A Pep Talk for the Parents of a New Kindergartner

So. You’re sending your child off to Kindergarten. It’s probably time for a pep talk.

Let me guess. You’re excited and sad at the same time, and maybe just the tiniest bit anxious. You’re worried that your precious baby won’t fit in, or that they won’t make friends, or that they’ll miss you, or you’ll miss them. You’re worried that their teacher won’t love them as much as you do (they won’t, how could they?). That they aren’t ready, that school will suck all the creativity and joy out of your child, that you aren’t ready.

Look, I’m not here to shame you about the anxiety or the tears that will inevitably come. I get it. We all get it. The minute we become parents the mere thought that our babies will soon grow up and eventually leave the nest turns us into a puddle. Each of us has a little Sadie inside our hearts.

As a mom who sent her oldest off to kindergarten last fall, I understand exactly what you are going through and I am here to tell you – you will be fine, your child will be fine, and while this is a very important year in their education, it’s still just kindergarten.

Don’t Freak Out

The most important lessons they’ll learn this year are those you’ve already been teaching them for five years. They are ready and so are you.

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Let me share just a few of the wonderful parts of kindergarten that you have to look forward to this year. Focus on these things, and you’ll breathe easier about sending your baby off into the big wide world with a bag strapped to their back that is almost as big as them.

Reading and Writing

Some of your children are geniuses, no doubt, and are already reading and writing and probably quoting Balzac. But for the rest of us, kindergarten is when the magic happens. By May bedtime stories are a co-production and you’ll receive poorly spelled notes in your birthday card instead of just a scribble of a signature. You will love those notes. You will cry over those notes, and you will cherish them as much as the tiny footprints from the hospital. You may also giggle about some of them.

via MommyShorts.com
via MommyShorts.com

Did you know that counting to 100 is the new black? By 10s and 5s and even 2s, counting is all the rage and they will count EVERYTHING. It can get a bit tedious but now you have a child that can tell time and count money. These are useful tools in a parent’s wheelhouse (an allowance now means something!) and makes life a whole lot easier for both of you.


Oh, the artwork. Whether you have a budding Monet, Jackson Pollack, or Picasso, your fridge is about to explode with art and no matter how good (or bad) you display it proudly. Your job is to ooh and aahh over it and you NEVER question their technique or choices. It’s art. It’s subjective and it’s helping their mind expand. If it’s really good, you can always submit it to this site 🙂

I love that my daughter cares absolutely NOT AT ALL about scale here. My husband is a good head taller than me. I am much larger than my daughter in real life and our youngest had been walking for almost a year when this was drawn!
I love that my daughter cares absolutely NOT AT ALL about scale here. 
The Teacher

When they aren’t busy with all that reading and writing and counting, your little one will fall in love this year too. You will soon be regaled with stories about their wonderful teacher, Ms. Jones. You will learn more than you ever cared to know about Ms. Jones. Her favorite color, her home state, how she says “God Bless You” while you only say “Bless You” and OF COURSE Ms. Jones’ way is better.

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In fact, you may become small potatoes in your child’s eye when compared to Ms. Jones. It’s hard to feel like you’re being replaced as the be all and end all of your child’s world but remember that this is actually a good thing. It’s a sign that your child trusts their teacher, that they are excited about what they are learning, and they feel safe in their classroom.

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Model Good Behavior

Take it from someone who has been there. Kindergarten is going to be awesome! If you set the tone and act excited and happy about it, your child will be excited and happy about it. Even if you are dying a little on the inside at the notion that your baby is growing up, take a deep breath and smile big. And wear waterproof mascara. And for goodness sake, get a great picture of your kid on their first day of big kid school!

First Day of Kindergarten '13
First Day of Kindergarten 


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This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.


View Comments (5)
  • Wendy – you are going to do just great! I cannot recommend some waterproof mascara highly enough though. 🙂

  • My littlest doesn’t start kindergarten until next year, but I am ALREADY dreading it! Mommy’s little man is growing up! Thank you for this wonderful post! <3

    • I can attest that it is WAY harder on mom than kid. That said, it’s nice to get a bit of freedom back and it’s fun to watch them becoming interesting people as they get bigger.

  • Hi,
    I noticed the link for submitting great children’s art is no longer valid. (I.e. it takes you to a domain for purchase.) Thought you might like to know!

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