Experience Is Worth It
Even if it’s terrifying
Sending my oldest child, Dexter, to preschool for the first time filled me with mixed emotions. I had all sorts of worries, both realistic and unrealistic, but I also welcomed the respite as I was juggling a toddler with speech apraxia plus a newborn.
When it came time for my youngest, Camille, to start preschool, surprisingly, I had a much harder time with the transition. She was an easy toddler, and I wasn’t spread thin with the needs of an infant as I was when her older brother Dexter started preschool. Plus, she is my youngest, and knowing that I will never have another child entering preschool made it all that much harder (I had an ugly cry, post drop-off).
My two babies (because they will ALWAYS be “my babies”) could not be more different. Dexter struggled with communication at three, but he is confident, outgoing, and adaptable. Camille, whose vocabulary is advanced, is introverted, routine-oriented and incredibly bright.
Yet despite their personality differences, they both thrived under the guidance of their amazing preschool teachers and staff. Dexter’s speech level caught up with that of his peers, and Camille now tells strangers random things about her life.
While preschool/daycare is scary (maybe more for us parents than our kids), the social, emotional and academic growth children gain from the experience is indisputable. My only recommendation: find a program that fits your child’s needs and has amazing teachers. Each preschool/childcare setting offers different benefits, and you know your child’s needs best. Hopefully this month’s Toledo Parent Childcare & Preschool Guide will help make your search a bit easier.
Erin Schoen Marsh
Toledo Parent Editor