Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kids in School: A Kindergartener

This has been a big Fall for us as we had not one, but two kids start their first years of school. Our oldest began his first year of Kindergarten and boy was he nervous. All summer he had talked about going to school and all the things he was going to learn and do. But, when it came time for orientation, butterflies got the best of him. Although he curiously took in everything about his school and classroom, he refused to speak to his teacher and retreated into this little shell of nerves. On the first day he nervously chewed on his fingernails all the way to school and gripped my hand tightly as we walked to his class. He was terrified. Luckily his teacher was prepared for first day jitters and had placed a sort of welcome package at each seat. It's hard for a kid to remember why they're so scared when they have Play Doh to distract them. There were no tears as we kissed him goodbye and began walking out of the room. He turned around once to watch us, gave us a hesitant little wave, then went back to his Play Doh.

He has now been in school for a month and likes it. He comes home every day with something new to tell us about his day, his new friends or something they did in school. A practice fire drill was a big cause of excitement. In the beginning, he'd talk about "this boy in my class" or "the girl who sits next to me. As the month has gone on it's become "My friend...". One day he proudly announced "I gave "C" she's my friend, my phone number." Five years old and passing out his number to girls already. I may be in some trouble with this one. ;-)

School changes kids. Sometimes it's for the better and they learn great things and habits. But, sometimes the change is not so welcome. For my son, his attitude and behavior at home has changed. I won't lie, he has always been a bit attitude prone, but these days he sometimes leaves me staring and absolutely flabbergasted, rendered speechless by his words and actions. I don't know if is suffering some delusion that makes him think because he's in school he's 'too big' for Mommy now, if he's maybe picking up some things from other kids, maybe he's acting out at home after being 'confined' in school all day...I just don't know. This is all new territory for me, but don't worry, the behavior is being addressed. My hope is that eventually, hopefully soon,  when the novelty and newness of school has worn off a bit more he will settle down, especially when he realizes  this behavior is okay. Honestly, at first this embarrassed me. At first I wondered where I've gone so horribly wrong as a parent. Ok, I started wondering if maybe I was a bad parent. But, you know what? After talking to other moms about this, I realized I am not alone! Other kids do this too! And some of those moms are absolutely awesome parents. I've realized this is not a parenting fail. A parenting fail would be to let the behavior continue unchecked and no doubt get worse. Kids will test their boundaries as they grow, that's normal, maddening at times but normal. As parents, we have to teach them what's ok and what isn't and guide them back to those boundaries when they blow by them. That's just as important as their academic education. 

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Those boundaries are important!