Have a great (slow) weekend

The first few days of school are a major milestone for your child. It’s a huge one for you, too.
I still remember what it was like to drop our oldest son, Jakob, off in the (3-6).  He cried. A lot.  It went against all my parenting instincts to walk away before he had calmed down.  I knew how important it was to show him that I trusted the amazing teachers he was with, by telling him that I loved him and that he was in good hands, but then turn and go.  He was fine 10 minutes later.  I was a wreck for several hours. Did I do the right thing?  Should I have stayed until he stopped crying?  Will he be okay the rest of the day?
I have now spoken with scores of parents going through the same thing.  I watch them, misty eyed, walking to their car, siting behind the wheel and breathing.  It’s a big moment.  Even as your children get older and transition to new levels or schools, it still can feel emotionally overwhelming.  What I have learned, however, is that we all worry more than we need to as parents.  Our children are more resilient and adaptable than we think.  We, on the other hand, could learn a lot from them. 🙂
Here are some things to keep in mind.
Their Independence Doesn’t Mean You’re Losing Them.

You’re still their parent or guardian.  You will always love them and be there for them.  That will never change.  Even if they are developing new friendships you don’t know about, not wanting you to kiss them in front of their friends, or not looking back to say they love you when you drop off because they see a classmate they can’t wait to hug, it doesn’t mean you’re losing them.  It just means the relationship is changing.  They are becoming more independent.  This is normal.  You will never lose them.


Your Children Are More Prepared than You Think

You might worry that nothing you did prepared your child for what awaits them in the classroom.

She can’t seem to get her socks on right; he always forgets to brush the teeth on the bottom-left side of his mouth; they get lost in daydreams a lot – how is she ever going to learn to read, write, and do math?

The truth is, your child is better prepared than you think. Learning comes naturally to children. They’re driven to absorb as much information as possible and learn skills quickly. Even better, the Montessori method is designed to nurture that natural curiosity and to use it to build a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning.

You’ll be amazed at how well your little ones adapts and how well they do in the classroom (even if they still struggle with their socks).

Take Care of Yourself
This can be a challenging week for both the parents and the children.  My one piece of advice is to not over-schedule yourself for these first two weeks.  We all need to decompress, take care of ourselves, and have some downtime.  Spend the weekend together with no plans – and go slow.
Normalization Takes a Little Time

Normalization is the term Maria Montessori used for the process of internalizing multiple skills through coordination and organization. It is something that gradually happens when children have meaningful work to do. Given freedom, a child may choose to do things that adults may not initially choose for them. If we can step back and observe, many times we will see the purpose and merit in their actions.  As Montessori educators, we have been trained to do this, however, I would encourage parents to give it a try.  Don’t over involve yourself when your child gets home.  Observe. What is changing? What are they choosing to do?  I guarantee they will surprise you!


Have a great (slow) weekend!

Jeff Groh


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *