8 Dirty Secrets About Kindergarten

LOL 66

1st day of kindergartenSending your kids off to school on the first day each year is always a bit emotional, but out of all of the educational milestones your little one hits -- watching your child go to kindergarten has to be one of the toughest days in any parent's life. (Sniffle.)

Because making the transition from that lovely little bit of heaven on earth known as preschool to full-blown "big kid" school is a pretty big leap to say the least. And before I sent my little dude to kindergarten last year, I thought I had it all figured out, and that the switch would be a piece of cake.

And I couldn't have been more naive or dead wrong.

It turns out I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, and to this day, I still can't understand why they don't make some sort of manual explaining how kindergarten works. It's almost like schools assume that all parents are mind readers and immediately know what to expect the minute their kid hops on that bus. (If only life were that simple.)

On that note, I've written somewhat of a cheat sheet for new kindergarten parents listing secrets I wish someone would've told me before my little guy went last year. (And if anyone has a list about what to expect in 1st grade, I'd love to see it.)

1. If your kid doesn't know the bus routine on day one even though it's never been explained to him, BOTH of you will get a nice scolding from the driver when he comes home, ruining that whole first day of kindergarten bliss thing.

2. You know how in preschool everyone holds your hand and gives you a big hug and praises your child up and down for being adorable and perfect? Yeah, he isn't so special anymore in kindergarten ... because they want all the kids to be treated the same, etc.

3. There's this little thing called the PTO, and it's evil and will begin stalking you and inundating you with fundraising packets somewhere around day three or four of kindergarten. Don't be fooled -- PTO actually stands for "Parent Torture Organization."

4. If you don't send in said fundraising packets immediately, you will find reminder after reminder in your child's backpack each day. (Again with the torture ...)

5. There's this thing called a "Room Mom," and trust me, it's not as innocent as it sounds. Because being a "Room Mom" basically means you are agreeing to take on the job of being the kindergarten party planner for the rest of the year. (If you aren't into the clipboard of fun, this isn't the job for you.)

6. OMG. It never fails, somewhere in the first couple months of kindergarten, you will find a letter in your kid's backpack saying that lice has been found in his/her classroom. But don't panic -- because apparently this happens in every school in every part of the country and the odds of your kid actually getting lice are pretty slim to none. (Oddly enough, there's no lice in preschool.)

7. When you find a newsletter in your child's backpack saying that an upcoming event at the school such as "Family Reading Night" is optional? Yeah -- it's definitely required. (The word "optional" is a classic guilt tactic.) Unless you don't mind being made to feel like the worst parent who ever walked the face of the earth, go to the damn event.

8. You know what "big kid" school is full of? BIG KIDS. And big kids have one purpose to fulfill when it comes to your kindergartner -- to ruin all of the hard work you put into shaping his manners and good behavior while he was in preschool. No matter how good of a job you think you've done, it'll all go down the drain the minute the big kids get a hold of your little kid.

What are you most nervous about when it comes to entering the world of kindergarten?

 

Image via Mary Fischer

back to school, elementary school, kindergarten

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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

If you can't be bothered to show up at special school events then you are a crappy parent. They're rarely more than 1-2 hours long and they mean the world to little kids. There were two parents in my son's K class that I just wanted to punch because they would lie to their kids and tell them they were going to show up. One kid had special needs and never could understand why his mother would say she was coming and then not show. Every time there was something happening like the portfolio night or field day he would be all excited saying she was coming this time and he would always wind up crying when she didn't. Hugging a five year old who is asking why his mommy isn't there when every other mom and several dads are and if his mother doesn't love him is heartbreaking. I lied to him and told him she was probably just held up somewhere when I knew that any mother that loved her kid wouldn't treat him like that. If you can't show then woman up and admit it beforehand, don't lie and leave other parents to clean up your mess.

the4m... the4mutts

I've been through the Kindergarten year twice, once for son, once for my daughter. I will be doing it again next year for my other daughter.

It was only a pain when my son went to the district his dad lived in. It was a nightmare!

My district has been nothing but a blessing. The teachers are understanding, caring, and want nothing more than for the kids to excell. The parents are pretty normal. There is no real PTO. Their version of PTO is putting a "we need volunteers/items for *this* event" notices on their doors, and you can just sign the paper if you want to help.

My biggest fear, is that my 6yo going into 1st grade next Monday. She is teeny-tiny, and delicate. She still only weighs 34lbs! Hell, my 2.5 yr old weighs that much.

It will be the first year she plays with older kids, in a larger setting. I'm scared to death that she will accidently get hurt. My 9yo son will be in 4th grade, and he got his arm broken last year, on accident, by one of his friends while they were playing.

So yah, no teacher/parent pressure worries for me, no bus worries because they have no bus in our district. No "manners" issues, because I've taught my kids not to be followers.

I'm scared of them being hurt.

cmjaz cmjaz

Lol

craft... craftycatVT

The bus drivers in my town are pretty good. They know who gets off at each stop and who is supposed to be there to pick them up. They also had a practice run a few days before the start of school.

nonmember avatar Alicia

I've never been more disappointed in anything you've ever written as I am of this article. PTO torture? Bad bus drivers? Family event criticism? Do you have any idea how many people are spending their time advocating for your child? Shame on you for being so uninformed and seemingly lazy. I hope no one takes this seriously.

nonmember avatar Alicia

I've never been more disappointed in anything you've ever written as I am of this article. PTO torture? Bad bus drivers? Family event criticism? Do you have any idea how many people are spending their time advocating for your child? Shame on you for being so uninformed and seemingly lazy. I hope no one takes this seriously.

nonmember avatar Tonya

Amen on the room mom and PTO stuff. My oldest is now in middle school, and as a SAHM I've been in the school trenches for quite a few years. I've been at our elementary school longer than a lot of teachers and I've seen three sets of administration. It's all worth it, though. I have a true working knowledge of the school and like knowing all of my kid's friends and teachers. As for the "slim" chance of getting live, hahahahahahahaha. Keep telling yourself that. Denial is not always a bad place to live. Both of mine got lice in first grade. Four years apart, so who knows why there was that little coincidence. Both are girls, and I did all the preventative stuff: lice shield shampoo, ponytails, hairspray, etc. When a lice outbreak occurs in a classroom, nobody is safe.

Mary Cimino

To those parents who think I have to attend EVERY event, I work two jobs and try to run a household on top of that. I can't be at every single event because if I take time off work to go that means someones going hungry. It doesn't mean I don't love my children any less, it just means I have a shitty boss. Know your facts before making another parent feel bad, they may be like me who works too hard.

the4m... the4mutts

Mary- I don't think anyone *except maybe Rhonda* cares if you go to every event.

I have 4 kids. 2 are school aged.

I NEVER go to any event that I don't feel like going to. I give my kids choices, as there are usually 3-4 events a month. I let them each agree on one that they want me at. And I've never cared who thought what of me for it. Oh, and I'm a SAHM. So I COULD go to every single one. But I'm not going to.

Oh, and I go to award ceremonies that they're being given awards at, since those only happen once a quarter.

If anyone thinks you're lazy,or unloving, FUCK 'EM! You're the mom. Nobody has the right to count events that you go to as a measure of how much you love your kids.

LadyDIN LadyDIN

"If you can't be bothered to show up at special school events then you are a crappy parent."


So my hardworking single father was a crappy parent because he had a job and no aid/help from any one? Because providing for my sister and I was more important than every thirdgrade science fair/field day/ etc? What a judgemental sanctimommyious thing to say.

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