Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hindering Socialization

Staying at home has been something that I have enjoyed the past several months, but it certainly comes with its challenges as well as its benefits, for the entire family. One in particular, I didn’t anticipate.
Sometimes I’m concerned with my decision on Tyler’s behalf. At 4 years old, he has spent his entire life in daycare. He is acclimated to the society of it, the friendships, the constant activity and everything that goes along with it. I am well aware that I have removed him from this, and it has been a difficult transition for him because I have taken him away from something that was such a way of life. I will never be able to offer him the sort of entertainment and activity that a daycare environment can. I know he misses it.
I have never thought that Ty would have been better off NOT being in daycare. I’m a firm believer that the socialization that it has offered him and the formal learning environment it provides, has helped him become the observant and insightful little man that he is today. Yes, he’s learned some bad habits, but surely he would have found some of mine to copy had daycare not obliged.
He has adjusted to the change well, but slowly. We started doing “class time” for an hour or two each morning he did not go to school. That stopped for the summer, but will begin again in August with the start of the school year. He is FINALLY starting to learn that I have things I have to do without him, and sometimes he needs to play alone.
As it stands right now, he goes to preschool for 2 days a week. I think that being a part-timer at school is a difficult position for him to be in, and I have to admit that at times I feel guilty for putting him in that position. His school frequently plans activities for which they prepare though out the week. Not being there three days is a big deal. He has worked to make things for programs that he would attend, and at some times he has not been able to be a full participant in some things he would have really liked to have done. I feel responsible for this. Rightly so.
There is give & take. Although I know he misses out on some opportunities, I try to create activities to off-set this whenever we can and fill the void. He told me about a puppet show he was going to miss and to make-up for it (and relieve my guilt) I gave him his own cupcake to ice and decorate as he wished while I was making Colton’s birthday cake. Tomorrow, one of his grandma’s is coming over to watch Colton while he & I take a special trip out to see Car’s 2.
Parents never want to be the source of their children’s disappointment. Truth is, sometimes we have to disappoint them. Sometimes we have to say no to things they want because we think we are making a choice based on a bigger picture. In this case, a lifestyle change.
My attempt to replace missed opportunities with special activities or attention may be mislead. Whether it is right or wrong, or whether it is a product of guilt or fairness, I will have one year home with him before he starts school. I guess it helps me make the most of my time for now!
School next year. Holy Mother of Mayhem.

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