Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Overprotective Parent?

Me, overprotective?  I wouldn't have classified myself as this but maybe I am, just a little.  Here's the thing, Jillian started Preschool last week.  Monday she went in just fine, even excited.  Excited to play with new kids, new toys and play dough.  Tuesday, different story.  We arrived and as soon as she realized where we were she shouted "No mommy, I don't wanna go to Preschool!".  I took her in and she wouldn't let go of me.  When I told her I had to go she started the tears.  The teacher took her from me, but I couldn't leave her like that, so I caved and held her for a minute.  But then I started to cry and the longer I held her the harder it was to keep it in.  I had to go, so I gave her back to the teacher and left.  Tears streaming down face I called Randy and told him how she acted and how my heart was breaking.

Fast forward to Thursday and Friday.  Her friend Mason from church goes to Preschool on those days and she was happy to see him, so she did fine.  But I wasn't fine.  I wasn't really sure of my child's day,  No one was there to tell me how her days were going and the one time I did see her teacher she was in the bathroom helping watching Jillian change her clothes, she had had an accident.  I stood in the doorway observing their interactions, and to be honest I wasn't really sure how to take it.  She made Jillian do every part of the changing herself.  Not offering her help but instead saying "you do it".  My heart hurt a little, as her mom I wanted to help her, but I understood why the teacher wasn't helping her.

Fast forward again to this week.  Monday I picked Jillian up from the playground and her teacher was outside as well.  I asked her how Jillian was doing.  Typical question for a child that has only been in Preschool a week, right?  The teacher responded with "She's doing...Alright".  Ummm, alright?  Excuse me, but what is that suppose to mean?  I then asked, "is that a good thing or a bad thing?"  Not being able to read the teacher at this point, I really wasn't sure what she was going to say.  She then said "Well she just cries sometimes.  Like this morning,"  she said.  "She was playing on the computer when she said she didn't want to play the game anymore, so I told her to go play something else then, and she cried."  I told her that yes, Jillian is very sensitive. I also asked if she was sleeping at nap time and eating her lunch.  She said yes and we left it at that, and Jillian and I left.  Me stewing over what was just said.  Is she too sensitive?  Or did the teacher say that to her in a harsh tone and maybe Jillian took it the wrong way.  I mean she's only 3 1/2.  She doesn't always understand what people mean, and she thinks they are being mean.

Today when she was picked up, I was told that she was having a problem with doing things for herself.  Not by the teacher by someone else, but I automatically went to her defense.  I again thought, well she's only 3 1/2 and up until now she has been in a private sitters care and of course our care.  She wasn't use to having to do things for herself.  I kind of got worried that maybe they wouldn't have the patience to teach her or maybe they didn't remember how young she is.  Maybe they were expecting to much from her in such a short time.

So here's where I am asking you.  Am I overprotective?  Am I babying her too much?  Do I expect to much?  I don't wait on her hand and foot and I do want her to be independent, but come on, she's 3 1/2!  I did talk to another parent tonight, whose child is also in Jillian's class, and she assured me that what I was feeling was not only normal but similar to what she and her child felt in the beginning as well.  She also told me the teachers at the Preschool were very big on "Being Independent", and the children learning to do things on there own.  Talking with her did make me feel some what better, but I think I will call her school and let them know my concerns.  My biggest fear is that she wasn't ready for this, that I pushed her into something she doesn't like and therefore she won't do well.  She is my baby, my baby who is growing up but she's still my baby.


  1. You know your child better than anyone else does. I would go to the school and have a frank discussion with the teacher first and then the director. If you don't speak up for Jillian, who will? There is no point in a teacher trying to "bully" a child into being independent. Being confident and independent, comes from being in a nurturing enviroment. A place where a child wants to grow and flourish. A place where a child feels loved and accepted for being themselves. Perhaps another teacher would be better suited for Jillian. 3 1/2 is a very tender young age, she has lots of time to grow up and be "independent". Maybe the teacher wants them to be so independent, that she can just sit in the corner and watch them all day.
    Good for you for questioning what is going on, in this situation. Your heart is telling you there is something not right with this situation, so speak up and let your concerns be known. You may find there are others with the same concerns and are quiet so they are not labeled "over protective". Carissa, there are a lot of worse things to be called than, "over protective". It is a mother's place to protect her children and I would consider it a honor to be called "over protective". So, my dear, Speak up and if you need back up, I am here.

  2. It's you decision on what you do. I had this problem with Kendra when she first went to child town. they are just now finding their independance so be patient! if you need to talk I'm here!~ love you

  3. First let me say that I am not exactly sure if what I think about this will bare any relevance because my child is not at this age yet and we have not had to cross that bridge, but I do have some of an opinion on this. I know that you have already thought about this a lot and talked to a lot of people about this, but here are my two cents. Jillian is sensitive and does tend to cry easily sometimes.......that being said, you told the Preschool about that and they acknowledged that other kids were that way too, so therefore, they should not hold that against her, because her being sensitive was already discussed. Now for the Independence. As you stated Jillian is only 3 1/2, but she already does a lot of things for herself and does not want help, so she is Independent in certain aspects. I would hope that anyone who is a teacher would know that every child is different and comes from a different background, and therefore learns differently. I think the biggest issue here is that this teacher has a "one size fits all" approach to teaching, and as we all know, not everyone learns the same way. Some kids may be able to do something just by being told, others however, require some help maybe not just once, but several times. I feel like Jillian, and most kids, need to be helped a couple of times, when doing something for the first time and then they will know that they can do it themselves when they realize they CAN do it by themselves. I believe that Noah should do some things for himself, but at the same time, if he does not have someone to show him how to do those things or help him a couple of times, he has no way of knowing how to do something.

    Again, those are just some of my ideas, and maybe they are totally off what you think, but I just wanted to chime in. I love my family and I know how much you love yours. Being over protective is relative, and no, I don't think it is overprotective to think that your child might be feeling overwhelmed, or even "bullied" by their teacher. It is your job as a parent to feel that way to make sure that everything is on the up and up, and you are doing a wonderful job at it. If you are feeling better about it, then chances are Jillian is showing improvement and you are noticing that too!

    Love you sis.


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