August 31, 2010
No, No, School!
My girls start school in exactly one week. (Yes, we're the last to start in the nation, thanks to the ridiculous Kings Dominion Law.) E starts full-day preschool, and while I'm a nervous wreck, she's as excited as can be. Not that I'm surprised; at two years old she ran into her preschool classroom without even pausing to say goodbye.
A is a totally different story. She is scheduled to start preschool two mornings a week, but at the moment I can barely leave her with family. Her separation anxiety has escalated this summer, leaving me to wonder if I'll spend the next year with her firmly attached to my leg.
Here's what we're doing to try to prepare her:
Talking often about school.
So far, no good. E and I continually tell her all the fun things she'll get to do at school: books, games, play-dough, dress-up, painting, etc. Her response? "No."
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
A loves this book and it's perfect for her age and situation. Llama goes to preschool for the first time. The teacher and classmates try to get Llama to join in the different fun activities, but Llama cries that he "misses Mama!" Eventually, school wins him over and he realizes that he can love school and Mama, too.
It's cute, predictable, and gets the point across. A loves saying "mama came back!" and that's the point I'm trying to drill into her brain.
A paper chain.
Now that we're a week away, we're going to make an old-fashioned countdown paper chain to help her (hopefully eagerly) anticipate the start of school.
What else can I be doing? Deborah Stewart recommended The No Cry Separation Anxiety Solution . Anyone else read that book? Are there other tips you'd recommend? As I mentioned before, E is a very independent child, so separation anxiety is a not a problem I have previous experience with. It may be that A is simply not ready for school, but I'd rather not declare defeat until I've exhausted all other possibilities.