Whether you loaded your first kindergartener on to the bus for the first time or you dropped off your baby at the big elementary school and watched his little backpack scurry away gleefully to his new big classroom, kindergarten is a big change for kids. What nobody ever talks about is that it's a big change for parents too. As a new kindergarten mama, I am here to share my experiences with you, so that you, future kindergarten mamas, daddies, grandparents, people who raise babies of all types, may pat yourselves on the back (and maybe cry a little) as you make the first major step in your child's educational career.
1. Your house will be quiet. At first you will revel in peace. Then it might get a little eerie. You know how your house might be quiet when kids are home and asleep, but you never stop listening for them? YOU WILL STILL BE LISTENING FOR THEM. But they aren't there. You might panic. It's going to be ok. Head outdoors, walk target by yourself, learn to enjoy the quiet...it only lasts 7 hours!
2. Your kid will probably love her teacher. You might be jealous. The person who now spends the majority of your child's waking hours with them is their teacher. You're going to worry. Will she know that your kiddo loves to draw Pokemon? Will she hug her when she falls of the swings? Will she be warm and bubble or a drill sergeant? (she'll be warm and bubbly.) Take a deep breath and trust that this teacher teaches because she really cares about kids and almost certainly wants to invest everything she has into setting your kid up for school success. Also, this lovely person will never steal your role. It is healthy for kids to have many positive adult influences in their life, but you will always be #1.
3. You will probably ask your kid 1000 questions about their day. Your kid might even get tired of answering all your questions about who they sat next to at lunch or if they liked their Chicken Chalupas or if they drank chocolate milk. Try to let them tell you about their day without actually interrogating them. Put the spotlight down and let them share what they want to share and just listen to them. Maybe a problem came up in their day, ask how they chose to solve it. Don't rag on them or make them afraid to share with you. They want to tell you everything, see number 3.
Kindergarten is a time for your child to have the opportunity to walk a new path, for them to experience a very safe level of independence. It is a time of transition and adjustment and learning real world skills. If it is your first time sending a child to kindergarten, this is a new path for you, too. Try to embrace it. You've got this!