wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: An Open Letter to Moms of Preschoolers

An Open Letter to Moms of Preschoolers

First let me say, Congratulations!  You and your child have survived the infant and toddler years and now you are ready to take them to preschool (or Kindergarten).  That's a huge accomplishment in itself.

If this is your first child and you are a bit apprehensive to take them to school, worrying about them crying, missing you, being naughty, I just want to tell you to lay your fears to rest.  Some will cry, most will miss their moms and some will be naughty.  But, most, if not all, preschool and Kindergarten teachers and staff are used to all of these behaviors.  I promise.  Here are a few tips to help make that transition a smooth one for you and your big kid:

1.  Don't cry in front of your kids!  Yes, I know it's hard to see your baby growing up so fast.  Yes, I know it's hard to see them so independent and seemingly ok with you leaving.  But if you cry when you are getting ready to leave them, their anxiety level increases and they wonder if being in school is something to cry over.  Then they get upset and don't want to stay in school and try to bolt for the door the minute you walk out.  Yes, I've had to be the door guard.  Trust me, they don't understand "happy/sad" tears in this case.  Wait to cry until you leave.

2.  Make school sound very important and their role in school just as important.  If they have a job (most preschools have "jobs" for each child to do on a rotating basis) it makes them feel wanted, needed and accomplished.  Which brings me to...

3.  Attendance isn't optional.  Let me repeat...Attendance IS NOT optional, period.  Of course, I'm not saying take them when they are sick, merely pointing out the fact that you signed them up for preschool, why not take them.  If you can't roll yourself out of bed to get them ready and out the door in the morning, please just drop the enrollment.  Most preschools have a waiting list and there are other kids and parents who can make it there on time on a daily basis.  Someone wants your spot so use it or lose it!  In the same vein, if your child is sick and will be gone, please call!  We really do care and would like to know if they are ill or if they have something that might be contagious so we can advise other parents.

4.  Leave the distractions at home.  It's not ok to bring toys to school (show and tell, something that gives permission for a special occassion is fine), even when kids whine and cry in the morning.  Draw the line before it even becomes an issue.  It will make everyone's day much more pleasant, I promise.  No one wants to see toys lost or broken, especially your child.  And teachers and staff don't want or need to be responsible for those things. This includes jewelry on girls.  For heaven's sake leave those silly bandz at home!  We have dress up things at school that work just fine.  It's all a distraction, trust me.

5.  Be kind.  Be kind to teachers and staff and be kind to other children AND their parents.  You don't have to be friends and you don't have to arrange playdates but you do have to respect other people and their feelings.  You never know, your kind words may be the ONLY kind words that person has heard all day.  We're all in the same boat, trying our best to raise our children to be fantastic adults.  Being mean to someone else doesn't make anyone feel good, not even the person being mean. 

Sounds like I'm being harsh?  Maybe.  But it's realistic.  I know you will be emotional as your baby starts school and that's just normal, human behavior.  But please realize that your actions and reactions have an impact on your children's young, impressionable minds and that if they see you being ok with them going to school, they are going to be ok with going to school. 

We love having your children in class and we love getting to know all of the families.  Keep in mind that we know your kid can be naughty but that usually when they go to school they are entirely different kids.  We've seen and heard just about everything and usually nothing surprises us.  Keep the lines of communication open with your school's staff and you and your child will have a fabulous year!


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