Eva Amurri Martino’s Blog: What to Do When Your Toddler Refuses Preschool

Please acquire behind luminary blogger and mom of dual Eva Amurri Martino!

The actress, who has followed in her mom Susan Sarandon‘s footsteps, is best famous for her roles in Saved and on Californication. She has also guest-starred on array like How we Met Your Mother, The Mindy Project and New Girl.

Two years after tying a knot in Charleston, South Carolina, Amurri Martino and her husband, sports commentator and 36 Hours horde Kyle Martino, announced they were awaiting their initial child: a baby girl.

The integrate welcomed their now-3-year-old daughter Marlowe Mae in Aug 2014. Their second child, son Major James, usually distinguished his initial birthday on Oct. 19.

Amurri Martino, 32, runs a lifestyle blog, Happily Eva After, where she shares her adventures in motherhood, among other topics. You can also find her on Instagram and Twitter @thehappilyeva.

Courtesy Eva Amurri Martino

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The whole family was vehement for Marlowe to start preschool – Kyle and we had looked during 6 or 7 preschools in a area, deliberate and compared them painstakingly, before finally selecting “The One.”

We were pumped, Marlowe was intrigued, and we were prepared to go. we was assured that my super social, outgoing, written and totally potty-trained child was prepared for preschool. In fact, we started looking adult a paperwork to enroll Major for a Twos module during a propagandize a following year.

Marlowe did a week of a school’s stay module in July, and by a time my child was all gussied adult for a initial day usually over a month ago, we sent her off yet hesitation. Everything was going to be great.

Until she came home that night and announced that she was never, ever, ever going to go behind to propagandize again.

I suspicion she was giving us a setup to an uncharacteristically modernized irascibility joke. When we had picked her adult that day she was smiling, laughing, happy. But now she was singing a opposite tune. “I don’t like that school, Mom. we don’t like a teachers, we don’t like a kids, we don’t like anything. we don’t wish to go behind there.”

My father has been home for 5 mins and there’s already a competition lane fraudulent adult in a driveway. And given he’s married to ME there are also 5 indicate harnesses on a kids (Lowie gets it…) 😂😂😂🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🏎🏎🏎🏎 #HappilyEvaAfter #MarloweAndMajor #childhoodunplugged #LetThemBeLittle #SiblingLove

A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Oct 14, 2017 during 2:07pm PDT

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I didn’t panic.


“Look, Lowie, it was a lot to do a initial day during a formula new school. we know a lot of people there already have friends and we don’t nonetheless yet that’s going to change. First days are never a best. Let’s pronounce about it again tomorrow.” We left it during that.

The subsequent morning she was a small round of sunshine all by breakfast until we spoken a words, “Let’s get we dressed for school!” we was met with a whoop of a century and evident hysterics. “NO, MOM! we TOLD YOU! we don’t like it! we don’t wish to go back! Nooooooo!”

This was now a thing.

And what in a universe was going on?!

Courtesy Eva Amurri Martino

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My child is routinely a one who we have to be additional observant about in open spaces given she is customarily so not attached to me. She will (and has) grabbed a palm of whoever seems good in a evident closeness and usually rolls with it (terrifying).

She’s routinely so down to try new things, accommodate new people and try new places. We had transitioned her in and out of dual other daycare facilities, and there was never a greeting even tighten to this. It usually seemed so out of character.

Normally when Marlowe exhibits out-of-character behavior, we marker it adult to her opening down with something and feeling a bit off. we felt her conduct and she wasn’t warm. No sniffles, no congestion. Nothing out of a ordinary.

OH SNAP!! we can’t tell we accurately what it is, yet subscribers to my Friday Newsletter are going to get a unequivocally special bonus formula tomorrow… 😜😉😏 Make certain we pointer adult for a newsletter now on HappilyEvaAfter.com! 🎉 #HappilyEvaAfter #HEAnewsletter #BloggerLife #Mompreneur (📷: @courtneyannphotography_ )

A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Sep 14, 2017 during 2:13pm PDT

I finished adult convincing her to get dressed and we headed to school. She hold it together until we got nearby a front door, and afterwards immediately started up. Whole physique rigid, pulling on my palm divided from a opening to a school. Crying and whining, eyes far-reaching with fear.

