I bet when you saw this article, you thought it’d be tips to help your child prepare for kindergarten. It’s actually for you — the moms and dads getting ready for this huge transition. It seems like just yesterday this fantastic little being was born. You promised to love and protect him forever and now he’s growing up, off to brace the cold, cruel world.
Well, that’s how I feel.
My oldest son, Kaimalu Joseph Kind Pomroy, started kindergarten last week. I can’t believe how fast five years have flown by and even more so how ready he is to grow up. I keep saying “stop growing up so fast my baby,” and he laughs and hugs me. I know he has to grow up and it’s good for him, but I wish I could pause time so I can hold him just a bit longer.
But he’s excited; asking me daily how long until he goes to kindergarten. His preschool prepped him well. They even had a huge graduation to properly send him and his dozens of friends off into the next chapter of their lives. We also prepped at home. We read books nightly about kindergarten and talked about what he’ll experience.
But where was the preparation for us moms and dads?! Here are some tips to get you through the transition:
Get excited. It may have come faster than you expected, but you knew this day would come. Now you just have to support him through this transition. Get excited for him. Hug him, kiss him, and wish him well. Tell him to have fun and say good bye. The first day is sometimes harder on us than our kids, so stay strong. Save the crying for after he’s tucked away in class. Try leaving your child daily love notes in his backpack or lunch. It will help you let go and remind him how much he’s loved.
Cry, scream, or call a friend. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay. We tell our kids to express their emotions, but we don’t allow ourselves the same. Let it out. Talk to a partner, friend, or parent. Work through your emotions so you can share your child’s excitement.
Make new friends. Meet teachers and other families, this will be your family for at least the next year. Visit the school in advance and talk to the office staff, who often know everything about the school. Confidence in the school, environment, and people you meet will ease the transition. Once your child is in school, get involved. You’ll stay connected with him during his day and build a network for you both.
Listen carefully. Your child will be in a new world, learning new and exciting things. They’ll be learning much faster and the homework will be more complicated. Put away your phone and spend some time together. Ask how his day was. Help with his homework. Engage and really listen to his teacher to help him succeed.
Reach out. Get help when you need it. Talk to family and friends going this transition and learn from their experiences. Great support will help you encourage your baby to step onto a new campus.
Got other tips? Share them with us below.