Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten

The second biggest day after giving birth to my daughter just happened this morning...she started Kindergarten!!!!

This was a day we've been preparing for all summer. My girl, like a lot of other children (and parents!), gets nervous when things are brand new. Often in those times of unfamiliarity she will cling to me and beg me not to leave with tears in her eyes. Oh, how that tugs at a mama's heartstrings - I'm sure many of you other mommies can relate. I was determined to prep her as much as possible this summer to make our goodbye on the first day of school a happy and joyous one!

And I'm thrilled to say it was very joyous indeed! My girl walked over to where her class was seated, gave me and her daddy a big hug and sat down to begin her day. No tears, lots of smiles and even a little encouragement for ME in the car occurred. We are all so happy and I cannot wait to pick her up and hear all about her day.

Several weeks ago, I took to instagram asking my fabulous followers for helpful suggestions on how to make our goodbye on the first day of school easier. I received some tremendous help so I thought I would put together a list for any other mamas out there who might need a little extra help dropping their children off for the first day of school.

Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten

1.) Talk about school A LOT and focus on the positive aspects.
Luckily, my girl has two years of preschool under her belt and already has a deep love for school. She did know that Kindergarten was going to be a longer day than preschool, but instead of focusing on the actual length we talked about the extra time she would have to play with her new friends. I made a big deal out of the fact that she gets to have lunch with her friends at school. Anything positive and exciting, we talked about it.

2.) Go to the open house/meet the teacher night if your school has one.
The best way for my girl to feel comfortable is to know what is getting ready to happen. Going to her school's open house allowed her plenty of time to get familiar with her new classroom, her teacher and her desk. We got to the open house at the beginning of the evening, allowing us extra time to explore the room and ask questions of the teacher without feeling rushed. I even asked my daughter to show me around the room helping her to have a sense of pride in becoming a Kindergartener.

3.) Read The Kissing Hand.
Several friends and followers recommended this book to me and I'm so glad they did. The book shares a story of a raccoon who is nervous to go to school and how his mom helps him to feel her love. I won't give away what happens, but the book definitely helped my daughter feel more confident. We read this book several nights in a row before she started school.

4.) Buy mommy and me jewelry.
I purchased matching bracelets for my girl and I to both wear on her first day of school. I told her that anytime she started to miss me or if she just wanted to think about me, to look at her bracelet.
Pro tip: Make sure that the bracelet will actually fit your child and not be too big. I bought bracelets from the little girl section, but they were still too big for her. So we ended up raiding her jewelry box to find bracelets that I knew would fit her and not fall off. 

5.) Concentrate on how your child can be a helper.
Since she has already been to preschool, she does know a little bit of what happens at school. Instead of telling my daughter "don't be sad," I told her to look around her class and find someone who might need some help figuring out how to do things at school. By having her focus on helping others, this shifted her mindset away from "I'm going to miss mommy."
(When I was in Kindgarten, I was scared and nervous on the first day of school. A sweet little girl came over to me and asked if she could give my lunch money to our teacher for me. We are still friends 31 years later!!!)

6.) Ask your child if they have any questions. 
Leading up to the first day, I tried to bring up school a lot and see if she had any questions for me. I wanted to give her all of the information that she was curious about up front.

7.) Prepare the teacher that tears might happen.
While we were at the open house, I mentioned to her teacher how she might cry on the first day. I wanted to give the teacher a head's up and have us talk about the best way to handle things. Luckily her teacher is very sweet and I can tell she has a very loving heart. We planned that if tears happened her teacher would swoop in and take over, giving me an opportunity to make my exit without a crying five year old clinging to my leg.

8.) Make a quick exit on the first day.
My husband and I walked her into school on the first day and I was so proud of her for walking right to her class without any tears or hesitation. As much as I wanted to hang around and take extra pictures, I didn't want to linger and give her a reason to come running over to us. We said our goodbyes, I snapped a picture from across the gym and we left.

9.) Pray.
We've taught our daughter to seek God and pray whenever she needs help. She already knows this and prays whenever she wakes up scared in the middle of the night, asking God to give her courage and strength. On our way to school this morning, we all took turns praying over her day and asked God to make it joyous and fun. I was so proud to even hear my girl thank God for the awesome day she was about to have.

First Day of Kindergarten
First Day of School Tips

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9 Tips to Navigate the First Day of Kindergarten


  1. Wow I can’t belive you daughter started school already. I remember when you were posting baby updates on her.


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