My daughter had only been on two days of her winter break from kindergarten — and I was absolutely sure I wouldn’t make it with my sanity intact by the end of the two and a half weeks.
But then something weird happened… The drama went away, we were having fun, and the time flew by! I know, I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
When school started back I figured that everything would return to how it was before the break. We have our routine, the drama is at a minimum, life is good. Wow. To say that was delusional on my part is a complete understatement.
Back to the Beginning
Everything was going great that first Monday after school. We talked about school on the drive home, we laughed about a silly car on the road, and she munched on her snack without incident. The moment we walked into the house, it was like she was possessed by the ‘I Hate My Mom’ demon. Tears, yelling, and a bedroom door slamming. I felt like I’d been hit upside the head and my ears were still ringing.
Two more days of her tantrums, yelling, ‘I’m not going to read that book!’ “I don’t want to talk to you!’ ‘I’m not eating THAT for dinner!'”You’re so mean to me!’ — I honestly thought I was going out of my mind. I kept asking myself, How did this happen? What am I doing wrong? How can I make this better?
Recognizing the Problem
I don’t know how I reached my ‘Aha!’ moment. It might have been the second glass of wine on Wednesday night. But it suddenly dawned on me that for me it’s no problem to pick up a routine right back up after a vacation, but my daughter is 6. This is her first year in school for 6 hours a day. She had 2 1/2 weeks to pick up a new (more fun) routine. For her we were starting kindergarten all over again.
Except we weren’t… After I realized that this transition wasn’t easy for her, I knew I needed to employ the same skills and techniques that I’d discovered when we first encountered the Kindergarten Krazies at the start of the school year.
Slow Down, Mama
I needed to pump the brakes. Did it really matter if she didn’t get all of her homework done this week? Nope. Skipping some of the work is not going to go down on her permanent record. I encouraged her to work on a craft project she enjoys. Thank you to our friend for introducing her to Aquabeads!
Just having that small project that she could complete gave her a sense of accomplishment. That feeling was enough to negate her unease and anxiety about being back to school.
And I didn’t worry about getting dinner on the table ‘on-time.’ We played a few hands of UNO and Go-Fish each evening. I could not believe the difference a few laughs and giggles over who got a ‘Draw-Four’ made.
My daughter is not me. She needs transition time. Her calendar is not the same as mine and I need to respect the way she ‘gets back into the swing of things.’ Now Spring Break is headed our way and I need to keep all these lessons in my back pocket for when it’s time to head back to kindergarten after a week away!