Today was my daughters first day of nursery, again.
She started in September and went fine for a few weeks (one morning a week) until one day she refused so strongly she was kicking my hands away and I couldn’t physically undo her car seat straps. I decided not to make her go that day and when the same happened the following week my husband and I decided we had two options.
Option 1 – Make her go. Potentially she is taking the piss and actually would be fine if we made her go. But the risk is we are telling her we don’t value her opinion or listen to her.
Option 2 – Stop her going for a few months and re think. We are risking her thinking she can get away with things and string us along.
We took option 2 and I am SO happy we did. Not only was she excited about starting again, but she enjoyed her day (except for having to be physically pulled off me when I dropped her off – that wasn’t pleasant) and says she wants to go back next week.
I think although there is a lot of advice that is great for parents, there is also a lot centred around the adult being the boss and you just make the child do what they are told.
This side of advice I am sure has led our 3 yr old to have very negative sleep associations. She was a very clingy baby and not a good sleeper. As we didn’t have shit all clue what we were doing, we did everything you ‘should’ do (moses basket / cot / self settling etc etc). Consequently she screamed for the first six months of her life and hated being left.
Number 2 child has much more positive sleep associations as I co slept and I gave her naps in the sling and she goes to sleep and wakes up happy (mostly), and practically walks away from me with two fingers in the air when I drop her off anywhere.
Number 1 child still isn’t a brilliant sleeper now but we have decided to take a similar tone to that which we took with nursery. Rather than get strict with her and fuel her negative feelings towards sleep, we have put her in our bed until she is happier and sleeping more soundly.
Anyway, I digress…
The point of this post is that the sprogs reaction to nursery today and her improved attitude to going to bed has made me feel like we are doing something right. We are listening to her and caring about her opinion. We are encouraging positive experiences, (And a healthy body image – had a bath with them for her to play with my ‘squidgy’ stomach and say ‘it looks like a face’ when squidging up my belly button).
Raising kids is hard, and especially girls I think in this society. But don’t overlook how they are feeling, and don’t take all advice for gospel (especially not mine!) dig around and find advice that fits well with your personal ethos for raising monsters.
My feelings of getting it right today also stem from having had another appointment with my brilliant counsellor. I realised afterwards that not only is he enabling me to feel more confident and sure of myself and my decisions (hence feeling happy how we are dealing with #1 child), but he is also giving me the tools to continue my self development well into the future. This is a really exciting prospect that at some point I will be more than capable of helping myself from within and not needing to rely on others to do it for me. PROGRESS.