The day my kid got picked last for the team.

September 2, 2010 at 6:00 am | Posted in School (aka: daycare) | 22 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I heard from another daycare mom, whose son is O’s age, that R was going to be moving up to the preschool room. And when we were talking, we agreed that it seemed early, but since R was potty trained, it made sense.

And though I will say I had a pang of worry about the potty training stuff with O, I didn’t sweat it too much. Because I thought we had time before O we were going to have to worry about the transition to preschool – given that generally the age in that room is 2.9.

Until I arrived at daycare dropoff on Tuesday morning.

And saw a note in the older toddler room that said “We say goodbye to R, K, J, J, and J today, who all moved up to the preschool room!”

Before Tuesday, O was in a room of 6 kids, including him.

On Tuesday, 5 of them moved upstairs.


Did not.

I spent the drive to work alternatively breathing through my anger and telling myself that I wasn’t a failure as a mom because my kid didn’t get picked for the team.

Were they all potty trained and I missed the boat somehow?

Did O somehow miss some milestone that made him ready for the next room?

But the biggest one, the one that made me the angriest, was this.

Why didn’t they TELL ME?

I mean, how hard would it have been to give me a heads up? His teacher could have said “Hey, just wanted to warn you, there are a lot of kids transitioning to the preschool room on [insert date]. We think O should stay here because of [insert reason here].”

I mean, honestly, it doesn’t take much energy to, you know, SAY something.

I was incensed enough that when I got to work I emailed the director of the center.

Now, in my email, I was nice and merely asked about the criteria for transitioning to another room, and since O was passed over at this point, if I should expect that he’d be in the toddler room for the school year.

I got a response last night that basically said that they thought that O wasn’t socially ready for preschool and that he’d probably transition in early winter – November at the earliest, January at the latest.

Not socially ready.


My kid is reserved.

He doesn’t like meeting new people, he doesn’t really have FRIENDS per se.

In fact, with people he KNOWS, he often won’t acknowledge them, even when we ask him to.

He’ll never be the kid who will be comfortable in a big group of people.

He hates it when people LOOK at him – he turns his head away or buries his face in my shoulder.

So yeah, preschool probably ISN’T right for him right now. Confidence-wise, I see the benefit of staying where he is. As the oldest in his room, maybe it’ll be good for his self-confidence and give him the chance to LEAD something.

But at the same time? He just lost his ENTIRE peer group. And okay, yeah, maybe he doesn’t have a best friend right now.

But if he WAS starting to make friends with someone?

That kid moved up to another room. And now O has to start all over again.

Which is life, and he’ll have to deal with it at some point.

So if I’m honest with myself, I will admit that I don’t really disagree with the decision to have him stay in the toddler room. Not one bit, not really.

But the thing that bothers the SHIT out of me is wondering why they didn’t think to give me a heads up. I mean, O’s a TODDLER. Wouldn’t you think that it would be good for his parents to help prepare him that when he got to school, his friends R, K, J, J, and J would have all moved up to another room?

Not to mention that *I* would have liked to know that they are worried about his social skills – enough that they would keep him back a room so that he had more time to develop them.

That’s what makes me angry, even still. That they didn’t TELL me this, that they made decisions about MY kid without INVOLVING me, or communicating with me, or whatever.

Because yes.

I leave my kid at daycare so I can work a full time job. And I cede control of his care to them, because I HAVE to.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ve given them ALL control. They have a RESPONSIBILITY to communicate with me about stuff like this.




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  1. That is extremely frustrating. The staff in his room should be telling you things like this in advance. Whilst it sounds like the decision is a sensible one why succeed in making parent and child upset and concerned about the change needlessly like they have done. Definite area for the daycare to work on.

  2. You have every right to be fuming I would be too. I hope that O deals with the change well. Hugs to you.

  3. Ooh Serenity, I would be full of righteous mama wrath too at something like that. That is a HUGE change, and obviously they knew it was coming, and they probably arranged to transition the other five at the same time to ease their move to the new room. So how hard would it have been to keep you informed of what was happening?

