But I Don’t Want to go to Kindergarten!
That phrase is the one we least want to hear either the day of or the night before the big moment when your child is going off to kindergarten. The last thing you want is for your child’s first day at kindergarten to be the result of a power struggle. That kind of unpleasant start to what is going to be a very big change in the life of a child will only put a cloud over the day and perhaps his year at school and that is exactly the opposite of what you want.
Of course, if it comes down to a pushing contest, you are going to win. And sometimes children test your borders with a comment like, “But I don’t want to go to kindergarten”. You know your child best and if that is what is going on, you also know how to maintain your authority so they know that going to school is not option and that not only will they go today, they will keep going every day for the entire school year.
Sometimes just laying down the law is sufficient. Children are tremendously adaptable and once your little one realizes that this is just the way it is going to be, you might be surprised how quickly he figures out the system at kindergarten and becomes a big success there. If that is the outcome, you are to be congratulated because you won the confrontation and established in your child a healthy respect for authority and learning to work within the system.
The key is, one way or another, you want to make them want to go to kindergarten. However, it could be that there are some methods that can be used to provide some inspiration for the child to want to get out there and be part of the fun and go to kindergarten along with the other kids. Peer pressure can be a good force as much as sometimes it is negative if it takes our children into the wrong behaviors. But if you give your child the chance to be with kids his own age and in the neighborhood and those kids are going to go to kindergarten starting that same day, that could be a huge motivation to go to school because the child sees it as extended playtime.
The age kids go to kindergarten is about the time they begin wanting to be with friends and get away from home a little bit. Their curiosity is high and they want to experience new things so you can tap that desire by creating the image that this will be a big adventure and that there will be lots to do there and that kindergarten will not be as boring as staying home day after day after day.
If your child has siblings who are already in school, there is often a desire to go to school to be like older brother or sister. So you can enlist the aid of those siblings to get the youngest in the family who is about to enter school to want to get out there and find out what the world is all about. Often the kindergartner to be also sees that sports and social activities are a big part of school life too.
The important thing is to use whatever motivation is naturally there to help your child get a real enthusiasm for school. You do want to talk to them about obeying the rules and working hard. And there will be lots of chances to do that long the way. But for day one, let this big step into kindergarten be all about excitement and fun. Your kiddo can figure the rest of it out as the school year progresses.