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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd is almost 6. we kept her out of school last year while we went back and forth between homeschooling and public school. I finally decided that for a number of reasons we would send her to kindergarten at a really great charter school this year. I love the school, like the teachers I've met thus far, everything seems really great....however, it's still public school (any school away from home) and part of me is really terrified. I remember all the things I kept from my mom that now as a parent I see as crucial to know, I know she'll come in contact with mean kids, possibly bullies, maybe the teacher won't recognize her individuality, is her self esteem going to plumit? and there are tons more things I just can't get over. She is so excited and she IS definitely going, I just feel like my mommy anxieties are higher than other moms. I want to make the best of the year and I'm afraid of freaking out the minute some kid calls her a bad name or she's exposed to something way to early for her.<br><br>
any help? advice?<br>
sarah
 

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I don't think you are more worried than many of the moms I know. Nobody wants their children to experience the negative childhood experiences we remember, but I do want my kids to have the opportunity to experience my positive childhood experiences as well as make their own. Difficult things will happen at school and in life, but have confidence in your child's ability to handle them (with your support and help). Good luck. If she is excited, I would build on those positive feelings.
 

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I'm in exactly the same boat, emotionally. My 5yo DS will be starting kindergarten this fall at public school. I wanted to homeschool, but he desperately wants to go to school, so we're going to give it a try, but I swear I'm having panic attacks about it already!<br><br>
I'm trying to remind myself that he WANTS this...but sometimes, that makes it even worse, because I'm worried if he gets picked on, etc., that it will ruin his desire to be at school. Ugh!<br><br>
Sorry I have no good advice for you, but maybe it will help to know you're not alone! Hopefully as school approaches, and we've had more time to digest the decision, it will sit better with us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One thing going through my mind is this. I always felt somewhat neglected emotionally growing up and I never wanted that for my own children. We have done everything possible so that I could stay home with the kids, My kids never had a bottle--never left my side until they were 100% ready. For my dd that meant she was 2.5 before she stayed at grandmas for 30 minutes and that was her first time without me.<br><br>
I know my dd inside and out--as well as any parent possibly could know their child and I am terrified of the separateness that will inevitably happen from her going to school. School here is 8:30-3:50 which is a horribly long day for a child and although I know she'll have fun in school, I feel like that's too much for a child and how can they possibly function at that level. Her teacher will see her more than I will--at what point am I not going to be a major part of her life anymore? At what point will she shun me and my love for part-time friends and the like.<br><br>
I believe that my relationship with her is number one and should be. I absolutely want her to have friends and experience "life out there" but I want our relationship to remain intact.
 

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I haven't had to face this yet, but any mom I know who has sent their child to kindergarten has faced similar fears. But then they've learned that there are so many rich and wonderful things that come from their child gaining independence. It sounds like you have a close relationship with your daughter, and that you are always there to support her needs. I would wager that instead of her self-esteem plummetting, it would soar because she'll learn about all the things she can handle on a daily basis, make friends, navigate social situations, and learn, all the while knowing that if there's a real problem, she can always come to you to help her figure it out. There's no reason your relationship can't remain intact.<br><br>
You've found a great school with good teachers, and I'm sure you've looked closely at the surrounding programs. Have faith that it'll work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rose--thank you very much...your post brought tears to my eyes. This would be the best of all possible worlds and I couldn't hope for anything more.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">sarah
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/goodvibes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Goodvibes">: Glad that it helped. I'm sending good vibes your way.
 

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I am facing similar fears right now. I am trying this summer to focus on prepping him as much as I can socially, mentally, etc. I know that there will be rough days but I know that I will always be there for him with hugs and kisses, encouragement, and as his advocate with the school. I plan to volunteer at the school regularly as I find that he and I can better communicate about experiences if I have a sense of his day and can ask specific rather than general questions. Overall, I try to focus on how fun it is to see him mature stage by stage and learn new skills for life. Protecting him at home and from everything negative won't teach what he needs in life. Everyone needs a few "bumps and bruises" but they also need to know that they always have someone to help them through. That is what your child knows she has whether she can verbalize it or not.
 

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I am sending my DS to kindy in the fall. I wouldn't worry about your relationship with your DD. I am a teacher also and while I love my students I certainly do NOT replace their parents. You should hear how they talk about their parents. I think this will help broaden your relationship- she is going out into the world and meeting others. Yet you are there to help her learn the skills which she will need to navigate it. Also she knows that you are there at home for the love and support that she will need when there are bumps. I have found that my role as a teacher is important but certainly does not take the place of mom's role.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamatoady</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11547028"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One thing going through my mind is this. I always felt somewhat neglected emotionally growing up and I never wanted that for my own children. We have done everything possible so that I could stay home with the kids, My kids never had a bottle--never left my side until they were 100% ready. For my dd that meant she was 2.5 before she stayed at grandmas for 30 minutes and that was her first time without me.<br><br>
I know my dd inside and out--as well as any parent possibly could know their child and I am terrified of the separateness that will inevitably happen from her going to school. School here is 8:30-3:50 which is a horribly long day for a child and although I know she'll have fun in school, I feel like that's too much for a child and how can they possibly function at that level. Her teacher will see her more than I will--at what point am I not going to be a major part of her life anymore? At what point will she shun me and my love for part-time friends and the like.<br><br>
I believe that my relationship with her is number one and should be. I absolutely want her to have friends and experience "life out there" but I want our relationship to remain intact.</div>
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Honestly... this is your issue, not hers.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>At what point will she shun me and my love</b> for part-time friends and the like.</td>
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My two are 14 and 16, and they've yet to "shun" me or my love for them. They've added their friends. Yes, I get a smaller share of "them", but that's as it should be at their ages.<br><br>
Your child will - and should - start to build a separateness from you, her Dad, etc. It's okay.
 

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Yes, you're right-it's quite possible those things will happen and you'll feel that way. It happened to my oldest and to me, and now my youngest is going to kindergarten in august and my oldest is going into third grade. Just surrender to it-you'll figure out how to handle things as they come up, you will both survive and your relationship will be stronger for it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamatoady</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11546491"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She is so excited and she IS definitely going, I just feel like my mommy anxieties are higher than other moms. I want to make the best of the year and I'm afraid of freaking out the minute some kid calls her a bad name or she's exposed to something way to early for her.</div>
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She is definitely going. She is excited. Your attitude (which she will be able to feel even if you don't say anything directly) will make or break her experience. What you say, how you say it, your body language will all send her cues - as to her safety, and the experience she is about to have. I do think your mommy anxieties are higher than most other moms. I think most people have "oh, my baby is growing up" thoughts, but not the "she is about to be ruined emotionally". I'd try really hard to do the glass half full and assume that the great school and the great teachers will provide a positive experience for her. Will it be perfect and without any possible issues - no. But it can be overall very positive if you let it.<br><br>
On the drive to school, have everyone guess what art project her class will do that day. On drop off, blow a kiss with "have a great day! When I pick you up, you can tell us who guessed right on the art project!" Happy, light, positive. If you drop her off with a long, clingy hug and "tell the teacher if anyone is mean to you", she will have a lot of her own anxiety and that will negatively affect her experience.<br><br>
You mentioned feeling neglected emotionally growing up. From your family or your teachers? I think you (as her parent) can set up a good school experience, and foster a connection between her and the teacher - which you want. If you know the teacher she'll have, mail a drawing from her to the teacher. See if there will be a park play day before school starts where she can meet the teacher and classmates (my kids all did this). On the first day, take a photo of her with the teacher. Be friendly to the teacher and see if there are any volunteer opportunities, or if you can cut out circles for her next art project or whatever. Let your child see you making friends with the teacher, that she is a person you like and trust. Don't discuss fears or problems relating to school within earshot of your dd.<br><br>
You also mentioned being 100% ready. I think we are rarely 100% ready. When you went to college, or started a new job, or took a trip alone for the first time - were you 100% ready or 90% ready but 10% nervous? Sometimes you just have to jump in. If you wait to have no apprehensions at all, you'll miss out on a lot. Don't ignore red flags, but it seems to me that you are overly worried about letting her go to school.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamatoady</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11547028"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Her teacher will see her more than I will--at what point am I not going to be a major part of her life anymore? At what point will she shun me and my love for part-time friends and the like.<br><br>
I believe that my relationship with her is number one and should be. I absolutely want her to have friends and experience "life out there" but I want our relationship to remain intact.</div>
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Sounds like she'll be in school 7+ hours per day, and you'll have her awake another 6 hours or so per day. Plus weekends with you. So over the course of any given week, you will still have more hours with her. You are her mother. Assuming she doesn't feel smothered (have you seen the mom who sells insurance on Housewives of Orange County? Her kids hide from her; it is really sad but she's done it to herself.), you will ALWAYS be a major part of her life, but the amount will change over the years. It has to. It should. When she is an adult, she shouldn't need you the way she does now. That transition is made slowly as she grows up.<br><br>
I am really confused that you think she will shun you and your love. Making friends, trusting a teacher, being out of your sight doesn't mean that she is shunning you. When you have a second child, and love that child, are you shunning your firstborn? When you get married, are you shunning your sister or your mom? We are capable of loving more than one person, of being safe with more than one person. It doesn't reduce what we feel for the person we already had a relationship with.<br><br>
Your relationship with her will remain intact unless you do something to hurt it. No one else can do that. Her friends can't. Her teacher can't. Her future spouse can't. And although you (and her dad if he is in the picture) should be #1 when she is little, you will not always be her primary relationship. A very important and lifelong relationship - yes. But not #1 forever.
 

