As we prepare to head back next week, we held our Open House to give new sprouts and their parents an opportunity to come in, meet us, see the room, and just calm some of the pre-school jitters. While I simply love meeting the new kids, the parents always make me smile. I’m not a black or white person… I prefer to view shades of grey, but in my experience, kindergarten parents come squarely in two categories.
First (or only) child entering school – These are the nervous, anxious, sometimes crying moms. I’ve yet to see a crying dad, but they’re usually on edge too. They just hide it better. The impact of their baby entering school is usually hitting them right about now and while little Jane is skipping around the room meeting new friends and quite simply over the moon about kindergarten, mom and dad aren’t quite so sure.
These parents need a little extra TLC from me. I let them know how much fun we’ll be having and how much their child will grow and learn over the year. I assure them I will take good care of their treasure and, oh yes, I will be sending them a daily email letting them know everything we do each day. They like this, but they still aren’t convinced kindergarten will be a thrill.
Not the first child entering school – There is a direct correlation between the parent’s level of Zen and the number of children they’ve had in school already. Second child? Mild calmness. Third? Sea breezes and a cool drink. After that, they border on comatose… in a good way. Last year I had a little girl who was the fourth (and last) to enter school. Her mom was a model of tranquility from day one. She knew the drill and would not be shaken.
This is why, after introducing myself to a child and family, the next question I always ask is, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” I want to know if they are a first or not. Either way, I’m there to guide mom and dad through the transition and help them realize what I know in my heart… There is nothing quite like kindergarten.