The Fear of the Unknown

“Mommy, can we talk about Kindergarten?”

These words finally came out of the mouth of my little man.

We’ve suspected since the spark ignited that many of the behaviors we were seeing were because of anxiety.

Eli’s fabulous teacher has been doing her job and trying to prepare him for the changes ahead.

She’s reminded him that he will be going to a new school for Kindergarten.

She’s reminded him that none of his current friends are going onto his new school – they have their own schools to go to.

She’s reminded him that Kindergarten is different from preschool in so many good ways – he will get to learn all new things!

What she (all of us really) neglected to do was teach my brilliant 5 year old the concept of time.  In his little world this is all happening tomorrow….

She also neglected to inform his little mind how to wrap itself around all of these changes.  I mean really, if it were only that simple!

So Friday afternoon my little anxious child asked me if we could talk about Kindergarten.  I screamed from the rooftops said yes!  It was my opening to finally help him get through some of the craziness that has been going on.  Or so I thought…..

What will I learn in Kindergarten?
You’ll learn to spell more words, to read.  You’ll get to do the math that you love doing so much.

Who will be my new best friend?  Jack can’t come to my new school…
There will be so many new friends!  And Jack can still be your best friend – we’ll still have lots of playdates with him!

But I won’t know any of the new kids…
You didn’t know any of the kids when you started preschool.  Miss Maryann had to tell you their names.  Kindergarten will be just like that.

But I want Keegan to go to my new school too….
Remember when you started preschool you were the only one there?  Keegan couldn’t go yet.  Kindergarten will be the same way – Keegan just can’t go yet.

What will my new room look like?
????? (There is construction on all of the buildings so the entire structure of the building is changing.  I have no answer for this question.)

Who will my new teacher be?
????? (The district is changing to full day Kindergarten and they are hiring new teachers.  We won’t find out who is teacher is until the fall.  I have no answer for this question.)

After the second question that he stumped me with he stopped asking.  I tried to keep the inquiries coming but to no avail.  I’m not sure if the conversation helped a lot or not.  He spent much of the day Sunday with a notebook in hand writing down words he saw around the house and practicing words he already knows how to spell.  After all “I have to be ready for Kindergarten.”  The poor child is teaching himself everything he can so that he doesn’t go to Kindergarten knowing “nothing.”

It is my goal job, as his mom, to help him relax this summer.  To have fun.  To not think about the abyss that is Kindergarten.

I am attempting to answer the first of his two unanswerable questions later this week.  I am hoping to get him on a tour of the Kindergarten rooms at his new school.  I know that they will be changed by fall, but at least he can have a visual to carry with him this summer.  He understands the changes that construction brings so I think it will be ok.

I have a plan in place for the remainder of the summer.  I am hoping that it will make a difference in his little life.  I am hoping that it will make summer enjoyable for all of us.  I hope that it will prepare him for Kindergarten in a way that only a true love of life can.  And….

I will not share it with you until tomorrow;)

**I’m happy to report that the discussion we had does seem to be helping his behaviors (and by default Keegan’s behaviors).  Nana survived today with no major meltdowns and only a little of the usual craziness:)**

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About Brotherly Love

I am a mom, partner, teacher and a lover of life. I have two fabulous boys who define my life as I know it. One of my children has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, Asperger's and anxiety disorder. I blog as much about him as I do about my life and the lives of my immediate family.
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10 Responses to The Fear of the Unknown

  1. jOi-C says:

    oh my goodness…the last couple of weeks has left my husband and I totally drained…first I was thinking the weather was making my child crazy (winter definitely does some crazy things to my little guy) but then it just wasn't it..so i'm at the end of my rope and really thinking that my child is just a behvaior problem…coultn' sleep tonight because of my child's flare up this evening….i do my best thinking when i'm sleep deprived…and lo and behold! I think I may have found the culprit to our anixiety and behavior…well at least what's contributing to it. my child is homeschool and only finishing up Kindergarten so we don't talk too much about promotion or going into the next grade level…well at church we do promotions the 1st Sunday in June and they have been pumping the kids up the last 2 weeks…oh boy oh boy…why didn't I see that coming!I feel almost stupid for not even thinking about it! poor guy I can't even begin to imagine the things that rn through their heads about being in a new grade…

  2. Tiffany says:

    Poor Eli…that is so hard!! Will he be at Highland or Central? I have friends who have Kindergarteners at each so we could try and set him up on a date!

  3. TKW says:

    The mental picture of your little guy, diligently carrying notebook in hand, trying to figure out how to prepare himself for Kindergarten…I sniffled a little. ((hugs))

  4. These kids are so smart– taking a notebook around the house! WOW! – I hope that behaviors get smoothed out during the offical summer… 🙂 deep breaths…

  5. Jaimee says:

    This sounds so much like my son who just finished his first year of kindergarten (and also has SPD). None of his preschool class was going to his elementary school either. I remember at registration for kinder, they took each child in to ask them questions about shapes and colors and have them draw a picture, etc., and he was sooo nervous that he literally clung to me and teared up.Afterward, walking out to the car, we were trying to converse with him about what he did with the teacher and he said "Phht. I was, SO so easy. I mean, I know colors. I thought they were going to ask me about the parts of an insect or something." No wonder he was so nervous!I hope you can get in to tour the school. That will help him. Does that school do KinderCamp in the summer? I think that helped my son IMMENSELY. It was just 3 days, a couple hours each, of "camp" to introduce them to the layout of the school building, their classroom, and some activities similar to what they'd do during the school year. They got to eat in the cafeteria one day, and even take a ride on a school bus. I had never heard of this kind of kindergarten prep before, but it was really, really great for him.

  6. Heather B says:

    Joi-C – your little guy and my Eli sound so much alike! I love reading your blog for that very reason!Tiffany – he'll be going to Highland and we'd LOVE to do some playdates! Heck, our families should do playdates – what a novel idea!TKW – It really was a sight to see him. I couldn't feel bad though because he was so proud of himself for learning to spell the word "key" that day. Thanks for the hugs:)Stacey – thanks for the reminder to breathe! I do often forget that…Jamie – I don't think our school does KinderCamp but they do open house in the fall so that the kindergartners start after all of the other kids. They get to tour the building and discover the schedule. We do get to tour the school and Eli is incredibly excited about it!

  7. jOi-C says:

    thanks heather! it's so comforting to know that we're not the only one on this journey…it can be a pretty lonely path esp since we don't know anyone locally that has it too

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