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I must be the odd one out here, because that level of anxiety seems really unusual to me. I just can't imagine having such fear about kindergarten. Not to negate the way you feel, OP, but perhaps it would be helpful to try to put these feelings on hold (if that's possible) and wait to evaluate the situation once your dd is in school.<br><br>
It sounds like you've got most parents' main worries totally taken care of: it's a great school and your dd is excited about going.<br><br>
As for your relationship with your dd, honestly, I have to tell you, it will change. Not because of public school, but because things change, and that sweet, close relationship you have right now is one of them.<br><br>
Not that it won't be sweet and close your whole lives, but it won't be the same sweet close relationship you have with a baby-toddler-preschooler. She is going to discover things on her own. She is going to have stuff she may not necessarily share with you. This is not a bad thing. It doesn't translate to her shunning you. That is a huge mental leap to make.<br><br>
I guess my advice would be to try your very hardest not to communicate these fears to your daughter. It could end up making her feel very conflicted about enjoying school, feeling like she has to "protect" you from the knowledge that she's having a good time there, etc. Kids pick up on this stuff way more than we might think. Kind of like, I'm terrified of flying, but I have made a huge effort not to let my kids know, because I don't want to infect them with my fears.
 

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I, too, thought your anxiety level was really high, Sarah. I think you really need to find a way to lower it so your daughter doesn't pick up on it. You seem very sensitive so I wouldn't be surprised that your daughter is, too.<br><br>
Realistically, your daughter is going to come into contact with bullies, mean kids, and crappy teachers AND other things you haven't thought of. But she has you to help her through it. What would bother me most and may be the most controllable is the teacher she has. The teacher sets the tone of the class, helps create a caring community in the classroom (or not), is in tune with her students. Of course, this is different from having the "best" kindergarten teacher because of priorities. I guess I would try to contact the school and talk to the psychologist and the principal and let them know that your DD needs an environment and teacher that are what you think she needs. It's really hard to research teachers because parents have such different needs and exectations, but if you like her K teacher, she will most likely help your daughter get the "best" teacher for your daughter in 1st.<br><br>
We were stuck with the best kindergarten teacher in the school this year and she dropped the ball. I won't get into it here, but we are going to send DS to waldorf (if he's accepted) because he'll have a teacher who is invested in him.
 
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