Surviving the first day of Kindergarten can be hard for both kids and Moms! I know many Moms who are getting ready to send their “babies” off to Kindergarten, and how frightening and daunting that can be! Hopefully, this survival guide will give you some inspirational tips on how to make the transition from home-to-Kindergarten an easy one!
Now, I know there are moms out there who have survived and conquered the first day blues. For me, writing this blog post is sort of calming my emotions. Going into the “unknown” is very terrifying, exciting, and hard. Sure, I’ve done my share of dropping my little one off at Mother’s Day Out and Preschool, but this is just different. I wrote this post after sending my own little boy off to Kindergarten.
I’m a researcher. I’ve read lots of articles, asked for advice, and have journaled through my emotions. So, because I know there are many of you out there in my shoes, I’m writing this for you. The mom. The emotional mom just like me. (I can shed some tears, y’all!) So, let’s get started with this “Survival Guide”!
Surviving the First Day Of Kindergarten
- Control Your Emotions:
Easier said than done, right? I know all too well. My husband even joked, “I don’t know who I’m more worried about, you or him.” As much as we want to get emotional and cry because we are leaving our babies behind in a new class at a new school with a teacher we really don’t know, we just can’t. We have to control our tears (until the car, at least!) It’s fine to recognize our emotions, and it’s even ok to let yourself cry through it once you get to the parking lot. What we don’t want to do is project our sadness and anxiety onto our children. We want them to be excited, not scared, and if they see us worrying, they will too.
- Less Talking, More Listening:
We can tell our kids all day long that Kindergarten will be fun, Kindergarten will be cool, Kindergarten will be “this, this, and this”. However, none of that is going to matter to the child if we haven’t taken the time to really listen to them about their worries or concerns. Ask your child how they feel. Ask them if they are nervous or worried, and if so, ask them about what. Children fear the unknown too. And for some kids, just saying goodbye to Mommy and Daddy is hard enough. On the flip side of the coin, make sure you set aside 10-15 each afternoon to really talk to your kids about their day. Let them know that you will be setting this time aside for them each day, specifically for them to talk to you. If you are a stay-at-home mom, do it right when you pick them up or when they get off the bus. If you are a working mom, try to take a break at work to call your child (if you can) and have a short convo about their day. Otherwise, do it when you get home from work. Whenever the time is right, it’s important to make sure to listen to your child, every single day. This will build their confidence, trust, and relationship with you. It will also remind them that you are never too busy to listen.
- Get Involved:
Another way to curb your separation anxiety is to take an active role in your child’s classroom. This takes the relationship to a whole new level. It’s easier to talk to your child about their friends, teacher, and classroom when you’ve witnessed it firsthand and have become familiar with your child’s day. When we drop our kids off in the morning and have them home with us in the evening without really “seeing” their day, the relationship can feel transparent. Helping in the Kindergarten class can make us feel like we are contributing to the education of our children. So, go ahead, sign up to be the leader for the Fall Festival or Valentine’s party! And who knows, you may get a new “mom-friend” out the deal!
- Take Time For Yourself:
Yes, it’s important that while your heart may hurt everyday as you leave your Kindergartener behind, that you remember to make the best of your time. Whether your child has 1/2 day or full day, it’s important to treat yourself to some “alone” time. You can meet other moms for breakfast, spend an hour shopping for yourself, or just catching up on reading emails. Remind yourself all of those things about yourself that you may have lost after you had kids. Take a painting class. Read a book. Ride a bike. Whatever it is, enjoy the peace and quiet until they come home.
Just for fun I asked some of my Mommy friends who have already experienced the Kindergarten Blues to share with me some advice they have for me and other moms who will be sending their little ones to Kindergarten soon:
Amie says: “Deep breaths. Let their personality shine and remember, this is their first day. Not yours.”
Ash says, “As much as you want to DON’T stalk the school… you know hangout in the parking lot with binoculars trying to see your kid through the window. They will call the cops.”
Chrissy says: “We read the book The Kissing Hand the night before school. In the morning before school I put a heart on their hand to remind them that I am always with them!”
Dinah says: “Have them help you pack lunch bag and backpack. They will know where everything is and there isn’t a need to dump it in the middle of floor hunting for what they need.”
Emily says: “Meet your mom friends for brunch and drinks after you drop them off.”
I hope this helps you all get through the First Day of Kindergarten as much as it’s helped me! Good Luck to all you Mommies out there!
Check out our list for some great BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOKS to read with your child!