Finding Trust Among Uncertainty

September 21, 2011

in Relationships & Family, You

finding trust among uncertainty

It seems like just about every day that I dropped my twins off at preschool or picked them up, there was something the director needed to talk to me about. No shot records. Wrong shot records. Updated shot records. And of course we had to go over all of the details with Claire’s peanut allergy, lest they actually need to administer her epipen, God forbid.

But I was still caught off guard when she asked to see me after I delivered the girls to their room last week. Did I forget yet another immunization? Is Rachel having too many accidents? Oh geez, did my tuition check bounce?

She spoke carefully. “I wanted to talk to you about moving the twins to the younger class…”

My defenses instinctively shot up. The younger class?

We’re being demoted? In preschool?

I listened incredulously as she detailed her reasons for thinking they would do better in the younger class – a class that in all honesty has kids that are closer to their age. The kids in their current class are all turning 4 in the fall, while their March birthday makes them several months younger. And six months can make a significant difference when you’re dealing with 3 and 4 year olds. I didn’t realize this when I based my decision mostly on the Tuesday/Thursday classes that would break up the week nicely.

I left with a heavy heart, my confidence in my and my girls’ abilities shaken. The words “immature,” “misbehavior,” and “disruption” swirled through my head. Words, I might add that never even came out of the director’s mouth.

See, my girls have never been in a preschool or mother’s day out program before. While their classmates gather around and wait patiently for the teacher to start the story or song, Rachel and Claire want to get up from the circle and play with the exciting new toys. While the other kids are content to sit for longer craft projects, sometimes these projects are a little too long and laden with steps for my girls and their shorter attention spans. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t let them run hog wild around our house (all the time…), but they still need a little more coaching when it comes to doing things as a class as opposed to doing whatever they want.

In the younger class, they’ll be around more of their peers in that respect — kids who are also first timers in a school type atmosphere. Over there, they’ll work on all of those things together. They won’t stand out as the kids who aren’t sitting down or disrupting the story.

As for the school, this is their job. The director runs a wonderful program and employs warm and loving teachers who genuinely care for their kids with all their hearts. I have to remind myself that these recommendations are being made out of the best interests of my children, not for anyone else’s convenience.

I trust them. I trust their judgement. I trust their experience. I trust their abilities to gauge what my children need to flourish and be successful, while still allowing them to have fun and be three.

I want my girls to shine. I want everyone to see the smart, sweet, beautiful, spunky, polite, and wonderful children that I know, and I don’t want any of that to be overshadowed by the fact that they may be having trouble following directions or participating in group activities. In a class with kids closer to their age who are also sharing in this new experience with them, they’ll possibly feel more at home. They will flourish.

So onto the new class we go. I’m still a little sad and uncertain of the unknown. But my girls are resilient. They’ll love their new teacher. I’m the one having a hard time letting go of their first classroom and the fun projects and the cute little bears on the wall where they hung their bags. But I need to trust that we are making the right choice.

Preschool is a whole new world for us. We’re fumbling and making our way as best we can, but we’ll get there. Together.

Has the new school year brought any unexpected changes or experiences for you?

AllieRambles September 27, 2011 at 11:37 am

Leigh Ann,

Both my children are on the younger side for their grade level. When I entered my first into Kinder I knew he was ready, academically and psychologically. He did wonderful all through elementary school. Entering junior high (he is now in 8th grade) I wonder at times if he is ready to be around boys a little older and “wiser” (in the ways of the world) than himself. He seems to be struggling a bit with it. But then again, he hangs out with boys 1-2 years younger and older than him in sports and scouts. Sometimes I wonder if I would have held him back just one more year, what would have become of him.

My daughter, 10 and 6th grade, is the opposite story. In kinder and 1st grade we contemplated keeping her down. We did not. She struggled a bit but in 4th and 5th grade she changed! She became more mature and her grades improved! She is now an honor roll student and loves school and her friends.

