Do You Trust Your Toddler’s Teacher?
It was his first day at school. He was all excited, as over the previous few days’ trials, he had been enjoying with the other kids--but with my presence (i.e, his mother’s). For the first time, he had to be alone for an hour without me. I was anxious; I was feeling guilty. I felt like I was committing a crime. I had doubts, I was worried. I was not sure how his teacher/nanny would handle him. I was concerned!
If you are a mother of a toddler who has just started his playgroup/daycare, you will relate to the emotion. Do you?
The wireless connection of a mother and child
Being a mother to a toddler is not easy; you may behave like him at times, be a strict mom sometimes, and, at times, be like a lioness protecting her cub! And your little cherubic bundle of joy trusts you, follows you and imitates you. You are so connected that even before he says something, you read his expression and tell if something is wrong. Have you experienced this?
Similarly, a child can also read and feel his/her mother’s vibrations. When I was about two years old, on visits to the market with my mother, if we happened to meet this particular old woman, my mother used to hold my hand tight, and always tried to keep me away from her sight. Gradually, as I grew up, I started disliking that old woman. Quite recently, when I spoke to my mom about that woman, she was surprised to know that I do not like her (my mother never spoke a word about her before me).
My neighbour shared a similar incident, about her nearly three-year-old daughter and the nanny. She said that as she was casually talking about her school and nannies, the child suddenly announced “I do not like that nanny aunty.” On being asked why, she said, cutely, “Even you don’t like her!”
When you do not trust your toddler’s teacher, your child can read it in your actions, get your vibes and will end up acting accordingly.
Let’s do a small mind exercise.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a room full of people you have never seen or met. They are smiling at you, some offering your favourite food, some your favourite dress, some calling you by name, while some want to talk to you. You are looking for someone whom you know--your spouse, your parents, a neighbour, a colleague--any known face. How do you feel right now?
That’s the same situation a toddler is in--all new faces, some offering toys, some others offering lollipops/candies. He looks for someone he knows, someone he can trust.
Again, close your eyes and imagine yourself in that same room with unknown faces. But there, you spot your spouse, far away, shaking hands with some of those strangers. How do you feel now? A breath of relief!
You may not realise it, but because you spotted your spouse, you also read his vibes: “Don’t worry, dear. You are fine.”
That’s exactly what your toddler wants to feel.
In fact, now, if you repeat the same exercise with the same set of unknown faces (but, known to your spouse), you would still be confident!
Trust is to be earned
You must have explored ‘n’ number of day-care centres/playschools before you finalised this one. Trust your decision.
You must have heard of ‘n’ number of cases where kids are treated badly in daycare/playschool. But you still decided to go for this one. Trust your instincts.
You must have asked ‘n’ number of questions when you met his/her potential teacher/nanny, before deciding on this one. Trust her words.
You may be anxious about leaving your child alone for the first time. Trust your kid, he will be fine.
Schools and daycare centres aren’t run by magicians. They will try to do everything they can to make your child comfortable, but it would be a gradual process. Trust cannot be built in a day; it has to be earned.
You cannot disagree that when your doubt is bigger than your faith, the doubt surely wins.
So, stop doubting and start trusting!