The demeanour of fear was my initial red dwindle – we don’t know about your kid, yet cave has dual modes: mistake dissapoint and actually upset. we can unequivocally tell a difference, and in that moment, this chicky was not personification around.

I got down on my knees and pulled her to me. we hugged and kissed. we cajoled and bargained, bartered and pleaded. we told her we was opening behind in usually a few hours, that there were so many fun things to do inside, new books, new friends, etc. etc. Finally, a teachers helped me get her in a door. we saw a few other kids a bit weepy, so we chalked it adult to second-day jitters, blew her a lick and darted out a door.

Courtesy Eva Amurri Martino

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As we was walking toward a car, we felt like a world’s many hulk a–hole. It really finished me feel awful to leave my child crying, yet what was we ostensible to do? Do all kids like propagandize right away? She indispensable to learn and be prepared for a propagandize sourroundings during some point, right?

I took some low breaths in my automobile and steady in my head, “It’ll usually be a few days, a severe week maybe. Then it’s going to be great.”

Well, ladies and gents, 4 weeks after and any singular day is accurately a same. And I’m now traffic with a most emotionally challenging, continual parenting jump I’ve ever come across.

How do we confirm what to do, what is right for your child, how to inspire them by a tough time and to learn to trust we and themselves when they positively exclude something that we are positively certain is critical for them: preschool?

Messy bun ✔️Rad sweatshirt ✔️ Cozy chuck ✔️ We are usually murdering #Saturday over here! 😜🙌🏻😎 #HappilyEvaAfter #MarloweMae #ThisIsThree #ToddlerLife #chill

A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Oct 7, 2017 during 7:49am PDT

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And here is a craziest part: Every day, when any one of us picks her up, Marlowe is all smiles — happy, beaming, laughing, revelation me about her day, display me what she finished during propagandize – and afterwards not even an hour later, once home, she refuses to ever go again.

In a morning before school, it takes me an hour of convincing to even get her in a car, and 10 to 20 mins to even get her by a front doorway of a school. My life has turn all about preschool refusal. And according to everybody during a school, including other parents, once we dump her off, she’s fine. Totally fine.

She is literally saving a play for her mama, folks. And it’s burdensome – for all of us, actually.

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I should discuss that there are a few other dynamics going on. we have been spending so most time perplexing to have intense and constructive conversations with Lowie about school, about given she is disturbed about going, how she feels, what could be making her concerned to return. And there were always opposite answers. And some of them seemed some-more fraudulent than others. For example, one day she told us that a small child in her category “hit” her. (There were usually 3 boys in her whole daycare category before, so noisy boys are kind of new to her). This complaint, we accepted — we mean, we wouldn’t be psyched to go behind someplace where a child had strike me.

But afterwards other reasons were some-more confusing: “I don’t like my teachers.” “All of them or usually one?” “All of them.” “Why?” “They contend bad things to me.” “Really? Bad things like what?” (Marlowe looks around a room for a few seconds before her eyes land on one of a pumpkins in a kitchen. She turns to me with vivid eyes.) “They told me, ‘Marlowe, we are a unequivocally bad pumpkin!’ Isn’t that nasty, Mom?!” LOL.

Courtesy Eva Amurri Martino

RELATED: Eva Amurri Martino Responds to Critics After Sharing Her Pain Over Son’s Head Injury

As a parent, we was stranded between a stone and a tough place. Of march we wish my child to be gentle and happy during school, yet as somebody who suffered a lot in propagandize for several reasons, we know that it’s not something that feels ideal overnight. we knew she didn’t have tighten friends nonetheless and that a whole place was unequivocally new to her also. But as somebody who suffered a lot in school, this theme is also generally emotionally installed for me.