    Gah. I hope the daycare thinks about how they handled this one.

  4. I think you are completely in the right here. It seems like they made a unilateral decision about O without even talking to his parents, which just doesn’t make any sense. And it’s not like there was a LARGE group of dozens of children that would have them distracted and without the ability to communicate these things to you. Obviously his was a small class so it seems like they could have taken the time to go through their concerns to involve you.

    I am sorry O will have to deal with losing his peer group. My Aiden is similar in the social situation category, especially the hiding his head and NOT liking large groups. We’re working on it but obviously every child has a difficult personality.

    Hopefully you calling this to their attention will help them see that they need to communicate better in the future.

  5. You have every right to be frustrated. I’m fuming for you! That’s asinine that they don’t communicate to you what the criteria is for transitioning OR that they were letting the rest of the kids in O’s peer group transition. Not only for your sake, but for O’s. Even if he does not have a close relationship with those other kids, those are the children he’s used to being around. And if he was going to create a close connection with someone, it would have been someone in that group – another child he has spent a considerable amount of time with. Taking away his peers may make him withdrawal further and become more shy, IMO. I sincerely hope it doesn’t. These people need a smack upside their heads. Way to punish a child because he’s introverted!

  6. Your day care seems a little strange to me. Ours does not move anyone to the preschool room, potty-trained or not , until around age 3. Only one of the boys who moved to the preschool room this year was held back, my son’s friend P, who has speech delays and is still not remotely potty-trained. My son and all his buddies are still considered older toddlers. Our day care feels potty-training should be encouraged, but not done under pressure, and while most of the kids start sitting on the potty in the younger toddler room, they are not expected to fully grasp it until the year they turn 3.

    I am surprised all of those kids are totally potty-trained as well. My son J is only two months younger than O, and has accidents daily, and has never pooped in the potty. It just seems like they are pushing kids a bit there. I’d be pissed they didn’t tell me either- losing an entire peer group for a shy child can be a big deal.

  7. I completely agree with you…on all of it.

    If they are worried about him being socially ready – don’t they realize that taking away all the kids he does know will probably only set him back father. That is traumatic. Poor guy.

    Hope his day isn’t as bad as your has been.

  8. That is a serious lack of communication – and I see the same kind of thing happening in my daycare. It’s pretty frustrating. On the other hand, though, my daughter knows everything going on at the daycare – even what happens with the babies, who she never sees. It’s probably more of a problem for you than for O, and you probably don’t have to worry too much about his reaction. For most things that go on, my daughter’s reaction has been “Eh, whatever.”

    I don’t know how your daycare works, but in ours, the toddlers end up spending playtime in mixed age groups, so O might be able to continue any relationships that he has been developing.

    But, addressing it to the daycare workers and director is a good idea. I’m sure they’re thinking “We’re preparing the kids for the transitions – no need to worry the parents about it,” while you’re thinking “yes, I would really like to know EVERYTHING that happens when I’m not there.” They really need to be on your page in order to keep your business, and it’s a good idea to let them know.

  9. There is something completely amiss with a school dedicated to the care and well being of children to NOT inform the parents of such a monumental change in surroundings for their child. At my son’s school (and he was in the toddler room), they probably OVER communicated. But, I was informed from the get-go, who was moving up (and sometimes it happened mid season) and why or who was leaving the school etc. Moreover, I was informed about what they required for my son to move up.

    So, it always gave me an opportunity to discuss with him that Raphael was moving to Ms So & So’s class and this is why. Which helped immensely when it was time for my son to join his prior peer group in that class.

    I would take the last part of this blog entry (the last 5 paragraphs) and send that to the Director. And, I would ask the question, “Why was this overlooked? Why was I not communicated with so that I could prepare my son for the loss of his peer group (and especially given that the school felt he wasn’t socially ready and this could have really been a teachable moment). And, set the expectation for appropriate levels of communication going forward.

    That said, how did he respond to the change in his room? Poor little guy. That would be upsetting to most kids (having that big a change all at once).

