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Suddenly, my daughter doesn’t want to go to preschool.
Q: My 2½-year-old daughter has been very sad when she gets to school. Her teachers tell me she is crying for "mummy." She goes to day care 2-3 days a week and has always loved her time there. We moved her into a new class with all the other kids from her old class, so the teachers are the only new thing to her. Up until we pull into the parking lot at school, McKenzie is excited about school; then she tells me she doesn't want to go. We are in the process of moving and have made sure she is part of things every step of the way. Currently, we’re staying with my husband’s mother until the builders finish our new home. What are we missing?
A: My guess is her behaviour is related to the move into her grandmother’s home—and to some possible anxiety about the future move into the new house. Moves are very disturbing to children, much more so than parents realise. If you are not working outside the home now, you may want to reconsider putting her in day care (even 2-3 days a week) just now. She is obviously in need of extra time and reassurance from you, so I would make every effort to gratify her on that score. If taking her out of school is not practical, or if you very much want her to be with other children, schedule an appointment with the director of the school she attends or with the lead teacher in her group. Perhaps the two of you can come up with a clue as to why she is so reluctant to go to school. And be sure to take her to see the new house frequently, talk about its progress, and help prepare her for the forthcoming “big” move.