I found myself with tears in my eyes as she told me during night that she didn’t wish to go behind there. Every morning was a onslaught for me not to get romantic as we had to leave my panicked child during a door. Her eyes pleading with me, job for me as a doorway sealed behind me.

It has been so tough for me to heed between identifying Marlowe’s feelings about propagandize and what is behind them, and my possess feelings of abandonment, profanation and harm from my possess practice as a child.

I took this pattern of my lady now and we can’t stop looking during it in awe. She looks so big! Of march as her Mom we consider Marlowe is one in a million, yet all that aside we consider my favorite evil of hers is how she stands so clever and superb in her possess truth. She’s been that approach given day one- and we consider it’s what creates me see a destiny lady in her even during this immature age. What a tour it’s going to be for me to declare that path, let me tell ya! 😂😍☺️🙏🏼✨👧🏼 🍂#HappilyEvaAfter #Motherhood #MarloweMae #ThisIsThree #LittleFierceOnes

A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Oct 8, 2017 during 7:15pm PDT

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Obviously, from day two, we started articulate to a teachers. They could clearly see that Marlowe was carrying a tough time any morning, and when Lowie would news an “incident” with a child during school, we would ask them for details. The challenging partial is that these kids are 3 years old. There is physicality going on from time to time, generally on a playground, yet also kids this age (mine included) can infrequently get bumped or brushed adult opposite and contend that they are being hit. There is so most gray area.

How do we figure out either your toddler’s outline of an eventuality is over-dramatic or mark on? If they’re good about it for an hour, does it even matter what a contribution are?

It got to a indicate during a finish of final week where Kyle and we were severely deliberation pulling her out. we usually couldn’t figure out what the right thing to do was: Stick with it and inspire her to get used to this propagandize that her amatory relatives had delicately comparison for her, or take her out and cranky a fingers that she wouldn’t have a accurate same greeting during another school? we stayed adult many nights meditative about it.

Finally, on Friday, Kyle and we called a assembly with her 3 teachers and a conduct of a school. We usually felt like things weren’t adding adult and that we all had to get on a same page to see if we could come adult with some solutions to make Marlowe’s transition a bit easier and faster. We usually didn’t have a ability to quarrel with a 3-year-old any day about something that, during a finish of a day, should be fun and positive!

I can’t trust it was roughly a year ago that we went to a plantation to collect out a anniversary pumpkins…and Major was in my belly! Even yet it’s boiling temps now I’m forgetful about apple cider and uninformed donuts and pumpkins and grain bales and apple pie! Can’t wait to do this again with a family finish this year!!! 🤗🎃🍂🍁🌻🌲🍎 #HappilyEvaAfter #Fall #LetThemBeLittle #HolidayPrep #PumpkinEverything #Throwback

A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Sep 24, 2017 during 9:07am PDT

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We finished adult carrying a unequivocally extraordinary and impossibly useful meeting. They had finished something unequivocally smart, that was film Marlowe that day in a classroom. They showed us videos via a day of her personification with a other kids, laughing, singing and being such a personality in a class. My eyes welled adult as we watched a happy, social, fun-loving child that we know so good ostensible so in her element.

They incited to us and explained their take: They consider that Marlowe is carrying a classical and astonishing box of subdivision anxiety. They told us that they see it occur out of nowhere infrequently with kids, and even median by a year with some kids who had been totally practiced and happy for a initial half of a year.

She unequivocally is feeling uncomfortable, yet given she can’t unequivocally place a feeling that she’s having, she’s transposing it on to lots of varying things when she tries to explain it.

Kyle and we were both there, and they were means to share with us that she recovered most some-more fast when Kyle forsaken her off in a morning than when we did — that presumably Marlowe felt a bit worried about me withdrawal her and not carrying eyes on me for a whole day. we can totally see that – and I’m certain a fact that she knows we work during home with Major in a other room for me to lick or cuddle whenever doesn’t pacify a understanding for her, either!

