Tips for a mom worried about sending off my kindergartener?
I'm sending my 5 yr old to Kindergarten in 2 weeks and I'm so nervous a/b it. I keep thinking the worst like, he'll get on wrong bus at school or he'll get lost at school and wander off somewhere. He's 5 and we have never been apart for more than a few hours. Any tips for first time overprotective moms???
My oldest son started kindergarten last year so I can completely relate to your anxiety. And from what I saw in all the other teary and clingy moms in my son's classroom on the first day (including me!), you're concerns are completely normal!
I was worried about all the same kinds of things you are. I worried that if he needed help with his pants after the bathroom (which he sometimes still did) that no one would do it. I was worried he wouldn't be able to open the containers in his lunch box. I was worried that he'd need help on the playground. I was worried about everything! It turned out everything was fine. For one thing, kindergarten teachers are masters at helping their 20+ little guys with all their needs while also pushing them a little every day to become more independent. Learning to do things on his own is going to be really good for your son (he'll come home SO proud every day) and it's going to make your life a lot easier too.
So it sounds lame but my advice is just to try to relax. Have confidence in everything you've taught your son so far. Have confidence in your son's school. And most of all have confidence in your son.
If you're going to "do" anything to get ready, I'd try to focus on doing things that build up excitement about school. We started the tradition in our house that the night before the first day of school we start a new Harry Potter book. So the night before kindergarten we started the first one and this year on the night before first grade we'll start the second one. We made a big deal out of it saying "well, you're a really big boy now, you're ready to hear these awesome books!". You could also go visit the school and spend some time playing on the playground and talk about how cool it is that he has such a fun playground at his school. You can read The Kissing Hand (a book about a momma racoon who puts a kiss in her son's hand when she's apart from him so he has it all day) and then on the first morning of school you could draw a heart in his hand so he'll have it all day. Give him a chance to talk about his own nerves if he WANTS to, but mostly just do what you can to help him get really really excited!
Have a great year and please let us know how the first day goes (for him and for YOU!)
If your 5 year old is anxious, I would suggest reading "Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows: Helping Children Adjust to Change" with your child.The story centers on Harry,a caterpillar that has a fantastic life full of games, friends, school and leaf eating. He is stunned when, one day at caterpillar school, he learns that he is expected to build a chrysalis and become a butterfly. Harry vows to remain a caterpillar forever, as his friends build their chrysalises and move on. Eventually, Harry learns to accept change as a necessary part of life, and joins his friends as a butterfly. There are tips in the back of the book to help parents and educators use the story as a vehicle to help kids talk about their feelings about change, and teach them coping strategies to manage their anxiety.
PS- Some of the strategies in the back can help moms too!