I’m the Mom With the Crying Kindergartener

-...Have a nice day- I just left my son

I ran and hid.  I was doing absolutely no good by staying with him during this meltdown. It pained so many of my maternal instincts, but I knew I wasn’t helping. He was terrified to go to his classroom. I was confident he needed to. The standoff had gone on for seven minutes now and I was getting nowhere. So, with the help of the sweet woman on hall duty, I ran.  I scampered down the hall and got just far enough away to be lost in the crowd of school-aged children, and I hid. Thank God for that little nook in the side of the hall.

I stood there listening for the angst filled sob from my son who was out of sight, but not earshot. He had not actually run after me, which was good. It was probably thanks to the kind, stranger teacher helping me talk him down in the hall. I just had the sobbing child, not the child chasing me down the hall.

After hiding for what felt like an eternity, but was actually only two minutes, there were no more sounds of crying echoing through the halls. I peeked oh so cautiously from my safe spot, and got a thumbs up from yet another teacher and the “have a nice day and don’t worry about your falling apart son” goodbye wave.

-...Have a nice day- I just left my son

As I walked towards the door, I felt the tension that had seeped  its way into my neck and shoulders. (Apparently nine minutes is exactly how long it takes to develop a pounding tension headache.) I wiped the sweat from my upper lip and fanned my shirt a bit to help cool off. (It had to be 100 degrees in that school, right?) Now my own anxieties kicked in.

Did I do the right thing?
Should I have stayed longer?
Did I stay too long?
What in the world is that teacher in the hall thinking?
Is he still upset?
Will his teacher have time to console him?
Will they call me if he is having a horrible day?
How bad would it have to be for them to call me?
What are we going to do tomorrow?

I walked out the door and an amazingly polite 3rd or 4th grader opened the door for me. “Have a nice day!” he said with a smile.

I couldn’t help but wonder to myself, “Will my own little guy be the one doing that one day? Are we going to make it there?”

Between the loaded wave goodbye from the teacher in the hall, and the farewell from the nice young boy at the door, I just didn’t know. Have a nice day? I just left my son as a puddle in the care of strangers! And this was day 9! That’s right, nine days of kindergarten, each one a little worse than the last. It was going to get better, right? How did I end up here? I used to teach kindergarten. I always had a few who struggled with the adjustment, but my so smart, no kids of my own, young self knew there was an explanation -a parent at fault somewhere who had raised an overly sensitive kid.

Well, look at me now! Now, I have the cryer. I have the child riddled with anxiety over new things, social things, and anything a little too chaotic. Yes, I have a child who is so sweet, so smart, and so sensitive. He thinks and analyzes, constantly. He loves to be silly, to make believe, to explore the great outdoors. The pure joy on his face when he sprints through the yard? Priceless.

But sometimes, he heads down that shady path of worry. I’ve been there. I was that kid too. Gotta love genetics, right?

So now, I know to guide him and support him. Love him and help him. But I also have to push him (just enough) into things that he may not like at first. That was day 9 of kindergarten. Day 10 was a lot better. We’re on day 20 something now, and he even walks in the school by himself! We still have some mornings with tears, but not stand-offs. We still have moments of anxiety to work through, but we’re learning.

The transition into kindergarten can be rocky, but I’m sure it’s not the toughest transition I’ll face with my son. So what’s a mom to do through all of these changes? I’ll keep learning right along with him as we both discover exactly who he is and how he does things. I’ll help him learn to navigate the world so that one day (a day that I’m sure will come MUCH too soon), he’ll be able to do it on his own.

I guess what I really want to say is, if you are the mom with the crying kindergartener, it’s ok. Take a breath. It does get easier. It may take days, weeks, or honestly even months, but it will get easier. You’re doing a good job. Just keep loving, learning, and supporting. Soon, probably much too soon, they’ll be doing it on their own.


Think Carowinds is just for summer? Think again.

great pumpkin fest

The kids may be back in school and summer is practically over, but that doesn’t mean the Carowinds season is over. Their fall festival The Great Pumpkin Fest starts on September 19. This family-oriented fall festival runs Saturdays and Sundays from 11-5 through November 1. We plan to hit it up in early October. The… [Read More]

Prepping for preschool

Sassy Miss E

And moms around the world rejoiced! Preschool starts next week. It seems like it’s been 100 years since my little miss was in school. With Labor Day being late this year, it’s put a hurting on both of us. She’s done with me and I’m done with playing Camp Director. Don’t get me wrong. We… [Read More]

Transitions: New City; New School


I read somewhere the other day that 12% of Americans move each year. Last month, we fell into that statistic as we moved 800 miles south from CT to NC. We are almost settled in our new house and are starting to meet our neighbors and catch up with our friends we left behind five… [Read More]

6 Stay Healthy Tips You NEED This School Year


Did you know that within the first eight days of kindergarten my son picked up his first bug and had to stay home? 8 days! Where I am, we’re on a year round calendar, so we had a little bit of a head start on the school year. Apparently, we also had a head start on… [Read More]

First Grade Jitters

First Day First Grade

And he’s off… I was worried he’d have a bit of nerves but it seems it was all me. I had to walk him in since we missed “Meet the Teacher” last week and he was ahead of me the whole time. Once I helped him find his cubby, he didn’t look back. I had… [Read More]

Carowinds with Kids: Tips for Your Visit

Tips for Doing Carowinds with Kids

Last month we took a two-day family trip to the Carowinds Theme Park on the NC/SC border. We had a fabulous time, despite the 100 degree temperatures. Sure, there were some meltdowns, but all in all, it was a really fun trip. Here are our tips to going with young children. 1. Go on a… [Read More]