  10. You’re in the right here–they should have given you a warning. You may not have been able to do anything about it because kids potty train when kids are ready (and pushing them will only cause more stress for you). But at least you could have prepared O.

    As painful as life was as a child–and yes, I still remember times when I was excluded or left behind and how it felt–it is nothing compared to how painful it can be to be the parent watching. I never knew that before the twins came along–how slights to me could be that much more painful for someone else.

  11. Good for you for speaking up. I feel like i”m the only mom at my daycare that says anything. Everyone else seem slike they don’t want to piss them off because they must know what they are doing… blah blah blah. No matter what YOU know what is best for O. Hands down.

    Cam is kind of opposite from O – he has 4 best best best friends that do everything together. They are a few months older than Cam, and they just moved all of them to a pre-preschool room together. Cam would be DEVESTATED if he arrived at school one day and his friends weren’t there.

  12. I really don’t get the whole transitioning thing anyways…partially why Willow is staying away from Pre-school until closer to age 3 years. (that being said, she is no where near potty training!)

    Obviously they dropped the ball on this one. They needed to communicate to you and they did not. I would be angry too.

    (Unfortunately, I have had a LOT of experience with the non-communications of institutions with our issues with ADHD with Michael–I hate to say it, but you end up having to be a BIG Nag to get them to communicate to you–you did the right thing by pegging them on this situation!)

  13. Grrrr… that is very frustrating. I would be incensed. While I understand that you agree with their reasoning for not moving O, the fact that you weren’t aware of the absolute reconstruction of your son’s environment is absolutely unacceptable.

    FYI Caden was exactly like O. Very shy, wouldn’t always acknowledge his loved ones let alone strangers. Very intimidated by kids his own age and much more involved in parallel play than actual interactions. I used to blame some of it (I realize a lot of it is simply personality) on the fact that he wasn’t in daycare. But then in April of last year, when he was 1.5 months from turning 3, he and Kara and I joined my Mom and Dad on vacation in Florida for two weeks. In those two weeks I saw him come out of his shell immensely. It was like he realized how much fun he was missing out on by being shy. In the last 4 months it is AMAZING how much he has changed. In fact we just returned from a month long vacation to my home and yesterday in the airport he was playing on the children’s activity area and TWICE he said to two kids he had never seen before “My name is Caden, what is your name?” Four months ago I would have argued that Caden would likely NEVER do that” All I am saying is that O might be very different socially in a few months.

    In the meantime, I think if the daycare knew O well enough to know that he wasn’t ready for the social adjustment of pre-school, they should also have realized that he might likely have needed extra preparation for the totally new environment he was about to face. They dropped the ball and need to ensure it won’t happen again.

  14. By not telling you and letting you discuss it with O, thats going to give O more socal issues. Might make bonding harder if he is worried that people will just leave him. Its a shame they let you and him down like that. I’d have been so pissed off. ANd for the ecord my 3 year old isn’t potty trained and has no interest in it. Everything comes in time and eventually it will happen.

  15. I would have been furious – mostly because they didn’t TELL you. I don’t care if they think he had a special friend or not – they all moved up, and his whole day gets turned on it’s head. She’s not potty trained, yet, either – we’re working on it, but at her pace.

    FWIW, she’s always been really reserved and shy. She’s beginning to come out of her shell – literally in the past 4 weeks there’s been a big change – and I think she’s only a couple of months older than O. So maybe he’ll change, too. But even if he doesn’t, it doesn’t mean he’s out of the ordinary or should be excluded from peer groups his age.

  16. Hey. It’s me and I guess I’m going to be the butt head here and ask this: what if they had gone ahead and moved him knowing that he WASN’T ready? You know he’s shy, maybe too reserved for the preschool. Wouldn’t you be even more upset?

    They didn’t say they are worried about social skills, did they? Yes, he may now e meeting new kids, but he’s staying in a familiar surrounding. In many ways he’s now got a huge advantage.

    Lately, I’ve had to see first hand parents pushing children who weren’t ready for something and it just kills me to say nothing. I can’t. Let him be little for as long as it takes. He will get there and then too soon you’ll be wondering where the toddler went.

