Fans Console HGTV Host Over Struggles With Daughter: ‘Been Crying All Week’

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“Married to Real Estate” host Egypt Sherrod has turned to her fans for advice and comfort after an agonizing first week of preschool dropoffs for her daughter, three-year-old daughter Harper, whom she shares with her HGTV co-host and husband Mike Jackson. In an emotional video from her car, the usually calm and collected Sherrod said she’s “been crying all week” and needed some guidance from fellow parents.

Egypt Sherrod Shares Vulnerable Video About Preschool Dropoffs

Beneath an Instagram video she posted on October 6, 2022, Sherrod wrote that she was having a “hard mommy moment” and added, “Mommies of Instagram I need your advice.”

“Good morning babies, I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I wish I could say I was,” Sherrod started her video, her voice filled with emotion. “I was supposed to be headed over to meet Mike at one of the renovations, and I get a call that Harper is not doing well.”

Sherrod continued, “You know, this week she started school for the first time and every day, every morning, that one of us has dropped her off, it has been theatrics. But today, I could tell…she basically held on to our leg, you know, as we were dropping her off at school.”

“I wasn’t sure if she was ready,” Sherrod said of sending Harper to preschool. “But I was feeling like she should be ready. She’s three and a half, and I was thinking she needs socialization because of the pandemic. She’s only been with us and family, you know, and aunties etcetera.”

Sherrod and Jackson welcomed Harper Skye on February 19, 2019. They also have a 10-year-old daughter, Kendall, and Jackson’s daughter from another relationship, Simone, 20. In her video, Sherrod said she doesn’t remember the transition to school being so hard for their other girls.

“So, at what point do you know that your kid is really ready for school?” she asked her Instagram followers. “Because I’m serious, I’ve been crying all week, feeling horrible because that little face every time we walk out it’s like, ‘You’re abandoning me!’ You know what I mean?”

Sherrod also laughed while revealing Harper “is like a little old lady” at school, clutching her “pocketbook” and not letting anyone touch her or her purse. But the successful real estate broker quickly returned to worrying about her little girl.

“It just feels horrible right now and I’m wondering if I should I should take her out, start fresh when she’s a little older,” she said. “Mike says no, he says that’s going to be worse. Help!”

Fans & Friends Flood Egypt Sherrod’s Post With Advice for School Transition

Lots of parents and some educators who follow Sherrod on Instagram stepped in with words of encouragement and advice.

DJ Spinderella, best known from the 80s group Salt n Pepa, wrote, “Awww I’m feeling for you. Maybe let her have a few play dates with a few kids at a time? Seems like she has to grow into it.”

In a comment that Sherrod and dozens of others “liked,” a man who said he’s an early childhood educator wrote, “What we’ve told families is to transition kids in slowly. Start with half days and then gradually get her in for longer days…ease her way in. Send her with some comfort items she can go to (a family photo, blanket) when she’s sad. Her sense of time isn’t as developed so she might need visual cues to reassure her when she’ll see you again. (After you eat lunch, after you take a nap, etc.) Itll take time, kiddos starting school need consistency and predictability to feel safe in a new place. Have a set routine with her at dropoff too :)”

“My heart goes out to you as a mommy,” wrote someone who said she’s been a preschool educator for 30 years. She added, “The ‘pandemic babies’ are having a harder time with this transition. Mike is right, taking her out typically delays the anxiety so that might not work well.”

Early childhood advocacy organization Zero to Three offers many tips for parents navigating the transition to preschool, especially for little ones who missed out on early socialization due to the pandemic.

The experts there say one common occurrence is a shift in a child’s behavior as they’re dealing with the grief and frustration of such a big change, from temper tantrums to growing withdrawn. Zero to Three says, “The changes may lead to moodiness, increased clinginess, need for attention and reassurance, sleep difficulties, and social withdrawal. Changes might also cause developmental regression such as “baby talk,” or toileting accidents.”

The nonprofit’s website says those are all normal responses that can be addressed “by providing predictability, comfort, reassurance, and meeting the child’s need with love, understanding, and nurturance.”