I struggle everyday with my choices and my kids keep me on my toes. As parents we ALWAYS second guess ourselves, if you didn’t you would not be a good parent. (IMHO)

Your daughters will do great! If you had any doubts about the situation, it is in preschool that I believe is the most optimal time to hold them back. As they get older, they would have known if they are not with their peers as they move on and that can be crushing. In preschool, they just have friends and play, that is what the kids are thinking at least. I’m not discounting preschool, I just know that at 3,4,and 5, kids’ mentalities are still immature enough to go with the flow. LOL. You did the right thing.

~Allie

Red Kathy September 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Hi Leigh Ann,

Totally enjoyed this post. Thanks for recalling fond memories and smiles.

I was a year and a piece younger than all of my classmates and progressed well both socially and educationally. My youngest son was in the same situation when entering kindergarten. I chose the younger class for him as I recognized that he was simply not as mature a child as I was. It was a private school with an advanced curriculum as well. As it turned out, our decision served him well. He is in college now and I can honestly say we made the right decision.

No one knows them better than you. I think in part it’s a mothers intuition and love that points us in the right direction. You know in your heart what is working and what isn’t. kudos to you for being a brave and loving mom!

LeighAnnTorres September 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm

@bodynsoil

Thank you for the encouragement! Those are some of my hopes as well. So far the kids in their new class are all very quiet (it’s a very small class), so they definitely stand out!

bodynsoil September 23, 2011 at 6:21 am

Great writing and wonderful detail to this post, it has been over 25 years since I had to contend with preschool but I remember the time well. It sounds like this step to the younger class is the right thing to do for the girls and will take a lot of pressure off them to “keep up” with the activities of their classmates. I am sure they will adjust to their new room just fine and will thrive. I hope you will as well and I am sure after a few days you will start to see this new classroom has a lot to offer. Just think, your girls will be the older one and the leaders of the group..

LeighAnnTorres September 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

@Mywritingworld

Thanks for your input, Fran. That is something that I have thought about. I think it’s a bit too soon to judge whether that’s the issue, but definitely something I will be on the lookout for. Right now it’s apparent that my girls just aren’t used to doing things as a class, like sitting together, going to the potty as a group, etc. Having twins and then another baby, doing group things like library story times etc were always too much of a struggle and usually ended in disaster (and me in frustrated tears). Once they are accustomed to the school atmosphere and schedule, we’ll be careful to ensure that they are at the appropriate level, as I KNOW they are bright, smart, and intelligent, knowing all of their letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and more. But right now it was apparent that they needed to be with kids close to their age who were also learning to gather around when told, walk in a line, and participate in activities at particular times. I didn’t take this event to be a mark on their intelligence level at all, but it just caught me off guard at first. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment!

Mywritingworld September 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

Read the post. Liked your writng style and choice of words. Like how much you love your children. But at the same time, I came up with my thoughts about the change of class for your girls. This is because of my experience of 30 years, handling children for almost thirty + years, with a degree in child Psycholgoy, and learning new things about children every day. Since it works in your favor as a mother, and I am a mother as well. Sometimes children and adults can not perform at the same level as the whole group, because they are brighter more advanced and are bored with the activity. In this case they have to move to a class above. Observing and deciding for the children is not a proof with their behavior. They should have solid test done on their age appropiate activity, and the result of those tests, ( simply activity test) will easily prove where should your girls go. Search what I told you online or in books, and never take a going down decision for your girls, just like that. Because you want to become their best guide and provide them the best. No one on earth can do better than a mother in the right mind. Do not get me wrong, I believe in you and may be everything went well.

But, just wanted to open up this option for you. Thanks for reading the comment. Fran A

LeighAnnTorres September 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Thanks, Tia. I wish you the best, and I’m sure you’re doing the best for your son in your new situation.

Tia Peterson September 21, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hi Leigh Ann – Your experience was very much like my son’s was last year, when he first started preschool. Lots of meetings, lots of unexpected situations, etc. But you’re right that your girls will flourish and everything will turn out right. It’s very good that you have trust in their school, teachers, and directors. That’s key.

This year has brought a lot more uncertainty because I am working outside of the home again. He’s going to home childcare now, rather than preschool, as it works better with my long work hours. I am working through the uncertainty of it all but I just trust God that it will work together for our good!

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