Should I take my daughter out of preschool?

Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2003 - 1:58pm
doreen's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

Hi,

I don't know if I should take my daughter out of preschool or not. The other day she ate a cupcake at a birthday party. It had an M&M on top and she was fine. Well, of course, the fact that she was fine is not the point. The mom there that day gave it to her, and my DD scoffed it down in two seconds. According to the mom involved one of the teachers said "I can't believe we just let her eat that." Now, the real problem is that they didn't tell me, and that my daughter told me. Also the problem is that they told my husband (I made him call) that the parent was questioned about the ingredients, when, in fact, according to the parent, she was only questioned about this after Megan ate the cupcake.

I've had a lot of minor problems with my daughter's preschool, most stemming from an incident (non PA) the second day of school. I do believe, however, that how they handled that incident and me thereafter had to do with how I presented the peanut allergy to them. They previously had a touch-smell sensitive PA child, and the mother did not give them half the information I did at the beginning of the year. The only incident I've had with them that remotely involved her peanut allergy was after I questioned them about ingredients in pancakes they were having. The next class they said they didn't know the ingredients to hot chocolate they were giving the class, so my daughter didn't get any. I also found this out from my daughter.

This mom was very honest and nice to me. She said I should not write a note, because she would be afraid of how they would treat my daughter. I've always felt this about the hot chocolate thing -- that it was directly related to my questioning the pancakes.


It's only preschool twice a week, and there are only 19 classes left. My daughter is having a hard time with change at this point in her little life and, although I've reserved a new school for next year without telling her, I would at least like her to go back and say goodbye to her little friends and get the class picture they just took.

I'm feeling like it's really hard not to let my guard down lately, because she has not been extra sensitive. I'm starting to feel like it is all in my head, especially when even the allergist suggested an oral challenge (never mind, already posted on that).

Well, I was thinking about writing a note to the effect of in light of last tuesday's incident, please make sure megan eats only the snacks provided for her. I figure I can just give her a cupcake everyday for a snack. I feel just absolutely crazy (it doesn't help that my grandmother is especially sick). Luckily I have supportive friends that feel I should blast the school, but I would really like to reserve that for the end of the year. On the other hand, this might be a good lesson for her -- if they can't watch out for your PA (welfare in general in my opinion), then you can't go there.

Well, any opinions would be appreciated. I know this was long-winded.

[This message has been edited by doreen (edited March 27, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2003 - 2:09pm
doreen's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

s

Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2003 - 11:47pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Oh boy, my heart really goes out to you. I suggest that you schedule a conference to have an in person discussion with the teacher (if there is more than one - then the one in charge who is actually in the classroom). She was probably terrified to tell you that your dd had the M & M. Try to let her know that if an accident ever happens, to PLEASE be sure to let you know. It is important that you can watch her carefully. I would take a list with the items you want/need to discuss. Try to be very non-confrontational and approach it as the two of you working together.
It sounds like your dd likes being there and would be upset by the change. I think kids get a lot of benefit from being in a group environment with other kids, and learning different things than they learn at home with just Mom and family. But, if you think her safety is at risk, then you've got to pull her out. You are the one who knows the situation best.
I am concerned that the other mom thought the staff could/would retaliate against your dd if you wrote a note. I hope this was only the mom's paranoia. If there's any real reason to think this is true, then I think you would find out their true attitude by having a face-to-face meeting. If they're not open to that - then it doesn't sound like a good situation.
Best of luck to you! Please let us know what happens. {{{hugs}}} Miriam

Posted on: Wed, 03/26/2003 - 11:55pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

I am in the same situation, my sons preschool isnt peanut free or anything and I was pretty comfortable until they gave him red juice, hes allergic to red dye. Now im so scared they may slip up on the peanuts. So I told them from now on only the snacks I send in.
Im still scared and worry the whole time though. Especially since I read more and more info on here that scares me.
Since its only 2 days a week is there any chance you can go with her?

