Is this normal?

I don’t think there’s another day in the school year that brings up such a polarity of emotions as the FIRST day of school.  On the one hand, parents are ecstatic to drop their children off and finally have a few moments of delicious freedom!  On the other hand, it can be the most gut-wrenching thing you will experience.  It is a herculean task to actually trust another human to care for your most valuable treasure in the world.  How on earth can these teachers give my baby the attention and care that they deserve?!!

Well, the truth is that we certainly cannot replace you as the center of your child’s existence.  But the good news is that we can provide your child with something that you cannot do alone.  You are many things to your child, but you cannot be a classroom full of children.  And I applaud all of you parents for giving your children the incredible gift of school.

School is hard, school is fun, school is full of endless opportunities for growth.  While drop-off can be ever-so-hard, it is totally worth it.  Your children are going to learn to trust you more than ever (“Mommy said she’d come back, and she DID!!”), they are going to gain self-confidence, they will build friendships, they’ll work on conflict-resolution skills…the list of all of the things they will learn is endless.

The rough part of diving into all of these experiences is that the beginning can feel quite bumpy.  Parents often ask me “Is this normal?!!” with regards to their child’s meltdowns, anxiety, changes in behavior, etc.  And the answer is a resounding YES.  It is all so very normal.

For about 90% of our students, we are their first taste of school.  We take that honor very seriously at Good News and we feel it is our mission to create the most positive school experience possible to set the stage for a lifetime love of learning.  However, keep in mind that if your child has never been away from you except to stay with grandma for a few hours, school can be as shocking as being dunked in a vat of ice water!  Suddenly mom, dad, or both has left and they are in an unfamiliar room full of strangers both big and small.  How they react depends on what coping mechanisms they use.  They may withdraw or they may throw a hysterical temper tantrum.  All of this is completely normal and provides them a wonderful opportunity to learn how to cope in new situations.  These are big lessons, and when you pick your child up you can shower on the praise of how very brave they are to tackle this huge experience called school!

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