How to survive the kinder to primary school transition
It is that time of the year. Our little kindergarteners are getting ready to go to primary school in a couple of months (yup, really, just a couple of months!) and amidst all the excitement of orientation days and transition days at their new primary school, I’m sure you, mummy dearest, sometimes feel that underlying current of anxiety and uncertainty. Well, I definitely am feeling all sorts of mixed emotions as my youngest gets ready to go to big kid school.
“What will I do with all that extra time while they are ALL at school?”
“How will I get through my days knowing ALL my babies are somewhere else and not with me?”
“How will…?” “What if…?” “When will…?”
We all have a million and one questions as we approach this big milestone, but I… don’t actually have all the answers yet!
What I do know, when it comes to surviving the transition from kinder to primary school, is this:
It gets easier. Heck, in fact I reckon it’ll get fun! I’m looking forward to having cool conversations with my newly-minted preppie about much more than just “wash your hands… WITH SOAP” or “stop playing with your food”.
Don’t rush back into work. Especially if this is your last baby going off to prep, you might think it’s time for you to go back to work if you’ve been home with the kids until now. Allow yourself some time to really figure out what you want to do now, and also equally as important is your prep-goer’s need to have you present to support them through the inevitable after-school meltdowns in these first few months. It’s a big change for them! Plus some schools give new prep students one day off per week for the first term or two so that is something to consider as well.
If possible, build a mutually supportive relationship with your child’s teacher and give them all the information you think they can possibly need about your child – what makes them tick, what helps them in moments of stress and anxiety, what areas they need extra help in (playground skills, etc). The more they know, the more they can support your child and the more they can keep you informed about how they are going. And let’s face it, the more they know, the less likely they’ll call you after school “for a quick chat” or at 11am in the morning, not knowing what to do with your kid!
Take care of yourself. Think about all the things that you want to do but can’t do now because your little one is home with you and make a list. Then start doing it once they are off! The sneaky box of Oreos at 11am, the indulgent mani/pedi session without needing to take another person to the toilet while you’re getting your tootsies painted, the mid-morning nap… Anything you can think of! Take care of yourself so that when 3pm rolls around and you find yourself picking up a hysterical 5 year old, you are sane enough to handle it.
Most importantly, I think we all need to recognise that while we do everything we can to support our little ones through this big transition, we need support ourselves too! It is also a big change for us, and for many of us, we have never had a child in school before and we have no idea what we are doing!
Have you gone through this transition before? Share your tips and advice to help a fellow mum!