The phase of parenting you’re entering with Elementary school can be both scary and exciting. Both emotions are valid, and you can hold them both together. Whether you’ve already sent 3 kids off to kindergarten or this is your first year dropping off one of your babies to kindergarten, it can be hard! I hope these tips will help you feel a little more prepared for the big day!

1 | Be prepared for the sleepy monsters

Those first few weeks of kindergarten are packed full of fun and new experiences. Try to plan as few evening activities as possible and stick to a consistent bedtime routine those first couple weeks of school. They will need a lot of sleep!

They will be learning new routines like learning how to buy hot lunch in the cafeteria . There will be things they haven’t had to practice all summer like standing quietly in a line or sitting quietly for longer periods of time.

To help avoid as many frustrations as possible, start practicing some of these new things at home. Make sure they know how to open their new lunch box containers. Practice zipping up and unzipping coats and pants. Start having them practice using the bathroom independently.

2 | Pack the snacks!

Kindergarteners get hangry after a long day. Have a high protein snack waiting for them in the carpool line but also make sure they are getting enough protein in their lunches! Having a snack in the car on the way home or as you are walking home can also be a good way to help kids stay focused long enough to answer some questions about their day. Here are some great questions to ask your kids after school:
50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead Of Asking “How Was Your Day” – Her View From Home

3 | Be ready for some difficult conversations.

Kindergarten is the beginning of the phase where you no longer have such a strong influence on who your kids decide are friends. Prior to kindergarten, your kids were probably friends with all your friends’ kids, or the children of your MOPS table moms. Those relationships will continue, and you should absolutely foster those friendships but when they are off at school, they get to start making their own friends. Sometimes with those newfound friendships can be some conversations you didn’t realize you’d have so early. Be ready.

Know that there might be some uncomfortable conversations with the teacher about behaviors you didn’t expect your child to show. Know what you’re going to say when your daughter asks you if Santa is real because little Johnny at school told her he isn’t. Decide how you want to answer your child if they ask you why one of their classmates has two moms. For a lot of Kindergarteners going into a school that isn’t faith based, this may be the first time they ever experience someone questioning why they believe in God, or even being made fun of for their faith. Talk to your kids about why you believe what you believe about God, Jesus, the Bible, etc.

4 | Enjoy it!

It’s OKAY if you feel sadness while watching your baby head into a big school by themselves when it seems like just yesterday you were holding their little hands, helping them walk across the kitchen floor.

It’s also ok if you don’t feel sad about your kid starting kindergarten. When we look at each milestone our kids meet as a celebration, it’s so much more fun. Be kind to yourself this year. Even if your kid tells you they are, I promise you, they aren’t the only kid in class that can’t tie their shoes yet. They aren’t the only kid in class without a cell phone. They aren’t the only kid in class that didn’t go on a cruise for Fall Break They aren’t the only kid that struggles with math or reading. Make sure you are speaking kindly to yourself as well. Say things like, “I love getting to watch my kids grow up” instead of “Why do they have to grow up so fast?” Because the reality is, they do grow up fast and we can’t slow down the changes. The best thing we can do for our kids is enjoy each phase as much as we can and continuously pray for guidance each day as we parent our kids.

5 | Create (or continue) healthy rhythms.

Every family has a their own rhythm, deciding early on what you want to be included in that rhythm will help set up your family for success over the next year. Prioritize going to church as a family each weekend. Let your kids hear positivity when you talk about going to church. Hebrews 10:25 instructs believers to not neglect meeting together; community is important as your kids grow. Pray often as a family and for your family. Prayer is how we intercede for our children to God and it’s our opportunity to praise him for everything he’s done. Doing it out loud and often is how our kids will learn to pray. Not just for dinner or at bedtime but they will know to do it when things are hard, and they need wisdom or when things are great, and they need to praise God. Serve as a family when you can but also let them see you prioritize serving in your own life. We all want our kids to grow up kind and compassionate, not just so they are good people but because we want our children to become like Jesus and join him on mission.

Matt Rhodes

✍️ Credit :: Kara Sudduth
Kids Coordinator | Preschool

Matt Rhodes

🎨 Credit :: Colin McFarland
Digital Marketing Manager