Julie K. Nelson

Bio: I am a wife and mother of 5 children, with only one left at home to spoil. I write, speak, teach at Utah Valley University, cook, travel, and can sometimes be found folding laundry. My newest book "Keep It Real and Grab a Plunger: 25 tips for surviving parenthood" will be released March 2015 and my first book, "Parenting With Spiritual Power" can be found at local bookstores and online book sellers.

View complete profile



  1. Hi there,
    I am looking for some guidance as to wether my daughter is emotionally ready for pre k 4 ? She had developed a “tic” in her throat and has had 2 night terrors since we started school. She says she wants to go but cries and is not separating well. The teacher says she is academically ready yet all the signs? Everyone is telling me it’s just a transition but I’m worried about long term scarring ! I would love your insight??? Thank you!
    Gretchen Jean

    1. How many days a week does she go? Is she younger in age than the others? Children can be academically ready but need more time to emotionally and socially mature. If she is going 3 or more times a week, that might be too much right now for her to handle. Does she have a hard time separating from you and making adjustments in other situations (babysitters?). All these questions might help point you in the right direction. If she continues doing poorly, I would consider trying 2 days a week if she is going more often than that right now, or dropping out of her pre-K class and trying a one-day-a-week class in another setting. Is there a community class for parents and their child where you could observe her nearby, she would know you were there but she would have a chance to interact with other preschoolers and a teacher? If she doesn’t have play dates at another friend’s house very often, that is a MUST for socialization. If she is younger in age, I would suggest giving her more time. When she says she wants to go, ask her why. What does she like about school? Then ask if there is something she doesn’t like about school. Have a few discussions about this at different times. Try to see what is going on in her mind. Is it school or just the separation from you? If it’s just the separation and she hasn’t been apart from you before, you might want to do what I suggested above (wean her off) or try giving her something tangible that reminds her of you to hold during school (a photo, perfume on her arm, a blanket, a lipstick kiss–from “The Kissing Hand” book). If she likes school and you need to work on separation, be sure you make the drop off short and sweet. Be sure you are not nervous or anxious yourself or she will feel your emotion. Be confident she will have a GREAT day and drop her off quickly. Then ask her teacher if she makes the adjustment each day (stops crying after 5 min. or so). If your daughter says it’s school that is the problem, that there are things about it that are overwhelming her or causing anxiety, I think it would be wise to either address those issues or drop out. I hope these ideas give you some help. Remember that you are the one that makes the best decision for you daughter, not teachers or friends. You are doing the right thing by considering the whole child and long-term effects. Not that we can remove difficult times in their lives, but we can prepare them better to deal with them by addressing emotional issues now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s