Starting kindy or preschool is one of the harder transitions for kids - and parents - to make. But sending your little hangout buddy off to kindy for the first time can reveal some poignant truths about ourselves, and our little ones. Hannah Tolich shares six things she's learned from taking her kids to kindy.
Each phase of motherhood is temporary
When you have a tiny baby waking every two hours it can feel like the sleepless nights will never end, that life is always going to be a sea of nappies. And that “baby brain” is going to be the way your brain works for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. But one morning you wake up feeling more refreshed than usual because it’s been over a week since your toddler woke at night. One day you high-five your child and do the “happy dance” because they’ve finally done a poo in the toilet. And one day you realise your brain fog has simply… lifted. Taking your child to kindy for the first time is a poignant moment: it’s a wonderful feeling to have reached this milestone, but it’s also tinged with sadness because you realise your little angel is only going to get more independent. It’s beautiful to see them growing up, but part of you can’t believe how fast its happening!
I learned to trust my instincts
My son loved his kindergarten when he first started, but one day he told me he didn’t want to go. His clinginess was out of character and my gut told me that he just needed some extra time with me, so I decided to sign up to do a parent help day at kindy.It was amazing to see how happy it made him having me there. He ran off and played with his friends confidently, coming back for a cuddle and then racing of f to the next activity. It was nice to spend some time sharing his kindy experience with him, and his happiness at going to kindergarten returned after that. Sometimes kids just need a bit of reassurance and then they’re back to their happy selves again.
Kids’ kindy paintings are so cool!
I mean is there anything cuter? Seriously. Watching my kids’ creativity unfold has been so incredible. Both of them loved to paint and make art at kindergarten. It’s fun watching what they come up with on their own; at home we did some art too, but I loved being surprised and delighted by what their little minds created without me around.
Watching kindy friendships develop melts your heart
It’s fascinating to watch the kinds of friendships your children make. My son went through a phase of playing mermaids with the girls. And then he got into doing puzzles and playing on the jungle gym. I saw early signs of a little boy that could be both caring and sensitive, but also loved being physical and learning new skills. Friendship is so important and seeing my kids bonding with other kids made me feel so happy for them.
Their personalities really start to shine through
When my daughter was four years old she refused to wear anything but her purple “Rapunzel” dress to kindy. At the time I just went with it. But I’ve noticed that her desire to express herself through clothing has stayed, and now at nine, she has a fashion sense that puts me to shame! As a mum I saw little clues at kindy as to what my children’s future passions might be.
Starting the day off right really helps
Sometimes saying ‘bye’ to your kids in the morning is hard. I’ve learnt that the best thing I can do is have as much fun as possible with them in the morning. If we’ve laughed in the car, or maybe got out the door a little early so we can get a coffee and a fluffy before heading in to kindy, everything feels better. It can be hard to remind ourselves to stay present when our lives are so busy, but when you slow down and take a moment to appreciate where you’re at, you can see it’s all the little moments of connection that make motherhood so enjoyable. And a morning well spent sets the whole day off on the right note.