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Kindergarten and Kleenex... Don't Judge Me

Updated: May 6, 2022

Ok, ok! So I know it's been a while since I've posted. I think it's safe to say that a weekly blog (or monthly for that matter) is not going to be my "thing." I'll just commit to simply reaching out when I have something that really moves me to share -- and today, I wanna share. In the spirit of all the back-to-school excitement, I want to share my 2 tips for making the transition to kindergarten easier -- for your child, that is. I have no tips for calming emo moms other than bring plenty of tissue and try not to cry in front of your child. LOL!

My first-born just started kindergarten last week, and while most veteran moms are celebrating back-to-school like they just won the lottery, I had a slightly different experience. Let's just say that her teacher (after only meeting me once), politely requested that I leave the building immediately after the morning bell and not linger. I don't know what gave her the impression that I would linger. Anywho, I have been holding secret sobbing sessions over the transition from "mama's baby girl" to "mama's big girl," #NoShame and the morning drop-offs are the hardest. You know it's bad when your co-workers start taking bets on whether you cry or not on your way to work. Whatever!

Watching my baby girl walk into that building without 1 single look back at mommy tells me that while her father and I have done a great job of preparing her for independence, it may not always be so easy to watch in action. Also, I'd like to add that it didn't help that she also graduated from car seat to booster seat AND lost her first tooth all in the same week!!!! WHAT IS GOING ON?!?! Is the room spinning, or is it just me? I need water... or Moscato, stat!

Seriously though, it gets a little easier each day and luckily for me my daughter's teacher is a wonderful person and a great teacher. I can see that already. She's also a great communicator who keeps parents informed throughout the day with emails and pictures, reassuring us that our children are not only well cared for, but having loads of fun along the way. So, if there's a real tip I can give to emo moms like myself, it's to make sure your child has a great teacher to help ease this wonderful and emotional time.


So needless to say, the transition to kindergarten has been a lot easier for my daughter, and that has a lot to do with (Tip1:) how much her parents, her old preschool, and her grandmothers celebrated, encouraged, and properly prepared her to take on kindergarten like a champ. (Tip 2:) We also made her feel part of the process and removed fear by surrounding her with books like Breathe with Me: Using Breath to Feel Strong, Calm, and Happy (Mariam Gates), and animation like Chip and Potato (Netflix) and Toy Story 4 (Disney) to help her understand what to expect and how to cope. However, her absolute fav is the book, On the First Day of Kindergarten (Tish Rabe for HaperCollins). We read this book so many time that she memorized it and started reading it to her younger brother. This rhythmic book with it's engaging adaptation of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is perfect for nervous and excited kids entering kindergarten. It convinces children that there is no place cooler than a kindergarten classroom.

On the first day of kindergarten, there’s so much to do! From making new friends to jumping rope in gym to riding the bus to school, there are lots of exciting firsts to look forward to. However, please keep in mind that every child is different, and sometimes the only thing that helps ease the transition for kids is TIME. Nonetheless, here's to milkshakes and milestones! I wish you and your "big girl" or "big boy" the best school year.



Lori Nelson Lee


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