Dear Kindergarten Parent,
Sending your child off to school for the first time is an exciting milestone…and one that can tug at your heartstrings. If you’re feeling a little sad about sending your little one off to school, here are a few things this educator would like you to know:
- You’re not alone. On the first day of school, trust me, there will be a sea of parents who are trying hard to hold back the tears as they say goodbye to their children. My advice: Put a smile
on your face, wear sunglasses if you need to hide the tears, and tell your child how excited you are to hear all about his day when he gets home. And on that note…
- Speak positively about school. It’s tricky to get your child excited about school if one moment you’re telling her how fun it’s going to be and the next moment you’re crying about sending her
off to this place. Try hard to focus on all the positive things about school, whether that’s meeting new friends, playing on the outdoor equipment, getting a new backpack, or going to the gym.
- Keep the drop-off quick and simple. Resist the urge to give “one more hug” nine times and instead, keep drop-off happy and light. A hug and a kiss, “I can’t wait to hear about your day,”
and a wave goodbye are perfect. If your child is having difficulty separating from you, a teacher can help out. Sticking around and making drop-off a 15 minute event is usually not helpful and
on the contrary, can make the days ahead challenging. It’s hard, super hard, to walk away if your child is upset that you’re leaving but…
- Everything will be fine in a few minutes. I say this with years of experience to back me up. Teachers are well-versed in giving children the support they need as they enter the classroom each day and equally experienced in distracting them and getting smiles on their faces. So many times, a child who is in tears in front of mom or dad, is perfectly happy moments later and settled into a fun activity. If your child is having a really difficult time, the teacher will let you know and the two of you can come up with a plan to ease the transition.
- We love your child. Teachers spend many, many hours with the children in their class. They get to know so much about them and develop a relationship over the months they spend together.
Know that you’re sending your child off to someone who chose a career where they get to be with children every day – because that’s what they love to do.
A Proud Educator
Written by: Erin Agnello
Edited & Designed by: Christina Denham
My name is John Haber. I’m a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the founder of Nogginsland. I became a COTA in 2003, and then went back to school much later, receiving my Master’s Degree in OT from Mercy College in New York in 2016.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a variety of populations in different settings, from school districts, to developmental disability centers, to children’s hospitals.