|my first little baby going into kindergarten on the first day!|
That first time you have to part with your baby to let them walk into school without you, is just heart wrenching.
After all those nights of getting up with your baby, all the rocking them to sleep, kissing boo-boos, singing lullabies, answering a million "why?" questions, caring for them when they're sick, and snuggling them all day long, you have to let them go.
Not let them go forever, but just enough to make you realize that it's coming.
That day when the leave the nest for good.
When they don't need mommy (or daddy) all the time.
When they want to be on their own.
And while we're so excited for them, we are scared too. Because all we know is taking care of these little babies God has given us.
So, if this is you, here are a few words of encouragement and some small bits of advice to help you through this emotional time.
First, show your excitement for them more than your fear. They take their cues from you, so if you act sad about it, so will they. It will cause unnecessary anxiety, and this should be a super fun time for them!
Also, help them get prepared. Visit the school they will be attending and let them look around. My advice is to do this *before* the open house. That way, they won't be overwhelmed by all the other people and activities going on there. Also, the library has TONS of books on going to kindergarten. Get some and talk with them about what to expect and all the great stuff they'll be doing. Let them help pick out the school supplies, clothes, back packs etc. This way, they'll feel like they are already starting to be a "big kid".
And on that BIG DAY, make it a BIG DEAL! At our house, we make it a celebration! I put streamers on their doors, they get to have a special breakfast, I put a cute note in their snack, and then we take loads of pictures. And then when they get home, we have a special lunch and then make Back To School Bread (aka: zucchini bread). It really makes them feel special.
Finding something else for you to do will also be important. Especially during those first couple of weeks. So make breakfast dates with friends, plan errands to run, join a gym, or start a home project. Whatever it is, it's a way to get your mind on something else besides your little ones while they're in school.
OR, if you have other children at home, make sure and help them adjust, too, by spending some alone time with them. You can take them to a new park, find a new playgroup, or get them involved in an activity/lessons that they will enjoy but perhaps didn't have time for before.
Be sure that you talk with your new kindergartner a lot during those first weeks. Find out if they have made new friends. Ask about the teacher. Find out if there is anything that makes them nervous about the new changes and talk about them. Also remember that this huge change in their schedule will probably cause them to be pretty tired and they may be a little more cranky than usual. Try to be understanding and gentle with them, remembering that this is a big adjustment for all of you!
Another quick tip is to not schedule a lot of extras during those first weeks. I know we try to pack a lot in to those last few weeks of warm summertime weather, but kids really just need to rest and get accustomed to the new routine.
And finally, don't forget to remind them that no matter how big they are, they are still your baby. They always will be.