My memories of kindergarten mostly revolve around the violent, screaming tantrums I threw when my loving, kind, PATIENT mother tried to drop me off each day. I ended up in the principal’s office each morning, who took time out of her day to calm me down after my mother left, and once calm, walk me to my classroom.
To this day, I can’t tell you why I didn’t want to go to kindergarten—I remember liking the teacher, enjoying playing on the playground, learning to count to 100 and even making a few friends. My mom said it had something to do with my brand new baby sister arriving just weeks before my first day of kindergarten. Ah, the mind of a five-year-old…
Having had this experience, I was really worried about how I would handle Adelaide, should she have similar anxieties. In an effort to curb any first day/week/month blues, I made a pocket heart.
A pocket heart is a little felt heart, stuffed full of love, that she can keep in her pocket, and whenever she’s feeling sad, and missing mommy, she can give the heart a squeeze and remember that mommy’s not far away.
I made two little hearts for Adelaide’s first day of preschool, and she insisted on keeping them in her backpack all year. When her first day of kindergarten rolled around, she specifically asked for her pocket hearts to be in her backpack again. She rarely wears shorts or pants with pockets, so the front pocket of her backpack is where she likes to keep them.
After a few weeks of kindergarten, I asked her if she uses them during the day, and she responded, “I used them sometimes when I was sad in preschool, but now I’m grown up in kindergarten, so I only like to look at them”.
Today marks the start of Adelaide’s FIFTH week of kindergarten and I am so relieved that she is enjoying her days in class, making friends and learning new things. This school year is off to a great start!
If you’re a parent currently suffering through difficult school drop-offs, then know that I feel for you! And take it from someone who had pretty severe kindergarten separation anxiety, and lived through it—continuing to make your child go to school is the best thing for them. I ended up loving school and had a thriving academic career filled with friends, high marks and lots of extra curricular activities. Your child’s current temperament WILL change (like you’ve seen it change for the last 5+ years!) and you WILL NOT have to deal with this forever! IT WILL GET BETTER!
There you go, those are my words of encouragement ♥ Happy Monday everyone!