Posted on: Thu, 03/27/2003 - 2:46pm
doreen's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

Well, momma2boys, my only question to you is do you have anything in writing? I actually do have it documented to only feed her what I give her.
As far as staying with her, I can't. I have a two-year-old, and they only have a paint mom there for half the class with no siblings allowed.
California Mom, I think I am going to pull her out. I think what you said about any chance of them taking anything out on her is just not worth it for 19 classes. Between your post and a very irate friend I spoke to this morning, I've figured out a way to call them on it without involving this poor mom.
You know it would be so easy to just let it go, but, as my friend said, then I would be the paranoid mom. She's fine, we can let our guard down. As if this thought doesn't cross my mind everyday I don't see a reaction in her. I'm not totally decided yet, but I'm 90 percent there, and working on my letter to their board of directors. I think she'll be fine psychologically as long as her little friends' moms are able to set up lots of playdates with me for a while.
Thanks, and feel free to post more, I'm not quite there yet remember.

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 12:40am
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Trust your instincts. Find a better preschool.
I removed my older non-PA son from a preschool that I had a bad feeling about. I switched him to one we ended up loving...and now my 3 year old PA son attends there. I knew it was going to work out reasonably well when I walked in the office on Day 1 and saw the FAAN binders on the shelf.
Jean

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 1:44am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Doreen, I am so sorry to hear about your problems with your child's school...I know your daughter might be fond of it, but she would also get over not going pretty quickly too, I suspect. (At least if she's anything like the 3yo girls I know [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
There is not an easy answer, however. I get criticized (most of the time it is at least subtle) for not having my daughter in a preschool, and you may too if you pull your daughter out. As if this is somehow going to prevent our children from ever getting in to Ivy League colleges or something...How many of [b]us[/b] went to "preschool" and had all of these structured "early learning" experiences, anyway??? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] Sheesh. Talk about overkill.
Do what your heart tells you is right for both of you, Doreen, and know that you will have the support of your friends here no matter what you decide. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 5:07am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Yes, trust your gut. Good luck! Also, just want to add that my belief that pre-school [i]can[/i] be very positive for kids has [b]nothing[/b] to do with academics, or entry to prestigious universities - I swear! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 6:50am
McKenziesMom's picture
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Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

Could you arrange with another mom to share volunteer duties and on her days, you care for her kids and on your days, she cares for your son? I know it would be difficult to arrange, but then you'd know your DD was safe and you can watch her interact with other kids.
I did that, but it was easier because I only have one child. Just an idea.
The thing that would bother me is that the teacher said she called the mother, but the mother said it wasn't until after your DD had eaten the cupcake. I find that quite sneaky.
Just my opinion.
[This message has been edited by McKenziesMom (edited March 28, 2003).]
[This message has been edited by McKenziesMom (edited March 28, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 7:33am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

(And no, Miriam, I don't think that most people who put their kids in preschool are thinking about how it will look to Brown or Bryn Mawr! LOL!) The "overkill" part of my comment was about parents who are aghast that not including a "rigorous" preschool experience will scar my child. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I was saying that there are plenty of ways to get the benefits without this sort of bad situation. (Nothing like stating the obvious, I know... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]) Teeheehee!
Again, my best to you in your decision, Doreen.

Posted on: Fri, 03/28/2003 - 2:50pm
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Oh, I understand your feelings. My preschool is peanut free and nut free, and the others I have looked into are not, but have other PA kids and have never had incidents. We have not had reactions, but she got animal crackers one day, even though I have it in writing no animal crackers(someone missed the "no"). Then there is just soooo much food stuff, that I never imagined it would be more than birthdays(where I have provided cupcakes) and the occasional holiday. But there is always food in every section of learning.
I decided opeanut free is our best option, but I am not wild about this school overall. Just not as organized as I would like on many levels. But my dd is very happy there, has many friends there from the neighborhood, they are flexible in offering extended services for a reasonable price(and are PN free).
So hard. The big thing is you were not told by a responsible adult and a couple knew! I was not, but nobody realized until I called. My dd told me because I ask her each day(especially now) what they had for a snack. Some measures were supposedly put in place, but have not been followed through on. I hound them regularly, though. Tough, tough call.
My dd is also less sensetive, looking like as good as it gets for outgrowing, but most do not. I did sign up for next year because it scares me more that 3 year olds and 4 year olds will be eating PB around her next year at the other great preschool. However, they severely restrict candy and other foods that are salty or filled with hydrogenated fats(just not foods that htreaten the lives of some of their students, hmmmm).
I think, if you have a place for a new school, and are anxious, you can follow your gut. Schedule those playdates and she may not notice much. My dd likes school but is just as happy to miss it too. She is 3.
Best wishes and just sending support and understanding. becca

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