The bustle and excitement of a new school year is upon us. Fresh haircuts, new backpacks, sharp pencils, reuniting with friends. It’s glorious, isn’t it?
But what happens when it’s not?
My youngest just started kindergarten this year. The first week of school she merrily skipped into class, a huge smile beaming on her face. Then came the weekend and the next week of school and that dreaded question…….. “I have to go back?”
That smile is replaced by a quivering lip.
The excitement in her eyes now tears.
Those happy feet are dug into the pavement.
Many of my friends have been voicing that they are having similar experiences. The beginning of school is not wonderful for us; it has been SO HARD! Even more heartbreaking when you see so many other children go to school so easy, a challenge some first-time moms didn’t expect.
So, what do we do when our expectations of how the beginning of school will go get thrown to the wind along with the loud cries of our child?
LOVE THEM FIERCELY IN THIS SEASON
I’ve been through enough difficult seasons now to know you can’t always fix the problem. There are times we simply must give unconditional love and make sure our child knows we are always there for them.
- Sneak a little note of encouragement in their lunch bag.
- Hold their hand extra tight all the way to the classroom
- Give them a special bracelet or necklace to wear to remind them we are close.
- Stamp or draw a heart on their hand.
- Look them in the eyes and tell them how brave they are.
COMMUNICATE WITH THE TEACHER
It has been a few years since I have taught, but I can personally say the children whose parents kept me informed about how their child was feeling conquered that struggle more quickly.
- Make a plan with the teacher.
- As hard as it is, be consistent.
- Leave your emotions at home.
- Let your child see you trust the teacher to care for them.
DON’T BE ABOVE BRIBERY
Let’s be honest, we all work harder with a goal or reward in sight. It doesn’t have to be something huge, but find something your child can look forward to.
- Plan a date night on Friday to celebrate your child making it through another week at school.
- Set up a playdate at the end of the week.
- Offer a dollar store prize.
- A cake pop works wonders for my child.
ABOVE ALL KNOW…….
- You are not alone.
- Your child will make it through this.
- One day you will find yourself sharing this experience with another mom and realize just how much you both have grown.
What about you? Do you have any tips? Leave a word of encouragement to another mom if you have survived and conquered this season.
And if you see one of us moms prying a crying child off our legs, give us a warm smile and let us know you are cheering us BOTH on!