Breaking news  – just in!

Alarm clocks went off between 0500am and 0630am across Sydney in the last few weeks with kids being able to dress themselves in unprecedented record times.  The event reportedly gave hope to millions of new kindergarten parents that maturity had finally spawned within their little ones such that they may actually begin dressing themselves each day. A cataclysmic event soon unfolded where old habits quickly resurfaced and parents were forced to nag their kids out of bed, to get dressed and not spit toothpaste on their recently washed uniforms.

As we near the end of the first month of Kindergarten (depending on when your little one started school) the dynamics of a household that was just a short time ago may be starting to change. For others – things are reportedly still looking up. Whatever your experience, one common theme many parents still share is how are they, themselves, are going to adjust to all of this change. And I say this in the context of the need to cope with the fact that their little one is, for the most part during day, now going to have to fend for themselves.

I’m sure you can relate… you walk them in, drop their bags and at some stage you know you have to walk away and let them settle in to the playground by themselves. Walking away you find a spot to setup momentary camp, to hide and peek from afar to make sure they are still OK, playing and socialising, not being approached unnecessarily by the “bigger kids”. You know, that they’re just OK. Then you turn, hold your breathe and walk away, counting down the hours until you pick them up.

I spent time wondering why some parents manage this easier while others not so much…

Children are quite emotionally resilient. For the most part because they are naive. The odd emotional challenge only adds to the development of their character, rather than to its detriment. So we can be rest assured, they will actually survive Kindergarten, and school in general for that matter.

So where then does the fear come from?

Ourselves. 

We fear they wont be able to handle it. And I’m sure some parents fear they wont be able to handle having to handle it, if that makes sense. Fact of the matter is, apart from the obvious (or not so obvious), we have no choice but to manage as parents.

Now putting all that aside, I think it’s important to still recognise that a little TLC will go along way when it comes to supporting our children through what is for the most part, a massive change in their previous 4 – 5 year routine. My son sits in this pool. He too, like yours, has not long ago started kindergarten so my experience level in this is an opinion at the very least, but none-the-less worth exploring.

Embrace VS Flexibility

The direction we have taken, since the day our son was born, was to celebrate, encourage and make a big fuss about all the strengths he displays and explores. If he shows an interest in something, we facilitate his exploration into the topic or activity. If he shows talent in an activity or task, we praise and encourage it further. The words “I can’t” are quickly redirected into “I can”. We aim to have him overdevelop his confidence within the limits of humility – my view is if you’re self-esteem is large enough then other people’s doubts and concerns are less significant.

In the early days of kindergarten their brains will be tired, swamped by all the new facts and lessons they are learning. If we intend on overcompensating in the area of self-esteem and instilling confidence, we need to make room for these. Rather than overload them, one option is flexibility. If you normally find yourself nagging your child about the small stuff, hold back a little and replace it with the praise for what is otherwise good. And overcompensate in that area.

A little goes a long way. When done often.

So as we move into the year, walking new paths, I too join you on the journey and wish your family well, hoping your little ones find joy in exploring their strengths and abilities. As you will yours.

Ivan.

Did you enjoy this post? If you know a Kindergarten or school parent that may also enjoy this, it would mean a lot if you shared it with them. Thank you. 

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