Moms Who Have Had/have Kindergarteners...

Updated on September 10, 2012
S.A. asks from Eagle River, WI
25 answers

Hi Moms or Dads,
I am a mom to a new kindergartener and I am having a hard time. She has only been there 2 full days this week and part of another day and she is already sick!!! I know it happens and I'll have to get used to it especially since she stayed home with me up until now. Her teacher helper told her she could only wipe her nose once and then the rest of the day was wiping it on her bare arms, yuck, now we know why they all get sick at once! She did not have a runny nose this a.m. and is full blown sick this evening. I am already emotional about it anyway but now I just feel so overwhelmed. How much contact do you/did you have with your kindergartener's teacher? I don't want to make a big deal about little things but I also want to be able to help her with my voice and be there to look out for my child and I think that her only being 4yrs old that it is acceptable. But also know that she needs to learn the rules of her new classroom. She turns in 5 in a couple weeks. I know everyone goes through this, I'm just having a hard time knowing what the do's and don't of kindergarten are. One day you give birth to this beautiful child, you raise this child and are with him/her everyday and then one day you're just suppose to hand them over to strangers and trust that they are doing what's best for your child. I'm having a hard time. Any positive thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Okaaay.... sounds like a misunderstanding between your daughter and the teacher/teacher's aide. It happens frequently at first. (misunderstanding a rule that is being given, or something said to them).
I would simply talk to the teacher and ask her to confirm for your daughter that she can use the tissues to blow her nose as needed, that your daughter seems to have misunderstood and thinks she can only blow her nose once all day.
It really is that simple.
This is just step one of finding out that our little ones don't always tell the WHOLE story, lol. When they are this age, though, it is usually because they don't have a grasp of the whole picture or they misunderstood something, or didn't hear part of what was said, or whatever. It'll be later when you'll hear how it isn't their fault and "that isn't what the teacher said", lol.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would discuss this with the teacher. It may be that your daughter misunderstood the teacher helper (this happens on occasion), and talking about it could clarify things. On the other hand, if the helper did say that, then a discussion about the issue is in order so that it does not happen again.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

A cold takes three days to incubate, so it's been germinating in there for a while. The drippies this morning were just the sign that the full blown cold was coming.

It's hard, but when our children get sick, especially if they haven't been sick much prior, it's good to remember that it's building up their immune systems. This cold is GOOD for your daughter.

What I think it ridiculous is the teacher's helper telling your daughter that she couldn't wipe her nose, ONLY IF that's actually what was said. I have a strong feeling that your daughter may have misunderstood what was said to her and I would follow up with the teacher to investigate it. It's more likely that the teacher's helper suggested that your daughter keep the tissue she was using rather than continuously get up from her desk/area to get new tissues.

I think it might be a great idea to send your daughter with her own packages of pocket tissues, such as you can nab when you're standing in line at Target. Kleenex has some great little plastic packs that fit nicely in a pencil box or deep pocket.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Hi Shelley,

I'm a preschool teacher and can assure you: getting sick like heck is something very common with sending your children out into the world. My son was at home with me until three-- and then, sick, sick, sick,esp. his first year of preschool. When I worked at my second daycare job, I was sick off and on for about a year or so. NOW, it's rare for me to get 'sick' in any communicable sort of way. I've built up lots of immunities.

Check in with the teacher about the tissue situation. I think there's a misunderstanding there. We really want to encourage healthy self-care, and it may be that your daughter got confused. We want them to wipe their own noses and then wash their hands with soap and water immediately after (or use that hand sanitizer, which is not as effective as soap and water, IMO.) Did your daughter ask the teacher to wipe her nose? Maybe the teacher said "Just one time, and then you do it?" ... I just wonder. I know lots of little ones whose parents wiped their noses (or bottoms) at home and expected me to do it... if not, they did often use their sleeves/back of the hand for their noses, unless I 'caught' them first and sent them to the bathroom to take care of it all.

Give this transition a month or two. Remember that kids of this age often misunderstand rules/directions from the teacher. My son is five and can sometimes hardly get a one-part direction correct and he's pretty bright. She may have given your daughter more info than she could digest at one time. And other posters are right: illness does not usually set up house in one day. Children are usually exposed at least a few days earlier, if not more. So try to relax about all this, remember that the teachers likely wouldn't have had her in kinder if they really thought she wasn't ready, and know that your little girl will be fine.

