Bye Bye, Anxiety!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

1st day of school!
It's been nearly 3 months since we officially enrolled little J in toddler class at Carmel Child Development & Learning Center. As previously mentioned, this decision was brought about by 2 major reasons: 1) as per the advice of his pedia, constant exposure to peers MAY help motivate him verbalize more since for a 2 year old, he was a bit delayed with speech; and 2) we personally wanted to give him a chance to associate with other kids as with our current set up, there's only his dad & I with him at home on a daily basis, where our neighboring kids are nowhere near his age + the cousins live outside Manila.

Anyway, if you hadn't read my initial take on the school, you can find it here. I had my doubts in the beginning of course - is it too early for him to receive care from someone else other than us? Is it going to traumatize him & make him hate school forever?
It was a struggle when we started out, mind you. The 1st day turned out fine, I took him to his classroom and said goodbye the soonest he started playing with blocks. So I thought, "That wasn't so bad!" But the days that followed was almost heart-wrenching. He would hug me tight as soon as he noticed landmarks leading to the school, and would start crying the moment he saw any of his teachers. I'd stay in school to wait for him since the class was just an hour and 1/2, and sometimes I'd hear him whining from outside. This went on for about 5 - 6 weeks! He also got extra clingy outside of school, refusing to approach & be left alone even with the people he used to be comfortable with, like his grandparents.

After the Christmas break though (we enrolled him only at the start of the 2nd semester), he started to settle down. He'd still cry when I passed him on to his teachers, but he would already voluntarily reach out to grab their hand; the waterworks would also start again the minute he saw me waiting for him outside. His teacher mentioned however, that he was beginning to participate in class, and would listen to instructions for activities that day. Then just like that, all the crying had finally stopped. He would walk into the classroom without hesitation, take his assigned seat, and the feedback was that he would be ok for the rest of the day & would even happily interact with his classmates & teachers. By the time I pick him up, he's all smiles! See a recent video of him getting giddy with other kids in the school's play area - no more Mr. Shy Guy :)

Aside from this, he had become friendlier with other people (ex. saying & waving "hi" to those we introduce) and was no longer hesitant to play with other children. He's also picked up songs that he does with some actions - admittedly some I don't recognize since his words are still a bit unintelligible, plus the I'm not familiar with action songs at all. Just a few mornings ago I glanced him playing nicely with a few classmates & it was such a moment of pride to see how much he has bloomed.

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