Lucy has been at the same lovely and small Montessori school since she was 7 months old. Today marks the beginning of her last two weeks there, before starting public school kindergarten. She loves her school, and says she’s going to miss all her friends and teachers there when she goes to kindergarten. At the same time, we’re all excited about her new school, and she says she’s really looking forward to it. Our plan is to provide lunch for her class on her last day, and then take her home early for a little special mom and daughter time that afternoon. Next week, there will be a few activities at the new school that will hopefully provide a bit of a transition for her, and she’s looking forward to those. It seemed like everything was going according to plan, but…
She’s always been “spirited” and highly emotional, though it has seemed that we were largely through the tantrum stage as she has matured and learned to control her emotions better. When the emotions she’s feeling are more positive, which they generally are, she’s the joyful, exuberant, extroverted type. Lately, though, she’s had quite a few spectacular meltdowns over nothing that she can’t seem to get a handle on. We’ve tried to get her to bed early the last few nights to try to make sure she’s not just acting out because she’s overtired.
Then, last night, she called out at 3am because she couldn’t find Ariel in her covers. Then she heard a noise, then she had to potty, then she was hot, etc etc until she FINALLY went back to sleep after 5. I never went back to sleep, incidentally. Poor girl really seemed to be trying, but just couldn’t get back to sleep. DH wondered this morning if perhaps this is anxiety about school (and maybe about the baby, though that is further off). Hmmm.
So, I’m wondering what all you experienced moms have found to be helpful as your kids transition to new schools, especially kindergarten. We’ve avoided talking about going to kindergarten in anything but positive terms for fear of manufacturing an issue that didn’t seem to be there. Now I’m wondering if we need to be asking her if she’s worried about it, etc. What SHOULD we be doing to get her ready for this next phase, dear MTers?
I know there are other kids starting kindergarten or other new schools, so feel free to post tips that are are either specific to Lucy’s situation or ones that are more general.