For what it's worth... I'm having to go along with this whole 'trusting strangers' thing too. My son's preschool teachers are long-known beloved people, and so handing him over to someone I don't know this time around is daunting. But I know he'd really feel like he was missing out on friends and fun if I kept him at home. I also remember my preschoolers being so 'out of synch' with school during the first few days. It was a whole new world of routines, transitions and 'the classroom way of things' to learn. It IS work to learn how to move along with the teacher and the rest of the class if you haven't practiced this before; I really want to acknowledge that. So it may be that there is some confusion-- your little girl is coming down with a bug AND having to learn a whole new way of being. What a lot! But she will do fine.:)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Teachers ENCOURAGE the use of Kleenex, I PROMISE! Especially at that age.
Your daughter probably misunderstood, or, she was being silly/playing with the Kleenex and the teacher told her one is enough.
I'm sorry you are having a hard time. I honestly cannot relate because I was happy to send my kids to both preschool and beyond (though they only went to preschool 9 to 12 hours per week.) They had so much fun, they loved learning and making friends, I was so happy for them!
And I had a little time to myself.
Maybe that's really the problem, you have filled up your days with your daughter and now you don't know what to do with yourself?
Read, cook, plant, sew, paint, build, work out, take a class, get together with friends, stay busy!
I hope you see this as positive advice, because it is. Our children are precious but they must be given both roots and wings, as I'm sure you know :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Most kindergarten teachers have a saying, I wont believe half of what I hear about you from your child as long as you don't believe half if what you hear about me. I would email the teacher, keep an open, unjudgemental line of communication. I sent my child in today with her own box of lotion Kleenex as she had no fever, cough or other symtoms, she does have allergies and it can go on until the 2nd or 3rd hard freeze.perhaps whatshe meant was stay in your seat, or tske a few Kleenex with you, or along those lines.
Also any opportunity you have volunteer in the classroom and school. It will give you perspective of everything that goes on. Volunteer with your pto it will give you priceless relationships with the school faculty and with other parents. You will be a parent in the know and know what is happening in and around the school.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My oldest just started 1st grade...and I still have those emotions Momma :)
I'm thinking there must have been a misunderstanding on your child's part as I can't imagine the aide telling her she can only wipe her nose once. Perhaps she limited her to taking one tissue at a time which your child took to mean only once per day?

I think I'd let this one slide for the time being but if your little one claims a repeat of the same thing then maybe ask the teacher what her rules are regarding tissues. Approach her by asking her to clarify to your child what the rules are because "surely there must be a misunderstanding and now my little M thinks she is only allowed to wipe her nose once a"

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

I hate to bust your bubble, but my 10th grader just started a new school and forgot her lunch (I didn't notice), when she came home starving I asked why she didn't call me....she said the school phones don't call long distance (we moved I don't have local phone number yet) and the office wouldn't let her call. I went in school for a different reason and just mentioned the situation and the were shocked....had they known she wanted to call mom for get lunch, they would have given her a personal cell or money.

It gets better I promise. We have been in school for a few weeks and spray had a sick day. You could try giving her vitamin C.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

My daughter’s school lets them keep tissue packs in their desks and hand sanitizer. The teacher also has tissues and hand sanitizer in the class room for everyone. I can't imagine someone telling a small child that they can only use one tissue all day, that’s ridiculous.

All kids catch colds and so do the teachers. Just make sure you daughter eats healthy and keep her immune system up. Try having her drink an Emergen-C once a day, the vitamins and minerals will help give a boost.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

1) It is RIDICULOUS... to have a rule that a child can only wipe their nose once... and then the rest of the day the child has to, use their clothing to wipe their nose.
At my kids school... and in Kinder, they have Kleenex boxes, on EACH desk cluster, for the kids to use, WHENEVER they need to.

2) Yes, kids get sick a lot initially. But it takes a few days, to get sick. Meaning, your child could have gotten a bug even before the 2 days she's been in school, and then it is showing symptoms, NOW.

3) Per the Teachers at my kids' school... a parent has the amount of contact with their child's Teacher, as much as they make themselves available. Meaning, some Moms are on campus daily and walking their kids to the classroom and seeing/chatting with the teacher. Some Moms, are never on campus or cannot be, therefore, they do not have any contact with their child's Teacher. BUT, per my kids' school... a Parent CAN e-mail a Teacher. And the Teachers TELL the parents this. And the Teachers, DO REPLY back to the parents.

