Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Kindergarten readiness: not just for kids!

My daughter will be starting kindergarten in a few short weeks. Where in the world did the time go? It may sound trite to say but it really does seem like yesterday when we brought our little one home from the hospital. For the last five years my husband and I, along with the wonderful early childhood professionals to whom we have entrusted her care, have been preparing Maddy for this very time. I feel confident she is ready cognitively, socially and emotionally. We regularly talk about starting school and, per her request, we drive past the school at least once or twice a week so that she can see the building.

Your child is ready for kindergarten. Are you? How you can stay involved, but let your children grow.

She’s ready, but I’m not! Maddy’s preparation for the big day has been easy compared to mine. It seems like the end of something rather than the beginning, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. What has helped me is to remember that her first day of school is about her and not about me. I might never be ready for my little girl to go off into the world, but she is ready. This is her moment and I want to make it as exciting and wonderful as possible.

In other words, just like there’s no crying in baseball, there’s no crying in kindergarten (at least not by the adults!) My words of encouragement to myself and to all of the other parents facing this milestone are to be strong and be involved. Welcome your child’s first day of school as a new adventure that you will take hand in hand with your child. Begin by introducing yourself to your child’s teacher on the first day and continue by involving yourself each day after in what your child is learning and experiencing. Most children are ready for the transition to kindergarten. Be encouraging and enthusiastic about their new experience. Your child will follow your lead and who knows, you might even discover you are ready for kindergarten after all.

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