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What kindergartners really need during the first week of school

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The first two days of school were tough on our little kindergartner.

She cried at drop off.

She cried in the lunchroom because she didn't know if she was allowed to eat her cookies.

And she cried in the bathroom because she couldn't get the heavy door open.


A transition from a small and loving preschool where you eat lunch in your classroom, to a school with a ginormous and loud cafeteria can be overwhelming for our littlest students. And as sad as she was, I was feeling heartbroken that I couldn't help soothe her.

So the wonderful PTA asked me to volunteer in the lunchroom for the remainder of the week so I can help her transition to a bigger space, with quadruple the kids, and quadruple the noise and confusion.

I did today and it was heaven. Her little body perked up, she was happy, confident, and introduced me to her two new friends.

I finally exhaled. I think quite honestly I was more nervous than she was.

It was so humbling to be able to see her in her new school and help not only her class but so many other kids who were just as frightened and feeling alone.

If you have the time, or are ever able to take a lunch hour to volunteer, please consider it. The schools and teachers need parental support. They work so hard to create a safe space for our children, and I was blown away by hard it was to keep so many children fed and orderly. It truly does take a village.

They need help opening their juice pouches and milk cartons. They need help finding the bathroom. They need help cleaning up. And they need a smile from a friendly face, asking them if they like their school and just letting them know THEY MATTER.

I am so grateful to the staff at our school who take such wonderful care of these students. And I feel incredibly lucky that I can arrange my schedule to be with our daughter and all the other kids that needed a little encouragement today.

And to all the parents with kids that are reluctant or a little anxious - be patient. Fill them up with love and confidence. This too shall pass.

And soon enough they'll be the big kids helping and comforting the new kindergartners who are learning the ropes.

This post originally ran on Kristen Hewitt's Facebook page and blog.

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