4) Both my kids, started Kindergarten at 4 years old, and then turned 5. They are both late born. They were fine. But yes, at times, they got sick/had colds. I kept them home and per the Pediatrician's recommendation.

Right now, my son, who is now in 1st grade, he has been home... sick... ALL week. He has also fevers and other symptoms. PER our Pediatrician, I have kept him home all this week. BUT... I DO have contact with his Teacher... in person and on the phone and via e-mail. I as a parent, am available to the Teacher, and she is also available to me, as a Parent. I have, DAILY, gotten my son's homework each day, then taken it back to the Teacher the next day. Daily. The Teacher, appreciates this that I do this and take the time to do so, as I do appreciate her efforts... that she MAKES sure, that my son's homework is ready for me to pick up, DAILY.
It is a reciprocal... attentiveness. Per the situation.

At my kids' school, this is how it is.
You need to get to know, your child's Teacher. As well. So that, yes, you can "trust" your child's Teacher... and understand their classrooms routines/rules/habits etc. And so that, you feel comfortable.... in asking the Teacher anything, or questioning things. As is typical that parents have questions.
None of my kids' Teachers, have ever been, less than professional or caring, in this. Toward their students or toward the parent.

Again, the amount of contact you have with your child's Teacher... also depends on, how the parent, initiates contact WITH the teacher as well. Or if the parent, makes contact with the Teacher. Or not.
I have always had, good contact with all of my kids' Teachers. And they know, they likewise, can contact me ANY time. In person, on the phone, or via e-mail. I nurture, a 'relationship' with them. They appreciate it. They tell me that. And it is professional.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

If a teacher had told any one of my children that they could not use a Kleenex-I would have brought her down like a house of cards with my words alone. Were I you, on Monday, send your daughter to school with a case of tissues-I recommend Puffs Plus -they're very gentle.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

What you are feeling is normal. But, you can't let your emotions get the best of you. You don't want to be "that" mom, you know? Remember this common saying the teaching world: "I promise to only believe 50% of what your children tell me about you as long as you promise to only believe 50% of what your children tell you about me". Meaning, that kids, especially 4 year olds don't always tell the story the way it actually happened, and they exaggerate, forget, and misunderstand. I find it hard to believe that the assistant would only let her have one tissue all day. So, before you "bring her down like a house of cards", you might want to think twice. You are your child's teacher's partner, not her enemy. Freaking out on a teacher will achieve nothing and will put your child at a disadvantage.

About the sickness, you can't do much about that. All the Kleenex in the world will not prevent yucky little hands & fingers from spreading the germs, unfortunately. Because your DD has never been around a large group of kids before, she WILL get sick a lot. It's nothing to get upset about. It just "is" and you have to deal with it. Just do your best to teach her how to wash, keep her hands out of her mouth, eyes & nose, and make sure she's taking a vitamin & eating well.

I get it, believe me. Hang in there!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I REALLY don't think that they told her that she could only wipe her nose once per day. It sounds like your child might have the Mom of a 1st grader, I promise that this happens. You really have to have a good rapport with the teacher and be able to ask for clarification when these things happen.

My son was in a home daycare until he started kindergarten, so he was around other kids. However, he ended up with strep within the first month of school and numerous other "cruds" throughout the year. Sadly, I think that is just the way it pediatrician indicated that they see so many more kids for sick visits within the first few months of school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Hey Mama. I can completely empathize with you. My daughter is not 5 yet either and is K this year. It is very hard to just send them off to the unknown, especially when they've been with you up until now. I GET IT! :)

We've also had a sick bug 2 weeks in. Both of my daughters got it and it lasted for 3 days with a low fever. Thankfully, my daughter in K had her's over the 3 day weekend.

As others have posted, I think it was a misunderstanding, but one that needs to be addressed. I've already introduced myself several times to my daughter's teacher and sent her 2 emails. I made sure I let her know how much my daughter is enjoying K and that it was because of the teacher. I then asked about the few things I didn't sending a quarter in to wear a hat on hat day. She came home upset because she couldn't wear her hat because she didn't have a quarter. All we knew was that it was "hat day." Found out the money goes to a children's hospital. Great. We've sent in a quarter and our daughter didn't even want to wear a hat. My point? Problem solved and we have a better understanding of what is going on.