    You’re his mama. You are sticking up for him, but they are pros (and they really should have their guidelines in a manual somewhere for the parents to review and sign an understanding of agreement) and they are doing what they think is best for both O and the other children. Don’t take it too much to heart. He’s a darling boy, smart, and clever. He won’t mind waiting a little bit more.

    • Yo-Yo Mama – I don’t think you’re an asshole for this comment, not at all.

      I definitely do not want to push my own overacheiver tendencies on O, so I’m very vigilant that I get mad for the RIGHT reasons. In this, it’s not about the fact that they moved up and he didn’t. I support that, it makes sense, and O is actually showing me it’s the right decision, even in the first couple of days the other kids have been gone.

      It’s that I didn’t KNOW that kids were moving up and he wasn’t going to. And that they seem to be viewing his shyness as a weakness, he’s not “socially developed” as the other 5 kids in his room, etc. I hate the idea that already he’s being shunted aside because he’s not the loud, brash, confident kid that they think he should be.

      Anyway. There’s another post to come on this, and honestly – thanks for the comment. Because this is something that I wondered myself, too.


  17. I agree, a heads up, a conference, a call..something to prepare both you and O for this new direction.

    They would have gotten a piece of my mind for sure. (and I’m not confrontational at all..) you’re the mom, you deserve better than that.

    Plus O is great, he’s an awesome little boy, you are NO FAILURE my friend and don’t ever say that again, you’re of the best moms I know.

    you and O will be ok…I’m just sorry that they didn’t do something it only takes common sense to do.

  18. Argh, that is REALLY annoying. My son is 2 and 4 months and is very shy and introverted as well. But I have learned to embrace that as part of his personality (I’m an introvert as well, which helps me to understand where he’s coming from). I do think that extroverts are given a bit of an advantage in the daycare/school setting, and that is really frustrating that you weren’t given a heads up. 😦

  19. I would’ve been SOOO mad to find out about such a major daycare change that way! That is not fair, especially to a sensitive child. It seems like they made a decision that was in O’s best interest, but the execution was terrible.

    It sounds like O has much the same personality as A. I often worry that she is/will be underappreciated because of her shyness. But they are both amazing kids who will make the best of who they are and leave their mark on the world.

    It’s tough, sometimes, as a parent, to have a kid who isn’t just like all the others.

  20. Some daycare facilities have their own agenda. Do they charge more for the “upgrade” room? Did they need space in the current room for newbies? etc, etc.

    I have 3 boys, all with completely different personalities. At many times in their formative years I heard comments from all of their teachers how they weren’t this or that in comparison to their peers.

    Looking back, I see where the teachers were right, and wrong. The boys basic personalities (oldest-type A perfectionist; middle-happy party all the time dreamer; youngest-quiet-wants to please everyone and no boat rocking) have stayed the same but they all have achieved wonderful things because of who they are…NOT because the well intentioned, but somewhat misinformed educators tried to label them to be.

    I guess my point is, if O is doing well in most areas, don’t sweat it. The other areas will come through before you know it and you will be on to another classroom, teacher, school, that will also try to pigeonhole O into a *group*. The reason my boys are so successful is that we never allowed them to be lumped with the rest of the group. We encouraged individual thinking and they all thrived.

    Hold your head up and love that little guy for all of his wondrous ways.

    (But, having said all that, I still think the daycare needs to have better communication with ALL the parents. Changes are hard for kids O’s age and a forewarning should have happened!!)

  21. I haven’t read all the comments or the update post, but I’m confused by this whole thing. At our center they move by age more or less. The room that M is in currently is the 2 – 3 year old room. The preschool room is 3+ and yeah they do need to be potty trained, but they will not move any kid potty trained or not to the preschool room until they are 3. It doesn’t matter if they are social or not. Does your center not outline what constitutes a move? And, all of those kids are 2 1/2 and potty trained? The whole thing is weird to me and I would be mad about no prior warning, too. My center has been great until recently and I could totally see them doing shit like this now. I’m going to read your update now…

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