I can’t believe it’s almost here. My baby will be starting kindergarten in just a little over two months.
Elementary school is a strange phase of life. Children enter it practically babies and leave on the cusp or in the throes of puberty. SO MUCH is going to happen throughout the next six years. In lieu of that, I want to make sure she knows a few things before kindergarten starts. Some of them she’s heard already and some of them might not even make sense to her yet. But they are worth saying out loud and all of them will be repeated, over and over, as she moves forward each year.
1. People can be mean. Try to remember it’s about them, not you.
This is a lesson that both you and your brother have already witnessed. But it’s one that I’m going to keep repeating because unfortunately you are at the very beginning of your experiences. Learning self-confidence takes time, and believe me, everyone knows the hurt that comes from one spiteful comment. I want to arm you with responses and appropriate reactions, so that you are as mentally prepared as a five year old can be for someone hurting your feelings.
2. Being yourself is always the right thing to do.
People in life will try to change you. Friends will tell you things like Pokemon isn’t cool anymore or that playing with dolls is for babies. If YOU like it, then you keep doing it. If everyone tries out for soccer, but you want to do gymnastics, do it. You do you. It’s an important lesson that carries through all of life.
3. Just because something is different doesn’t make it wrong.
I know I tell you at least once a week that all families are different. From Santa Clause to what your friends are allowed to eat for snacks, each family has their own rules and ways of doing things. It’s not wrong; it’s just different. This goes for religion, activities, attending parties, punishments etc.
4. Everyone is a beginner at the beginning.
This is a biggie (a big thank you to Andrea for this one). It’s hard to learn new things and new can be scary. BUT everyone is new AND a beginner in kindergarten. Some kids are going to learn faster than you; that’s okay. Some kids are going to learn slower than you; that’s okay too. Try not to get frustrated. Learning new skills takes time.
5. You won’t be good at everything.
This goes hand in hand with #4. You will not always win. You will not always be the best. In fact, you likely won’t ever be THE best. What matters is that you are having fun and/or that you’re giving your all. Everyone has different talents; find yours and embrace whatever level you are able to achieve.
6. Your body is YOUR body.
No one gets to touch you if you don’t want them to. Period. End of story. This goes for hugs, kissing, tickling, tackling, wrestling…anything that involves your body.
7. Be brave, Be kind.
You will encounter things that make you uncomfortable. You will witness bullying, teasing, and other things that set off your “this is wrong” radar. Don’t join in. Don’t succumb to the peer pressure. Don’t join the group just because your “friends” are part of it. Be brave. Be kind. It matters. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
8. Education is about more than books.
While I want you to study and learn as much as you can, there is more to life than what comes out of a book. Your education is incredibly important, but remember that you can learn from any situation. You learn from life, from experience, from people and yes, from books. Absorb it all and come see me or your dad when you have questions. Because you will have them, lots of them. I just hope we can answer them all.
What else would you want to share with your kids before starting elementary school?