Tommy and Kindergarten

I've had so many people ask me how Tommy is doing in Kindergarten, that I decided to blog about it.  In a nutshell, it's been a struggle!
Last year when Tommy started preschool, he walked in like he owned the place and never looked back. Sure there were days he didn't feel like going, but for the most part he seemed to enjoy it, and as a parent I felt so proud that I had such a well adjusted child.
When preschool ended and summer came along, he started mentioning that he hoped he wouldn't have a "male" Kindergarten teacher. I assured him that, that probably wouldn't be the case, but he mentioned it quite often, and also mentioned that he didn't really want to go to school.

Well, summer came and went, and it was officially time to start Kindergarten. I made sure that we attended all the pre-Kindergarten activities, and although he seemed a bit nervous, Tommy was ready and, super excited for his first day! That is....

Until we got there!

When we arrived, there were so many kids! I mean, this was K-5 and I could tell he was feeling overwhelmed. We walked him into his new classroom, and when it was time to say goodbye the tears started to come. I assured him that everything would be ok, gave him a quick hug and left him with Michael to deal with the aftermath while I waited outside.
Well....the aftermath included a guidance councilor and the principle to help deal with a screaming Tommy, and when Michael finally came out of the school he looked defeated! Later that day the guidance councilor called me to assure me that Tommy was fine and was participating with his class in all the activities, but I felt horrible, and it felt like the longest 6 hours but when we picked him up, he came out smiling from ear to ear. Hmmmmm.

That night before bed, he mentioned that school was LONG but he really liked it. He woke up for day two with no problems or concerns, and he was even excited to ride his bike to school! When we got there, he walked right into the classroom and gave his teacher a high five! I was overjoyed! But, then he found out that he would have PE that day (a male teacher) and he again cried when I left.
Everyone assured me that he it would take a few days but it was excruciating! Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday same scenario. Tommy is happy until he gets to school but when I leave he cries.
 And you know what's the worst sound in the world? Hearing your child scream your name while you're leaving down the hallway! Not for the faint of heart. I found myself in my head trying to figure out how to make Tommy less fearful and more comfortable. Wondering what had gone wrong that he was acting this way!
Sweet friends were texting, calling and Facebook messaging me just to see how Tommy was doing. I felt so hopeless and stressed, and then I saw THIS....

I made a conscious effort to remain calm.
It's something as parents we've all been told to do because children feel our energy, but let's face it; calm IS a superpower! 
I used all my super human strength to remain calm and things started to change. Instead of acting like school was going to be SO FUN that day I'd just act like it was no big deal. I made sure the mornings were calm, and everything ran as smoothly as possible. I also didn't question him about his day when I picked him up, and I found that it made him share more. He was getting more confident in front of my eyes. People told me it would take a few days, and it did. By Friday of his first week he was confidently walking in by himself. 

Tommy is LOVING school! I mean, he still thinks it's long, and lets face it..... it is! Kindergartners go to full day Kindergarten now! No more 1/2 day with a nap! They have science, and math, and reading and homework! Is that a good thing? I don't know, but that's how it is. 

So to all you parents out there who have that crying child, STAY CALM! There is hope! 
Oh, and one last thing. Guess who Tommy's favorite teacher is? That's right, his gym coach!
 After hearing about Tommy's fears, he went above and beyond to make Tommy feel comfortable. The first day he wore the same color shirt as Tommy (red) and gave him the very first MVP sticker.
I just LOVE his new school!

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

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