My 4 year old nephew had his first day at public school the other day. In the weeks leading up to his first day, his parents said his mood changed from excitement to hesitation as the days drew nearer. Going to full day kindergarten is a big transition for any kid, and with my nephew being somewhat reserved at times, I was worried that he would have anxiety about attending. You see, I’m a worry-wart. I think about things that I just shouldn’t spend time thinking about.
“What if some of the kids are mean to him?”
“What if he has an accident because he’s too nervous to speak up about going to use the washroom?”
“Will he like his teachers?”
Then I thought, if I feel like this as his aunt, how the heck does his mother feel? She uses humor to express her emotions and laughed about how “he will be someone else’s worry for a few hours a day.” With having an 8 month old to look after she joked about having a break from my oldest nephew. But I know that she’s struggling with letting him go and wondering some of the same things I am. How could she not?
On the first day of full day kindergarten my nephew was excited, and all of his questions and potential fears of going to school faded as soon as he met some of his classmates. I needed to remember that he’s not the only 4 year old entering the big world of public school (and of germs and lice…eek!) Many parents had to bid adieu to the fact that their child was no longer confined to the family ‘bubble’. Their teachers, classmates and even parents of their classmates will have an effect on them. They will learn new things along with bad habits and manners. They will become more independent. They will stumble, but they will also climb.
I read an article the other day from Huffington Post that was written by a Mom of a kid going to Kindergarten for the first time. She wrote about the transition of being pregnant to caring for a newborn, then a toddler and now for a child that is entering the education system. She asked, “How did we get here?” and I have wondered that this summer as I watched my nephew play. How is he old enough to be going to school? How did he get so big so fast? I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. So much has changed in my life since that wonderful day, but it sure doesn’t feel like 4 years ago.
Did you have a child that started full day kindergarten this year? How did you feel about this transition?
About the Author:
Diane Morris is a PANK; Professional Aunt, No Kids and works for Mabel’s Labels as the Sales Coordinator. She’s an Aunt to two boys, and an “Auntie” to her boyfriend’s niece and nephew. She’s a sucker for romance, country music and peanut butter.