Ridiculous Preschool Newsletter Shames Parents for Letting Kids Act … Like Kids

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If you're like me, each month you pull the preschool newsletter out of the folder, skim it to see what books and songs your kids are learning about, and then use it to cover up the "art" you've sneakily transferred to the trash. But when one preschool mom got her monthly update from the school, instead of the usual upbeat update, the letter was a shame bomb directed at both parents and kids.

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An anonymous mom of an almost-3-year-old child shared the worst October preschool newsletter ever with Scary Mommy. You can tell from the start that this newsletter contains bad news. An October newsletter without a single pumpkin on it? We're in trouble.


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The letter wastes no time explaining what a hard first month the teacher had with her tiny students. "We made it through a really tough first month with tears, attitudes, unwillingness, not listening, not obeying the rules and especially, too much talking and not enough sitting in seats when asked to."

I'm gonna stop you right there, teach. There's no question that preschool teachers are superheroes. Working with little kids all day long takes the patience of Mary Poppins and the energy of a golden retriever. But at the same time, you have to know what to reasonably expect from 3- and 4-year-olds. Tears, not listening, and not sitting in seats doesn't sound like a problem, that just sounds like the average day with a preschooler. 

But rather than acknowledging that adjusting to new schedules takes time, or adopting a "we can do it together!" attitude, this teacher throws the blame on the parents. Like we don't have enough to feel guilty about already. "We work on this every day at school," she writes, "but we need help from home, too. We realize kids don't want to sit and would rather talk and play when they want to; but that's not how school works ... We can't just say that our children don't like coloring or sitting still because kindergarten and first grade have a lot of coloring."

Um, isn't that kind of the point, that this is all just practice for real school? Not to this teacher.

And if you're not feeling awful about your parenting skills enough already, she throws in a general dig insinuating that things are going so poorly because parents are too busy to help their kids. "We realize it's a fast paced world and parents work, but the adults in the house have to be in charge and help the kids to understand this."

Continuing the train of negativity, she lists annoying but completely normal behaviors all preschoolers have, and expects the parents to get their children to stop them immediately. "Please, talk to your child about the importance of sharing, not fighting, keeping their hands to themselves, and learning to get along with each other."

Then, in what is hands-down my favorite line of the letter, she tells parents to somehow get their kids to stop wanting to play with toys. "Remind them that once we pick up the toys that we don't get them back out again, because we are done playing and going on to learning fun things," she writes. I'm a grown adult and I don't even do this. How many times do I put my phone away only to pull it back out of my bag five seconds later?

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This newsletter is full of red flags. While these behaviors aren't fun, they are totally normal for preschoolers. And let's just calm down on the whole if they can't listen now, the rest of their lives will be ruined warnings. We're talking about coloring books, not the SATs.

If it wasn't for the fact that preschool slots can be nearly impossible to find, I'd bet a lot of parents in this class would be packing up their kids' cubbies and heading for the exit. Let's hope the parents sat the teacher down for an adults-only circle time, gave her some cookies to thank her for all her hard work, and told her to chill out -- a lot.

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