Written by: Kristen Oliver
Our oldest son, Landon, is starting Kindergarten in 3 days and Lucas will be going into Preschool. How has the time gone from having my first baby to sending him off to Kindergarten in 3 days?! One of the things I hated hearing as a new mom was, “Cherish the time you have, it goes by so fast.” It’s not like I didn’t know that time would pass quickly, it’s that I didn’t want to be reminded of that constantly. I like to be in the moment. Present in the everyday situations. So now that I have a Kindergartener and a preschooler you know what I am telling my new mommy friends?? “Cherish this time you have, it goes by so fast.” Yep. That’s me. I’m that mom.
Although I feel like time went too fast and I shouldn’t have a Kindergartner yet, I’m not avoiding it. My husband, Mike and I have been trying to prepare him for this milestone over the summer. I know Landon is more than ready, I believe in him and his abilities as a student, and I know Mike does as well. But I don’t know that Landon believes he is ready, I don’t know if he believes in himself. Over the summer when we have been talking about going into Kindergarten I would ask him how he feels, and he says he’s “a little excited,” that’s my reserved boy for you. Actually a few weeks ago Landon said to me, “Mom I am about to start Kindergarten and I haven’t even started ABCmouse.com.” This tells me 2 things. One is that he was watching too much TV because we’ve never talked about ABCmouse.com before (parenting win!). Secondly, he feels like he needs to prepare himself for Kindergarten. All Lucas needs on the other hand is a PJ Masks backpack, lunch box, and blanket and he feels ready and excited! In case you are wondering, Yes, he started ABCmouse.com that day!
So, as we are entering a new school year I started thinking about ways we can prepare our children to start school, maybe it’s for the first time, or maybe they are seasoned students. I believe no matter what age they are, or how long they have been at their school, they need help from mom and dad. So, what can we do??
- Pray for them
Before school starts, talk with your son/daughter about how they are feeling about the first day of school. Then lift their thoughts/concerns to God in prayer. This will help them to know how to handle their anxious thoughts or concerns about the upcoming school year and it communicates that you care enough about them to pray for them specifically.
- Tell them what to expect
With Landon, we showed him the car circle route, showed him how to get to class, reassured him that there will be teachers and patrols to help him. We allowed him time to see his classroom, talk to his teacher and see where his cubby is. Although these may seem like normal things to do with your child, it means the world to them. Allowing them time to process and anticipate what will happen, allows for a smooth transition from the freedom of summer break to the structure of school again.
- Continually encourage them
Communicate positively about your child. Our children absorb what we say about them. Send your child to school with a sense of confidence about themselves. We can do this by reminding our kids how proud we are of them, how we believe in them, how we can’t wait to hear what they did in school.
- Get an early start
This is not exactly my favorite part but… wake up on time! This means, allowing time for a sit -down breakfast, time to talk to your kid(s) and time to get in those final words of wisdom and prayer. There will be plenty of days to rush out the door for school, but I promise you, if you allow for time to do these things it will do wonders for their first day.
- Let Go
Eventually our kids have to grow up to be a contributing part of society, it starts with getting an education. As much as you may want to hang around the first day, follow them around with a camera and never leave…. We have to. Mike has been reminding me that he will have the tissues ready the first day of school. I know I will need them because I am not good at this part! It is such a catch 22 for me, as much as I desire to keep them home with me 24/7 they also drive me crazy!!
The first day of school for us is in 3 days. If you happen to see me on the first day, I can guarantee I will have tunnel vision, so if your name isn’t Landon or Lucas I probably won’t see you. I will have a tissue box and a Venti caffeinated beverage, praying I can hold it together like the rest of the parents who have come before me with their kindergartners and preschool babies. My heart goes out to all of you parents, teachers and kids. It’s the start of something new, let’s make it great!
That is all I have. I really didn’t think too long on this, you probably can think of 5 more ideas to add, or maybe 5 better ones. Nevertheless, the goal of this post is to remind us as parents that we play a very important role in our kids’ lives and to never take it for granted. Here is to the start of another school year! Let’s remember to pray for our kids, communicate with them, encourage them, try our best to get an early start on the first day and then let them go.
Thanks for reading, share with any parent that you think could use some encouragement today.
Love you all and appreciate your continued support! So long summer 2018, you were filled with change, excitement and love.