By Sholain Govender-Bateman , Pretoria based journalism lecturer who worked at The Star, Pretoria and other news publications. She also edited MyWeek magazine and loveLife magazine. She is mum to two gorgeous girls, Isobel and Aishwari, and wife to Barry.
Isobel will be turning 3 in May. She’s speaking in full sentences, fully potty trained, can hold a pencil and almost paint within the lines of a picture. She can kick a ball, count to ten bar a few missing numbers when she is in a hurry to get to ten, do a forward roll and is a social butterfly. Yet, I’m still in two minds about sending her to pre-school.
My mum says I’m being overprotective, even paranoid, and whilst she may be right, I also believe that my fears are valid. Like most parents, I will do anything to keep my child from harm and ensure that she is happy – is that so wrong?
I’m afraid of Isobel picking up bad habits from other toddlers(is she still a toddler?), being bullied, getting bullied or getting abused in some way. I don’t want her to feel like we’re taking her away from her second mum, her nanny Kate who also looks after my younger daughter, Aishwari(3 months old). What if she is influenced by other adults in a way that I don’t like? Maybe I’m even jealous that other people would then be included in the task of raising my child? What if she feels rejected and regresses with her speech and potty training or becomes introverted?
There are pros, of course – she will make new friends and pick up new skills and words – but she is already exposed to different skills and words everyday through constructive and free play. She has a play gym, trampoline and soccer nets and balls so that she develops her motor skills. And she sings nursery rhymes with actions and dances to almost any music.
So do I send her to school or not? What do you think?