How to Ease Kindergarten Jitters

Updated on August 12, 2013
J.C. asks from Corona, CA
11 answers

I am a mom of one kid and I am starting to get nervous about kindergarten, as its only 2 weeks away from starting! My daughter has most always been home with me. So Im asking for advice from other mommas on how to get through the first day and week. Thanks in advance.

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So What Happened?

I really appreciate all of the advice! I dont think she is nervous, its all me! And she has been in a program before, a few hours pre-school plus many dance classes and other activities so I know she knows how to get along with other kids and listen to directions wonderfully. I love the idea of meeting someone or having plans. I am not used to having so much quiet/alone time but am sure I will adjust quickly! I appreciate that 99% of the responses were positive. I know this is a milestone and will be excited for her and promise not to cry until I hit the car :)

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answers from Toledo on

If you haven't already done so, make plans to meet someone for breakfast right after you take her (or the bus comes to get her). My husband and I did this last year, and I think it's a tradition I'd like to start.

When my oldest started school, I had to go straight to work. I was fine until I pulled into the parking lot. That was when the flood gates opened. My youngest starts kindergarten next year. Thankfully I won't have to work that day, (I teach at a university and already know when classes start.) but I do think I will be a mess. Breakfast with my husband just might do the trick.

She's going to be fine! Kindergarten teachers know to expect nervous students and have lots of things planned to help everyone feel comfortable and get used to things.

Try to smile. She's going to love it!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Detroit on

My last is starting kidnergarten and I CAN NOT wait. I don't have one, though. Have you seen all the ideas for helping your kidnergatener through it? I've had an adult t-shirt made with class of 2025 on it and plan on taking her picture in it with each teacher for the next twelve years. We've also been back to school shopping and practicing at home. It's therepudic for both of us. As soon as school starts I'm starting my gym routine. It's mommy time!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Who is nervous? You? If it is, get it together because she will take her cues from you.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I'm so excited! I'm a Kindergarten teacher.
I love everyone's ideas and suggestions. I will get to meet my students the Friday before school starts. On the first day of school we have a Boohoo Breakfast for Kindergarten parents. I love how other parents are encouraging quick drop offs, dry runs, calmness, and no tears. If I see a parent crying on the first day then it's a guarantee that their child will be crying in the classroom. If some parents linger in the classroom after school begins, then not only will their child be crying and clinging but it will frighten other students. I love the idea of parents making plans for their day instead of staying around the house worrying. If your child attends full day, then expect your child to be hungry when hey get home. Their little stomachs are nervous and excited. The lunchroom, food, routines, children, teachers, and noises are new to them. It's normal for many Kindergarten students to just sit and look around during lunchtime. They will be encouraged to eat, but many will only take a few bites. So, maybe plan on eating dinner a little bit earlier or have a healthy snack ready for them after school. Lack of eating can last up to two weeks. Don't make a big deal out of this because it does go away. I would suggest small finger foods in their lunch boxes. If you want your child to ride the bus then please have them do it the first day. You can physically put them on the bus, and then follow the bus to school...watching the procedure of getting off the bus and walking to the Kindergarten playground. Then you can do the same at the end of the day (watch them get on and follow the bus to their bus stop). Teachers, Staff, Administration, and the Bus Drivers are all on alert and aware that Kindergarteners have never rode a bus. Each week, after the first week, there will be less staff members assisting. (I work at a school that has 8-9 school buses. Students only get picked up/dropped off or ride a bus. Our population is close to 1000.)
This is a super, exciting time of their lives! Celebrate their growth and independence! (Also love their teacher, I promise to do everything I can to make their year memorable and safe. I usually only get a bathroom break the first two weeks. So, please follow our Kindergarten rules: Be Kind, Support Others, and Follow Directions.)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Has there been a kindergarten orientation to show her (and you) her classroom and where the bus comes in and who her teacher is? Have you gotten anything from the school on a typical day's structure?

Is your daughter nervous, or just you? Do you have a handle on what you're afraid of? That she will cry? (Is she shy or emotional?) Not relate to the other kids? (If she's "mostly been home with you" does that mean you think she lacks social skills or group interaction experience?) Does she have experience in taking her lunch with her to any kind of event? Does she have any experience in listening to another adult, perhaps through a recreation department program or a town library program? Then use all of those experiences to reassure yourself, and her, that those are transferrable skills!

A good friend of mine is a kindergarten teacher, and she's pretty clear about what they know how to do and what they don't. She does not care at all about whether they can write their name or read or count to 100. She cares that they can focus and keep their hands to themselves. She knows that they don't know basic things like "line up" - so she puts a long piece of tape on the floor and tells everyone to stand on the tape, and that puts them in line. She knows that some kids get teary, and she knows how to occupy them. She knows that some kids forget to go to the bathroom, and that the "supply list" that goes to the parents beforehand includes a change of clothes.

