of “I am welcome here.” If your son has a degree of trauma in his past, his stress response system may be hyperactivated, meaning his brain may read signals of danger where there are none. Being separated from his primary caregiver maybe enough to put him over the edge. As you practice Hand in Hand listening tools his stress response system will become evermore resilient and ready to take on the developmental tasks of being three. He is very lucky to have you.
All my best,
We are so glad you reached out! I want to echo Vanessa’s wise words to “trust your gut”. YOU really do know what is best for your sweet boy.
Unfortunately that wise intelligent voice within us is often very difficult to hear when we are so full of FEAR. That’s why we have the very important and necessary parent-to-parent support tool LISTENING PARTNERSHIPS. It is almost impossible to help our kiddo work through anything if WE are not getting regular Listening Time. There are lots of parents here in this Club who are eager to exchange Listening Time.
We actually can’t advise you on whether or not to pull your son out of school because we are not there, and don’t know the school environment. Lots of families help kids work through Emotional Projects in very tough situations that they can’t change – tough custody arrangements, single parent homes, etc…. It can be done. Do the kids have more stuff to work on? Yes! That means the parents need to get more emotional support for themselves through more Listening Time.
Because my son is adopted, it can feel like every day is one big emotional project. And I will tell you that Listening Time has given me the clarity to know when I need to change my son’s external environment and when it’s more important that I help him build the emotional resiliency and flexibility to function well in that environment.
While Hand in Hand can’t advise you one way or the other on this preschool, we do encourage parents to look to avoid what we call, Unworkable Situations. If you feel this school situation is unworkable, there is your answer. If it’s not what you want for you son, there is your answer. This Mom’s story could help
More clarity, especially around helping him with this Emotional Project will come from you getting more Listening Time. Let us know if we can help with that.
Peace & Smiles,
Hand in Hand Certified Instructor
Conscious Child-raising Creating Cooperation and Peace
Follow me on facebook: Parenting by Connection with Kathy
“If we are to teach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with children” – Gandhi
Thank you Katherine for posting. I’m going through something similar, I’m blessed that the school is great- waldorf, but it’s the issue of too many kids to adults ratio.
Thank you Kathy for response and link.
And Vanessa too, I wasn’t aware of fb group. Where can I find link?