Temple Judea Pre-School Makes Kids Feel at Home

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When it comes to starting preschool, parents can can find it to be as much of a learning experience as the kids.

One of the most difficult things for parents is dropping their child off at school for the first time. Dealing with the separation anxiety of being away from their son or daughter can be a challenge, which is why Temple Judea Early Learning Center in Furlong makes things as easy as possible for the parents and kids.
 
Sheryl Milstein, who has been the preschool director for 16 years, said the separation anxiety is always worse on the parents than kids. 
 
“The parents are always very nervous,” Milstein said. “Unfortunately, sometimes the kids can feed off the anxiety of the parents. Every year is a little different because you a have a different group of parents.”
 
On the first day, Milstein provides coffee, tea and snacks for the parents so they can schmooze and observe their kids. It’s a misconception that children are more upset than parents, she said. Once the youngsters bond with their classmates and teachers, they feel at home.  
 
Also, it is important to not let children see the parents cry and to give them a quick kiss goodbye, she added. 
 
 “If the parents linger, it just makes it harder for the child to separate,” she said.
 
Making sure the children are comfortable is crucial to them separating from their parents and succeeding in school, she explained. Playing on the playground and in the sandbox and doing messy things like arts and crafts really makes a difference. 
 
“It always feels good when the parents say to me all the kids do is talk about school when they are home,” Millstein said. 
 
Laynie Barazani, of Hatboro, whose son Benjamin is 2, said it was difficult leaving him at school for the first time, but now he loves to go. 
 
“It was very emotional,” said Barazani. 
 
Benjamin began going to school at 18 months and Barazani said the first few weeks were some of the toughest of her life. He cried at first, but it took her a month to adjust. Not being around him from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. was really strange, she said. 
 
She said it was tough knowing he was old enough to go to school, but he has grown a lot because of it. Benjamin has become more social and is more comfortable with himself.
 
“He’s like a totally different person,” she said. “After I saw him happy and thriving as much as he was, I knew it was the right move for him.”
 
Heather Widensky of Warwick said separating from her 2-year-old daughter Sloane was a challenge at first, but now Sloane is active and extremely talkative because of school. Widensky and her daughter are very close and Sloane cried the first five weeks of school, she said.
 
“She was very attached to me,” Widensky said. “I needed her to feel comfortable with other people. It was hard to see her cry for the first couple of weeks.”
 
As she got used to her surroundings and accustomed to her teachers, things got easier, she said. While Sloane was always a chatterbox, it allowed her to come out of her shell.  
 
Not only has pre-school helped her grow as a person, but it has also increased her Judaism values. She learned the Hebrew alphabet and on Shabbat, sings songs and says the blessings.
 
Said Widensky: “It’s the best thing you can do for your kids.”
 
Contact: jcohen@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0747.

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