Friday, April 24, 2009

Kindergarten

At some point in your child’s life, you have to let go. For many of us, the first big step is when your child enters kindergarten.

Now, I’m not going to kid you. I’m going to go home and bawl like a baby after my baby gets on the school bus that first day – heck, I’m tearing up right now thinking about it. But I know I have to do it and I’m proud to say, so far Hubby & I have raised an independent, confident daughter.

What I don’t get are these parents who just don’t seem to get the fact that they are going to have to let go and at five, their child is ready to shed the parental coddling.

We went to a “Kindergarten Readiness” meeting last night. I have got to say, I don’t want to hang out with some of these parents. I'm referring to the type who:

  • Run to their kids every time they play on the playground
  • Volunteer to be a parent assistant at every activity their child is participating in (just to be sure Johnny is getting superior attention and to be there for peace of mind)
  • Helps to the point of taking over when ever their child is trying something new

I'm for parental involvement in their child's school and taking active interest in how their child is doing. But there is a fine line between smoothering and parental supervision. As a parent, you need to be acutely aware of this otherwise your child will run amok (as with no parental supervision) or be a meek person dependent on others for decision making - just my opinion.

The generalizations above are based on some of the questions asked last night.

There was a question about emergencies.

“What is your course of action when a child gets hurt of there is an emergency?”

The duh answer was, “We take your child to the nurse or if necessary, the nurse comes to us. In a major emergency 911 would be called. Depending on the severity, you will be contacted accordingly; either through a note home or a phone call.”

What did this parent think the teachers were going to say?

“Well, first we run around like chickens with our heads cut off. Then, we look at each other with blank stares while your child is bleeding profusely. Finally, we pray to God that an ambulance shows up – He usually listens. Next question?”

The teachers’ Power Point presentation included a typical daily schedule. Very clearly, it had a lunch time stated of 25 or 30 minutes.

“How much time do the kids get for lunch?”

Hello, can you not read? The teacher at the microphone pointed out the lunch time stated on the schedule. Whew, at least she encourages people (not just her students) to empower themselves and pay attention to information that has already been presented.

“I don’t see a time for nap. Will the children get a nap?”

Again, HELLO, can you not read? The schedule is up there and no nap is shown. You even observed that there was no nap time! What do you think?

Finally, the point of a parent not being able to let go.

The teachers assured us that they meet the kids at the bus each morning, walk the kids to the classroom, walk the kids to and from lunch and walk them to the bus at the end of the day. This makes sense because they are either outside where traffic could hurt them or it’s a long enough distance for a five year-old to get distracted.

However, there was a concern about bathroom breaks.

“What about the bathroom? Do they all go at the same time or does someone accompany them?”

Let go people! I have never been to a school where the bathroom requires a trip down the hall, up the stairs, through the boxwood hedge maze, and finally across the rickety bridge where the troll lives below.

Especially in an elementary school, bathrooms are not that far away from the classroom. I’m sure Cupie has ADD, but I still trust she can make the trip to the bathroom & back all by herself. Gee whiz, I even let her go to the bathroom by herself when we’re at the park.

Besides, a specific bathroom break was not on the schedule presented earlier. If everyone went to the bathroom at the same time, it would definitely require a designated time.

At one point during all this question and answer period, which seemed to take longer than the presentation itself, my friend Mary leaned over and said, “Have these people never been to school?”

That’s a scary question.

Silver lining:
  1. Cupie has an awesome daycare teacher. From the day one, the teacher treated them as though they were in kindergarten as far as raising their hands, waiting their turn, sitting quietly, expecting them to at least try everything put before them, and persevere when they have the skills, but something seems like an overwhelming task.

  2. Cupie is prepared for kindergarten. As far as the technical/intellectual skills required, she’ll meet or exceed expectations.

  3. Cupie is ready for a new challenge. She seems to excel when a surge when of new stuff to learn is put in front of her.

  4. On a selfish note, my daycare bill goes down & I finally get some payback on the portion of my property taxes that have been allocated to the school system.

8 People Laughed Along With Me, Won't You?:

Anna said...

lol cool post, teach our children independance from the beginning is a good thing. I like holding on to my baby and assist if it cannot survive on its own, but then we have to let go. We survived, so will our children. Excellent post. Love your blog title, lol. Anna :)

Anonymous said...

Ok so I'm a mother that can't let go. SO WHAT!!! I'm not up for every school activity or calling everyday to make sure my child was well behaved, I mean they are kids. As long as I feel the environment is safe, structured and my child will be well taken care of, then I can let go. I will also cry the 1st day I drop my baby off at Kindergarten.
Love your baby SIS

The Laughing Idiot said...

Anna - thanks for the props. I'm sure I appear to be a bad mommy sometimes because I don't run to their aid all the time, but it's paying off. I'm sure my girls are on their way to contributing something meaningful to society.

Sissy - you'll be ready next year when Yams is getting ready for school. The five year old transition is impressive as far as their abilities and level of responsibility. Now, if that baby of your's could let you out of her sight . . .

The Mom said...

Oh yes, I remember it was only yesterday the same thing happened to me. My little girl went to kindergarten and as I watched her get on the bus, my heart was breaking. My thoughts caught me off guard - there could be so many dangers out there; what if there something I forgot to teach her; what will she do if she gets in trouble and I'm not there? How can I protect her? (yes, I was one of those parents, THE WORRY WART, but hopefully not to smothering). Tears where falling down my face as I lifted my head and glanced for my baby and I saw her looking out of the bus at me with the Biggest Smile ever. She wasn't a baby anymore, but my big 5year old girl full of excitment about her new adventure and I knew I had to let her go - I called it "Independence Day" for her.

By the way, she is now a wonderful mother and turned out just fine without my hovering around:):)

Now it's her turn with my grand daughter -

MzzLily said...

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- Jan - said...

I think sometimes it's easier on the child than on the parent to let go. My daughter is 3.5 years old now, I guess I got like another year to practice letting go, eh? Scary thoughts. I really hope I don't become one of those parents you talked about. Anyway, great post, great message. Thanks.

DirtRaceFan said...

Very good post, I personally have no children but I have two nephews and two neicees and for an uncle it was exciting to see the two nephews graduate Kindergarten, my neices will both graduate Kindergarten this year. - Danny

Diane J. said...

Yep, that is a good story to pull from the archives.

It doesn't get any better when they hit middle school. The parents were driving me nuts, but there was one chick that kept asking questions: What about lunches? I don't want my 6th grader sitting next to an 8th grader, because I saw on Oprah..."

There was another Oprah thing she saw and then finally the kicker? What about the bus? I saw on Oprah...

OMG!STOP WATCHING OPRAH! Cut the cord!

LOL, I like this post of yours.

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