Saturday, February 2, 2008

Preschool Field Trips

It’s that time of year again. The Kitas (nursery school) have begun planning for the big 3-day trip to the country. Overnight trip in preschool you ask? Really? Yes, it’s true. Two teachers take their class of 15, three and four-year-olds, to a lovely retreat in the country. Always near a body of water and usually on a farm. They take them by train and public transportation. Is my 3-year-old going? Not a chance!

However, it’s always a difficult time for me. My calm, negative response stirs up trouble. I don't buckle under blackmail, nasty phone calls or guilt. Nor am I swayed by attempts to convince my children that they will be friendless if they don’t take part. I have been through this already--twice.

No, I say. Over and over again. There is no need for a toddler to take an overnight trip, far from home, away from their parents. Security and dependability are what a toddler needs. Not fear, uncertainty or worry. There will be many years to come when a school trip, away from parents, is important for self-esteem, independence and pride. Now is not that time.

Many parents see it as a child-free weekend. A few see it as a time to toughen up their toddlers. One or two just don’t like to make waves.

And then there is me.

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