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2-year-old unresponsive to school setting


My 2-year-old started going to a Montessori school and adjusted very well at first.  But with time, she has not shown the development that her classmates have demonstrated. In fact, it seems that she has regressed. She can sing her assigned poems at home, but in school she just cries and clings to me. I want to be a better mother and teacher at home. How can I help her be more social and responsive at school?



We have a few questions for you to consider. Is your daughter the same age as the other children in her class? How many children are in the class? Are other parents involved in the class? Does your daughter have separation issues? Does she respond in a tearful or shy manner in other social situations?

As parents, we often compare our children to others. But each child develops at a different rate, so please try not to compare her to her peers. It may be that at age 2, she is not ready for a classroom setting. This does not mean that she will never be ready.  

How your daughter responds ​to certain social situations is not an indicator that you need to be a better parent. You obviously are a good mother who is involved in your daughter’s learning and development. She is responding to you at home, which shows that she is learning the material. She just may not feel comfortable at this time in this type of classroom environment.

Talk to her teacher. He or she has most likely had similar situations occur in the past and may have some suggestions for you. You may also seek recommendations from your daughter’s pediatrician. Another possible option is to continue the Montessori curriculum at home or with a smaller group of children with which your daughter would feel more comfortable participating.  

If this is not possible, consider other types of activities in which to involve your daughter, such as story time at the library, music classes and play groups. These types of activities afford your daughter the chance to interact with other children in perhaps a less stressful way for her.