Courtesy Eva Amurri Martino

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I had a remarkable fulfilment about something else that could be contributing to Marlowe’s subdivision anxiety: The Lion King. A few weeks before Lowie started preschool, we had shown her The Lion King for a initial time. She loves a film (and has watched it many times since) and had never shown any signs of trouble while examination it, yet we remembered that Simba’s father dies in a commencement of a movie. And afterwards doesn’t come back.


I unexpected satisfied how she could have subconsciously hold questions about that storyline in her conduct and that it could be creation a subdivision from me any day a bit harder for her to handle.

Her teachers suggested that we tell her any day on a approach to propagandize accurately what we was going to do before she saw me again after that day — to pronounce her by my itinerary, so to speak. This way, she could suppose what we was substantially doing during that impulse if she had doubts in her mind. we suspicion this was a good idea. To assistance during drop-off, they suggested that Kyle move her to propagandize all this week and do curbside drop-off with her clergyman to equivocate a parent-child doorway-threshold drama.

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A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Sep 7, 2017 during 5:46pm PDT

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We are also going to exercise a daily “journal” for Marlowe, where they write down a minute comment of her day and a games or activities she enjoyed so we can review it with her during night. There would also be a outline of any incidents with other children, so that we would know a tangible contribution about what had occurred. We will write behind a small note from Marlowe in a biography about what her favorite partial of a day was, including any anxieties about a day brazen that she might have.

I desired this idea. This approach we can all be on a same page and have a tools to assistance Marlowe by this.

I’m assured now that this is a proviso that is not usually critical for us to work by with Marlowe, yet crucial. I’m so blissful we are adhering it out instead of caving to a romantic complications of a situation, and enlivening Marlowe to do a same. we consider operative by this and removing Marlowe to a assured place in her daily subdivision with us will give her unequivocally critical collection she can use relocating forward.

So insanely unapproachable of this splendid small light of cave who starts Preschool tomorrow morning. I’m in astonishment of who she is now and we can’t wait to find out who she will become. Counting all my propitious stars that this beautiful, extreme essence chose me to be her mama. ❤️✨👧🏼#HappilyEvaAfter #MomLife #MarloweMae #ImNotCryingIHaveAllergies #Milestones #Preschool (📷: @courtneyannphotography_ )

A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Sep 10, 2017 during 6:52pm PDT

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I’m also vouchsafing myself off a hook. I’m realizing that my childhood is not my daughter’s, that we can’t reanimate myself by any actions we take with her – and that it’s unequivocally time for me to go behind to my possess childhood … with my therapist.

It’s critical for me to concentration on what is going on with Marlowe, in her reality and not couple it so most to my own. we consider that as my kids grow adult and strike milestones that hint tension for myself in my possess history, it will always trigger personal feelings from those times – either good or bad – and we unequivocally wish to rise a collection we need to keep a immediacy of those disastrous emotions in a past. If we let Marlowe’s romantic tour rile adult my own, we will usually be building off of any other’s stress and that won’t be good for anyone.

I had a BEST mother-daughter date with Marlowe this afternoon (more in my InstaStory 🎥) and it reminded me how parsimonious we’ve been from a beginning. It’s so fun now that she’s removing to an age where we can indeed hang out and have a conversation, run errands together, and suffer any other’s company. Time does fly yet it unequivocally does keep removing improved 💖✨👧🏼🎉 #HappilyEvaAfter #MomLife #HonestMotherhood #MarloweMae #Throwback (📷: @lovexlemonade )

A post common by HAPPILY EVA AFTER (@thehappilyeva) on Sep 5, 2017 during 12:55pm PDT

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One of my biggest goals as a mom is to be a post of strength for my children – to decorate them in adore and residence any emotion, yet also to have them be positively certain that we can strengthen them in any situation. Parenthood is so furious in the ability to put a counterpart directly in your face and force we to demeanour during yourself prolonged and hard. What a plea this is, yet also what an refreshing gift.

I wish this post finished with an answer or resolution for any other parents going by something similar, yet all we can contend is I’m operative on it. She is operative on it. We are all in it together. Hang in there! And, obviously, if anybody has some other good tips for school-based subdivision anxiety, greatfully share!