We had a meeting at L’s school last night. It wasn’t mandatory but I am so glad I went. West County Psychological Associates visited our main campus and invited all of the kindergarten parents to come and listen to a discussion on helping your child make an easy transition to kindergarten. At first I rolled my eyes, another meeting?! I am getting tired of all the school meetings. I went though because I had two other moms that were going to go and were going to give me a lift. So fine I decided to attend.
When I arrived we were handed a handout with a bunch of information, did I mention that I have ADD? Someone will start talking and if it’s not fun or if it’s too educational I totally blank out and start thinking about all the other things going on in my life. I was a little worried this might happen. The presenter walked in and I have never been so happy to see someone I know. It was a parent educator I used to work with. Hallelujah. She is excellent at what she does (working with families/kids/parents) so I knew that the information would come easy for all of us.
The discussion was basically about our children. How much sleep they need (10 to 12 hours); the social skills they will learn this year (following rules, developing patience); how not to rescue your children everytime something disappointing happens (like getting into trouble at school); no pushing your children to be friends with who they don’t want to be friends with. Etc.
Keys things I picked up from the meeting:
- Don’t push L to be friends with who you want her to be friends with. She is developing her own relationships this year and needs to do that to discover who she is and what she likes in a person.
- No rescuing L from situations. If L doesn’t like something about school don’t call the teacher and have the teacher remove her from the situation. Isn’t life all about doing things we don’t like or things we necessarily don’t want to do. I guess it’s time she gets used to it now.
- If she gets into to trouble at school, don’t make a punishment at home too. Good point she had: do you call your child’s teacher and tell them to punish them at school because they hit their brother? Nope, so the child has already done the time at school don’t go on and on about it. Discuss how disappointed you are and tell them you expect better next time.
- The biggest thing parents are guilty of… prolonging the drop-off departure. If your child is upset just tell them you will be back, give them a kiss and hug and go. The teacher can handle the situation and if they can’t they will call you. If you peek in windows or say goodbye several times it will just upset your child more.
- Hold your child accountable for their morning routines. They know that they need their backpack and lunchbox. Make them responsible for grabbing these items as they walk out the door. Along the same lines, let them be responsible for holding their stuff at drop off and putting in on their own hook.
- Build a positive home-school connection. Meaning don’t talk badly about the teacher or the school in front of your child. At this age it’s important for the parents to regulate their conversations in front of the child. They are little sponges. They soak up everything you say and believe me they will tell everyone what you think.
- Watch what your kids watch on TV. For example the worst shows for L to watch (my personal opinion) are The Suite Life and Hannah Montana. She gets major attitude and the minute I turn these off she’s back to my sweet girl. Just like they listen to us they are also listening to the TV and they will say the things their favorite characters say or they will even act like them. So just censor what they watch.
So as you can see it was extremely helpful for me. These were things that I had heard before but it was like a refresher course in parenting a 5 year old. I think it should have been made mandatory. There was one mom there and she is a pushy mom. You can tell she wants her daughter to be friends with what she considers the best in the school (popular kids). She tries to hard for her daughter’s sake and it’s a real turn-off. This morning she was sweet to everyone. Hopefully some of these things sunk in with her too. I know a few other parents that I am sure could have used the help, but that’s just between you and I.