Friday, September 17, 2010
I wasn't expecting this
Miss M started kindergarten only two short weeks ago. I wasn't worried about her starting school. Not at all, actually. She is sociable, and she went to a large daycare centre for four years, so she is used to a structured environment with lots of other kids around. I figured school would be a piece of cake for her.
But my sweet little girl is having a hard time. For the first two days of school, she and the other kindergarteners wore a special name tag around their necks and the teachers would wait for them to arrive and direct them to their their designated area. But after those two days, they were on their own. Now my brave, outgoing, little supergirl feels lost. And scared. She gets off the bus at school and feels alone, unsure where to go.
Earlier this week she told me that she doesn't like taking the bus to school because she gets lost. I couldn't really understand what she meant. I asked her what the other kids do, and she explained that they go around to the back of the school and play until the bell rings and then they go in. I asked what she does. She told me that she gets off the bus and gets lost, and then a bigger kid (sometimes the big brother of her best friend) takes her hand and brings her to where she's supposed to go. We talked about it and I explained that she just needs to do that on her own. If she can't find her friend, she can just play on the structure and wait for the bell, since it rings only minutes after she arrives anyway. I thought she was okay.
I was wrong. On Fridays, I have to leave the house earlier than usual because I have a French course that I must get to, so my husband stays with Miss M until the bus comes. I was almost to my class this morning when my husband called. He had to drive her to school. Oh, did you miss the bus? I asked. No, it wasn't that. Miss M just wouldn't get on the bus. She had a crying fit, pleading not to go on the bus. Hubby told the bus driver that he would bring her to school himself, and that's when the driver told him that almost every morning, Miss M cries when they get to school until an older boy comes and brings her to her area. I feel so badly! I had no idea that she was this upset about it! Her dad brought her to school this morning and they went through the steps she needs to take when she gets off the bus. She has to go to the back of the school, cross where the bigger kids are playing, and over to where the younger children are playing. He walked with her when the bell rang and showed her exactly where to go when it was time to go in, too.
I don't know what else we can do for her. I assume that she feels intimidated and maybe like a little fish lost in a sea of older students when she steps off the bus and turns the corner. But she needs to learn that if she just keeps walking, she'll be in her own area and can play with other children her age. I don't think it's just the bus. She is fine on the bus until they arrive at school. And I don't know if it would even help if we drove her to school because we aren't even supposed to get out of the car when we drop off our children. There is a drop-off area where the child can exit the car and walk up a path to the school. It would probably be even more difficult because she would want us to walk her up every day. Plus, we need to get to work. If I drove her to school first, I wouldn't get to work on time. Oh, the stress!
We are going to talk about it with her more over the weekend. Maybe we'll go to the school and go over everything again with her. I'm not sure what else to do, but I certainly don't want her to feel lost or scared or sad when she gets to school every day. Advice is welcome!