Dear Parents: Your child is ready for kindergarten; how about you?

Kris Dobson, Dear Parents Contributor

Kris Dobson, Dear Parents Contributor

As I read a previous blog post here – Ensuring Your Child’s Success in Kindergarten – it took me back to the time in my life when my own daughter started school.

There’s that familiar tug of the heartstrings … in two different directions! You might be feeling it, too. There’s the tug that is pulling your child away from you – and you want to feel proud of them as they take those first steps toward independent lives. But then there’s that tug that says “don’t let go; only you can keep your child safe.”

On the plus side, even though my daughter had a July birthday, I was confident that she was ready for kindergarten, so at least I didn’t have the big redshirting* issue to deal with.

We were both excited about her first day and went into her classroom smiling in anticipation. She sat down at her desk, I sat down beside her – you know, just to reassure her – and then, tears. Not hers, mine! (Those dueling heartstrings apparently have a direct line to the tear ducts.)

So, you are confident that your child is ready for kindergarten, but how prepared are you? We’d love to have your comments and questions, and especially – from those of you who have already survived a first day of kindergarten – your advice!

What strategies help you to be the encouraging, supportive, (non-tear-shedding) parent as you bid good-bye to your child on that first day of school?

*“Redshirting” means postponing kindergarten entry – either to ensure a child is socially, intellectually, and physically ready, or to give him/her the perceived advantage of being one of the oldest kids in the class rather than one of the youngest – you can read more about this practice on About.com.

Kris Dobson is a Utah mom, grandmother, educator, and now a blogger. In her “Dear Parents” column on UtahPublicEducation.org, Dobson provides educational tips and strategies to prepare children for success in school and in their lives after they graduate. You may contact her and submit your questions or suggestions for blog topics via email. As Kris says, “Let’s talk!”

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