When our child was a bit older than two, I left him with a new teacher at kindergarden.
As soon as he was in her arms, he started to scream. So I waited a while with him until he was calm again, and turned to leave. Outside, I heard him through the door, crying incessantly, loudly, so I returned.
I saw the fear in his eyes, and decided to change my schedule and take him home again.
Children have a keen ability to discern safety and trust. They sense intent in a person, and notice the subtleties of incongruous body language.
They trust without question their instinct on who they wish to spend time with, and who they want to stay clear of.
As a parent it’s hard to know when to allow their discernment to guide our actions. Often we can’t, and it pains us to leave them. Othertimes they need our patient guidance to feel welcome in new contexts.
But whenever we can give credence to their perceptions, we strengthen their ability to follow their hearts.
We later found out that other children had similar reactions to the teacher, who eventually was asked to leave her position.