1st day of preschool
4 1/2 years old
We've learned many things as parents in the last 4 1/2 years about raising a child that is "shy". I'm going to log this in detail more to connect with other parents that struggle with this same issue than to complain about the rough road! As a baby and toddler I never imagined this character trait to be a hindrance. It actually made Maya seem really easy--she just followed us around quietly and was never very demanding. Then fast forward to the age that it starts to become necessary to develop socially and find out that it is a very painful process. This past year has been full of many painful and tearful moments for both Maya and I as we learn to negotiate this difficult road. I've learned to respect that it is almost physically painful for her to be out of her comfort zone but I struggle all the time with when it's right to push her and when I should let her cower behind me??? It has gotten to the point that I can't hardly leave her EVER! Even if I need to leave her with a friend that she knows really well, it is a major show-down (Sorry about those bite marks, my friend!!!) She has panic attacks that are impressive to say the least.
Realizing that we would really like her to succeed in school, and Kindergarten is one short year away, we decided to enroll her in a preschool program at a local church that we've heard great things about. She has known all summer that preschool is starting in the fall. Up until 2 weeks ago the mere mention of "preschool" ended in an hour of frustrated and panic stricken yelling and crying from her. I've been wondering, "and how is this suppose to succeed?!?!" We've focused our efforts on many prayers, more baby steps towards separation, and reading lots of library books about kids that are scared of school at first.
Well...I'm here to tell you that miracles happen! Look at that smile on her first day of preschool. She was still really scared but also a little excited. I don't think she hardly said 2 words to anyone on her first day but by her second time she told me that she made 2 friends and her teachers said she had told them that I was having a baby. So she must be feeling more comfortable and we're progressing!
Now on the way to preschool our conversation is about what it means to have "mixed emotions" as she tries to explain that she really wants to go to preschool and also really doesn't. Let me just say that I'm one grateful and happy momma to see this BIG baby step in her life! It was only a few weeks ago that I thought I'd never survive it!