Change: of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone; to transform or convert; to move or replace.
As I read the definition of change it occurs to me what a difficult time of year this is for everyone with kids. I know I’m even a little emotional. End of the school year, changing of grades, moving of classrooms, leaving behind preschools and starting kindergarten, middle school or even college.
But mostly, I thought about that 4.5 year old little munchkin that I watch whose world seems to be turning upside down all of a sudden at these words “Kindergarten” and “Graduation”. And when I say seeming, I mean it, because they don’t know this is stressful. They don’t get this is a rite of passage. They don’t understand what WE know. To them, they are just confusing new words they keep hearing. Over & over again. They sound exciting. They sound shiny and new. They sound fun. But again, IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S CHANGE. And no one actually likes change.
Kids ARE resilient, we all know that. They can bounce back like no other. Things that would bring us sobbing to our knees for days, they can see past. They can move on, they don’t understand the brevity of it. But that’s what is so special about childhood……the innocence.
After thinking about all of this A LOT yesterday, last night and early this morning I URGE you to take the time to talk to your kids. Open the dialogue. Just because they are acting like they’re okay doesn’t mean they are. Just because they say everything properly “today’s the last day of kindergarten and then I get to go to 1st grade!!!” don’t assume that they even understand what that actually means.
They ARE smart.
They ARE intuitive.
But they aren’t mind-readers and they aren’t equipped with the knowledge we have, which sometimes is fantastic obviously, but other times we take for granted how much they understand and know, and it breaks my heart when I realize that one or both of my little people are struggling because we took for granted something that WAS a big deal that it was understood and accepted because those little eyes looked at us and said yes. Because they repeated the words properly. But they didn’t really have a clue.
Chances are, if you’re sad, so are they in some way. So when I see your FB, IG comments & Tweets and you say it’s a bittersweet day for you, it probably is for them as well!! So put your own feelings aside and talk to them about theirs!
Ask them how it makes them feel to be leaving 1st grade.
Ask them how it feels to be saying goodbye.
Ask them how it feels to be changing schools.
ASK THEM how they feel about leaving preschool and starting Kindergarten somewhere new in the fall (which means nothing to them btw so make sure to show them on a calendar!!!).
Talk to them.
Most of all, LISTEN.
You might be very surprised at what they have to say. I know I was. xoxo traci