Going off to kindergarten is a big deal to your child. For parents who already have kids, big transitions in the lives of the kids is often taken for granted. But to put in perspective in your life, an equivalent type of event in the life of you as an adult might be a relocation to another country for a new job. For your five year old, going to kindergarten is launching into a new world, a world she has never known before. It is going to a place to do things she doesn’t know how to do, to be under the authority of strangers which is totally new and to spend most of her day with people who are not her family.
When a child graduates from a phase in their lives like from high school, college or even from elementary school, it is not uncommon to celebrate with a big party and gifts. The purpose of the celebration is to commemorate the successful conclusion of a formal phase of life and start of the next phase. We want the child to come out of their completed experienced encouraged and excited so they charge into the next challenge with gusto.
It might be time to consider the start of kindergarten in that same category. In a way, starting school is the end of infancy. Your child is going off to do something all by herself. She will take on challenges and conquer them. She will have days when it seems it is impossible and then she will conquer those fears and achieve the impossible. So you want to send your little one off to kindergarten with that that its time to leave infancy behind and go into this big new world of school with gusto, enthusiasm and ambition.
Making the start of kindergarten a big event puts the feeling of joy and excitement around that first day in that new school. It is a “rite of passage” that puts momentum around your child’s growth from being a baby at home to becoming a student. In our eyes kindergarten is hardly a big challenge. But in your little one’s eyes, it is just as big a step as any other transition you have experienced. And that celebration gives her the momentum to overcome those initial fears and go into the kindergarten classroom with excitement and positive anticipation.
A party is always a good way to start out this new phase in life. Perhaps going to your child’s favorite restaurant would be a nice touch because she can invite some of her friends to be there with her whole family to cheer and celebrate this big day with her. While many children’s restaurants are used to singing to a child having a birthday, with some notification and letting the restaurant know what you want, you can have the staff come out and sing a happy song with a cake and ice cream to make this event memorable and fun for your soon to be star student of the family.
You want this celebration to be special and not like every other birthday. Presents might include extra fun school clothes, a new notebook, a fun backpack or a jumbo crayola set in a special carrier that she can use to take it back and forth to school. But by making this celebration full of laughter, song and joy, you are sending a message to your little one that everybody appreciates what a big deal starting kindergarten is and the whole family and all of her friends are behind her 100% of the way. And your support in launching that child into school so well will pay off when she comes home successful, happy and excited about what she is doing in kindergarten every day.