Transitioning to Kindergarten and the Stages of Mom Grief

May 30, 2016

Posted in: Motherhood

Mother holding hand of little son with backpack outdoors

Most young children will transition into their academic career with preschool or kindergarten, starting as early as age 3, while some begin at 4, 5 or 6. It’s normal for young children to be excited and scared about the idea of starting at a new school with new friends and teachers. But what about us moms? Introducing your baby into their first experience of full-time schooling can be a tough pill to swallow. Knowing my little boy will be moving up the academic ladder to Kindergarten makes me want to put him in a plastic, hamster ball-like bubble and guard it like a mama bear.

But that’s not really how it goes. He keeps getting taller, smarter and louder, and I can’t seem to stop it or find a plastic bubble big enough to contain him. He will go on to Kindergarten and I will lean on the orderly process of the Kubler-Ross Model as raising a Kindergartener becomes my new reality. Considering the six stages of grief, I imagine it will go something like this…

 

1. Shock:

“I can’t believe my baby is growing up. I can’t believe he is going to Kindergarten!? I’m astounded by how smart he is and I can’t believe it is finally time for Kindergarten?”

2. Denial:

“Wait. It can’t be time for Kindergarten. That can’t be right. I don’t think he HAS to go to Kindergarten right away…this isn’t something we probably need to do. Maybe it’s not that important anyway…”

3. Anger:

“This is all the school system’s fault! Why would they demand such a complicated and emotional schedule on my little baby? This is ludicrous. We’re not doing this. Nope. Not doing it. And you can’t make me. I’m going to write a strongly-worded letter to the Superintendent.”

4. Bargaining:

“Sigh. Okay, fine. I’ll bring him to Kindergarten, but only if I can sit in the back of his classroom, eat lunch with him, grade his schoolwork and outline the curriculum. Deal?”

5. Depression:

“This is really happening. I’m going to have a Kindergartener. I’ll probably never be the same again. How will I ever survive this?”

6. Acceptance:

“I think this is going to be good for him and for us! He’s going to learn so much and he’ll probably make new friends, too! He is going to love it!”

 

The good news here is that Kindergarten doesn’t start for another two months. I have at least that long to get a grip, or at least find my way to #6.

Good luck to all the other preschool moms out there.

Kiddie Academy Mom