Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First day of school

Tomorrow is my 2 year-old's first day of school. We're all excited, fortunately this includes her. As I was watching her today, she looked so little to be going to school. I wondered if I will look back on this phase of life and feel content that we started her in school so young (which is largely because of my interest in working) or if I will regret this decision and wish to have spent more time with her while she was young. Hindsight is 20/20 and I have terrible foresight so I really struggle with this.

My father-in-law once told me (regarding parenting) to remember that we know better than them. (he said this as I was struggling to force antibiotics down)...but I often recall this phrase. I know that my 2yr old will enjoy and benefit from the socialization and learning she will get at school. And most days I'm sure that even if I was home I would want her to go to school for her sake...but then I'm not entirely sure I'm being objective.

I guess for now, I'll enjoy the moment, her excitement to go to school and hope that when I pick her up tomorrow she has a smile on her face because it will surely make it harder if she's not happy.

4 comments:

  1. We'll be in the same boat in January...Well, Landon will be three, and I'll be in school, rather than working, but I'm struggling with the same feelings.

    I believe that he will benefit greatly from his time in pre-school, but if I weren't a pre-med student, trying to finish my undergrad before I'm ancient, I don't know if it would have even occurred to me to send him to school.

    I often think that the great secret about motherhood is guilt. It's this great big thing, always hanging over our heads, that no one talks about. It seems that no matter what decision we make, there's always some reason to feel guilty about it. Maybe the BIGGEST challenge of motherhood is to overcome the big G.

    Here's to hoping she has a GREAT time in school, and you have a great time at work!

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  2. I just wanted to say that I started school at 2.5 years. Partly because they start school early in India and because I have a very late birthday. I think far from hurting me it really benefited me especially when I moved to the US.

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  3. I felt double guilty with my second since we put him in school way earlier - so I felt he was getting cheated out of one on one time (not really with me since I've had the same work schedule but with the nanny and dad). I still think to myself maybe he's more stubborn, more trouble at school, more problematic than my first because of this BUT, I also think it might just be second child syndrome and have nothing to do with early school - since he mostly enjoys school more than his older brother!

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  4. I never thought of "school" being bad for kids untill I got to this country. Then I learned kids in crowded environments have the same cortiosol (stress) levels as kids in orphanages, and it is best to keep them home till they enter kindergarden. My older started "preschool" at almost 3 yo, and is high-strung (I am convinced) from stresses of having to go to school early in am, and having to stay in aftercare,and deal with 25 other kids with all their problems. But my younger, who I am determined to keep out of school untill kindergarden, is the calmest child on the block who never cries unless it really hurts and even then for a few seconds. I attribute my youngest excellent self-regulation to one-on-one caregiver time since infancy, and absent stress. I think if financially possible it is best to have kids stay at home as long as possible. They do not need "socializing" at 2 yo, just positive interaction and a lot of fun with their caregiver. When parents state their toddler needs "socializing" I sometimes wonder if it is to justify parent's decision to keep kids in daycare, as I often heard this comment form SAHM's who put their kids to daycare as soon as feasable while those same SAHM's enjoy their time at home alone.

    P.S I wonder and speculate that "schools" for 2 yo are different in India, and children get help with feeding, and nurturing whith routines. I am not sure you will find indian daycare where kids sleep on the bare floor fully dressed with shoes on, their body partly uncovered from clubbered clothes and slipping from the thin matress unto the cement.

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