Are you worried that you will miss her too much? Then make a plan for the first day to occupy yourself. You'll have your cell phone, and 99.9% of the time there's never an emergency! Go to lunch, go shopping, do errands, get your haircut, anything. Do not sit around an empty house and stress about how much she may be suffering. She's not!

Do not pepper your child with endless questions when she comes home - it's very typical for kids to not be able to relate what they did all day. And don't make too big a deal out of the first day - don't go crazy with special outfits and a big before-school party or hoopla. Just send her with a favorite snack or lunch (depending on whether it's all-day kindergarten or not) and be sure they are in containers she can open. Have her in comfortable clothes so she isn't freaked out about getting glue or crayon on them, and have her in sneakers so she can run around on the playground. Most schools don't allow flip flops anyway, but be sure she's safe in a crowd of kids running. Don't make a big farewell deal out of the bus stop or the drop-off line - no emotion, just a big smile and a kiss and a "have fun!" are all the kids need.

Remember that the teacher and the aides and the bus driver are experienced and will make sure she's not lost or doing anything unsafe.

And it's also normal for the kids to get sick of this routine after a few days and say they don't want to go back. That doesn't mean anything horrible happened or that you need to get a new teacher! It means kids take a while getting used to a schedule!

You should be getting some info from the schools, and your child will be bringing home things she made in her backpack. Have a small backpack so it's not too much for her to handle but large enough to hold her lunchbox and a few papers. Hang stuff up on the fridge, and say "I can't wait to see what you make tomorrow" to keep her positive. And don't feel that, if she doesn't bring home a lot of stuff, that they aren't doing anything. A lot of times teachers save the first few creations to hang up in the classroom in anticipation of parents' night.

This is a great milestone -celebrate it!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

The secret will be for YOU to be calm, but excited for her.

I also reminded the family not to make too much of a fuss so it would not freak her out.

She is going to do great. Make sure you all participate in any way the school offers for that morning.

At our daughters school all of the kindergartners go straight to the cafeteria, they sit at the table with all of the children that will be going to the same class room. When we arrived there, there were already some children sitting there, so I asked a cute little girl what her name was and then introduced her to our daughter, They sat next to each other.

We told our daughter to have fun and told her we would pick her up right after school. They told the parents to leave the cafeteria and not linger.

Leading up to the first day, we took her up to the school to play on the play grounds. The school had an information day. We went and our daughter was sent to the kindergarten rooms to see the classroom and meet some of the students and a teacher.

We read books about first day of school. There are a ton out there.

I let her pick out her outfit.

She picked out supplies and a back pack.

She told me what she wanted to take in her new lunch box.

We practiced getting up in the mornings getting dressed , eating breakfast and driving to school. So she had the routine down.

Over all my husband and I in no way let her know how nervous we actually were. This seemed to help her. Yes, she was shy, nervous, but also excited about making new friends. Getting to meet her teacher and see her new class room..

We reminded her she would get to play on the playground 2 times a day.

She was going to get to eat out of a lunch box!

She was going to be able to check out books from the SCHOOL library!

When I picked her up, she said she felt like it went too fast! I told her, that is ok, you get to come back tomorrow!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Have you gone to the actual school to walk around yet? Most schools have a supply drop off day where you can do this or a school pre view day.

Also make sure that you are busy right afterwards. Meeting someone for breakfast/lunch depending on am or pm. How you act will add to how she acts.

I was able to tour the school for pre-k that morning and walk him to class for Pre-K, we had an "Open House" night where we could tour the school, meet the teacher and get some idea of expectations for that school year the night before. This year we have a new principal so a new thing is Supply Drop off day where we can bring in the supplies and meet the teacher and tour the school if needed. So, many schools do things differently find out what yours does and make it work for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I was just thinking the same thing as I am filling out more papers that I have to take to the Open House! I am hoping I am more at ease after Open House. Son says he's fine but I have jitters! My first one to school. He has gone to daycare center for over 5 years but can't figure out why this has me more nervous. Maybe it's the bus vs me dropping off. Just know you aren't alone!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I had to put my son into daycare when he was 1.5, and the first few weeks were really hard for both of us. However: Once he got used to going he LOVED it! He grew more confident, his language skills improved quickly, he learned new games, and he was angry when he had to stay home on the weekends. Daycares and kindergartens can offer your kid so many things you cannot offer at home because you are just one person. Think of all the kids she'll have as new friends. Think of birthday celebrations and learning new songs and games, and of how proud and grown-up she'll feel. Also, you will have more time to yourself and then picking her up will be so fun and special because you'll miss here a bit. Enjoy it all!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

I'm not sure if your daughter is the outgoing type. If she is not I would make sure not show your fear and also stay strong and do not drag out the goodbyes.

Your daughter will love Kindergarten and you'll have plenty of opportunities to come in the classroom and help out if you want.



answers from Washington DC on

I agree with practicing. Do as many dry runs as you can. Pack her favorite lunch with a sweet note or drawing if she can't read.
Most schools in my district allow the primary kids to come to school for about an hour one one day before school starts so they can meet their teacher and see the classroom. Find out if this is available at your school.

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