Articles and Topics
Were we right to switch our 4-year-old's preschool?
Q: My 4-year-old was having some fear issues about being left with a teacher at his school. I try to be aware of his thoughts and feelings and after some probing, I discovered she was being left to teach 11 children without any help. This had no hope of changing any time soon, nor was she interested in trying to help me with my son's fears, so my husband and I transferred him to a different preschool.

I realised that for weeks we didn't "hear" his fears, so he had built up this mistrust with us—it was getting to the point where he wouldn’t go anywhere without us. He is starting to relax after three weeks in his new class, and is slowly getting his confidence and independence back and has begun to trust us again. When we decided to move him, we took into consideration that he normally is a confident, independent, and sensitive child. For some reason, these attributes had been torn away through his experience at his former school. In his new school, the teachers are more than willing to give my son the comfort he so needs on occasion—I think this plays a large part in his "recovery".

We feel we made the right decision, but I still am concerned about the long-term effects of having moved him. We explained the reason we moved him was due to the conflicts, and also explained this was not a normal way of dealing with conflict, but a special circumstance.
A: It sounds as though you certainly did the right thing by moving him out of the school in which he was having problems. Any time you have a teacher who doesn’t listen to a parent (having 11 children by herself is not a good excuse) about anxiety shown by one of the children in her group, it is better to get the child out of the situation as quickly as possible. Willingness to comfort children is an essential attribute of a good teacher. And I wouldn’t worry about whether your explanation about the move will make him expect something that drastic every time he has a problem in school. Young children tend to deal with one situation at a time. If he is happy in the new school, he will make satisfactory progress and give very little thought to why he was moved.