Simply email the teacher in a very friendly way(since it is the weekend) and let her know how much fun your daughter is having, and joke about how crazy it is that the kids are sick ALREADY! Add, "I'm sure she misunderstood, but she seems to think she can only wipe her nose once during the day. So, she spent the rest of the day wiping her nose on her arm. Can you please explain to her what the procedures are for getting a tissue when she needs it? I'm Mom, and she doesn't believe me!" Ask if it would be better if your daughter brought her own pack of tissues since she seems to be a faucet right now.

If you don't come across like you blame her or her assistant, then it won't turn into something personal. You don't want to be the helicopter mom, but you don't want to be the "I'm afraid to say something." mom either. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

I feel your pain! Both of mine, ages 9 and 5 have had a cold since August 22nd when school started here. :( My 9 year old's turned into a sinus infection this week and is now on meds and starting to feel better. I call the first month of school, the "get sick to stay well" month. Usually after we all get this stupid cold, we're good until spring when allergies start.

You are normal for feeling this way, especially with your first child. It is so frustrating, but it happens to almost everyone. As far as the teacher helper only allowing her to wipe her nose once a day, that is RIDICULOUS, and she is promoting the spread of germs. Gross. I'd ask the LEAD teacher about it, and if it's her policy too - it's time to head to the principal. There is no reason she should not be able to wipe her nose more than once. I'd like to see her with a cold and only wipe or blow once a day. Errr. But with that, your daughter most likely misunderstood. It happens all the time with kids and what they "think" the teachers say.

Open the lines of communication with your teacher by emailing her and asking about the nose blowing, and also ask her if you can donate some wet wipes or hand sanitizer to at least cut down on the time spent in the bathroom washing hands after every blown nose.

Good luck and know you're not alone!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

If it were my son (who is in K this year), I'd write a note to his teacher and tape it in his take home folder, just saying "Joseph is sick and will need plenty of access to the tissues I'm sending with him". Then send one of those small packs of tissues for her to keep on or in her desk, and a small hand sanitizer (the size you keep in your purse or diaper bag) too if she can handle that without making a mess. If not, then a sanitizing wipe for her desk. And even a plastic bag for the "trash" at her desk so it doesn't get germy snotty tissue gunk all over the desk. I'd be slightly annoyed at the possibility that it were true, since we bought 6 boxes of tissues for the class to share through the year. THAT SAID, I'm not one to let my child go without just because there's some sharing rule. I'd provide something for his desk, just for him, if he needed it and it and "quantity" was an issue.
But yes, it's very likely that it was a misunderstanding. Request some feedback on it in a note, but in a non-accusatory way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I don't know that my thoughts are positive, but please send that teacher an email and ask what the rule is about being able to wipe the mucus from your nose. Okay, so maybe ask nicely, but please...wipe your nose on your arm. Until you get an answer from her, send your daughter to school with a pocket pack of tissue and tell her to wipe her nose when she needs to. And, please don't tell me you had to send in a box of kleenex as a class supply.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have never heard of a child not being allowed to wipe her nose. Maybe the problem was that she didn't want her to keep getting up to do it. See if she can keep some tissues at her desk and in her pocket, so that she can wipe her nose without interrupting the class or having to get up from her seat.

Also, to prevent it in the future, my son's allergist recommends using a saline nasal spray every day when he comes home. It is supposed to help flush out any germs and reduce all the colds kids get at school.


answers from Houston on

To "bring down a house of cards" over something that may have been misinterpretted will set your child up as either ignored, tolerated or disliked. Parents, please know that teachers will not want snotty arms in the classroom. Your child either misunderstood or was overtly seeking attention with the kleenex usage.



answers from San Francisco on

Hang in there Shelley! I know its hard. My suggestion is go there a little bit early on Monday and speak to the teacher. Ask for some suggestions on getting more comfortable etc. Provide your daughter with her own little set of tissues---they have cute 3packs at the dollar tree---and have her put those in her pocket or backpack. Then she can use the tissue whenever she needs to.
Most likely the aid told her she couldn't get up from her seat again to wipe her nose---Most classrooms have the tissue in another location away from the desks---The only way you can get comfortable with handing them over is to get to know the teacher, other parents, the children etc. in the class. Volunteer to be room mom or help once a week in the class etc. Things will improve. Hang in there!



answers from Oklahoma City on

This is one of those things that kids who aren't exposed to stuff through child care. She is going to get sick a LOT this year. She is probably going to miss some school too. If she has a fever over 100.1 degrees she needs to stay home. Once the fever goes below 100 and stays there for 24 hours she is safe to return.

If she has a runny nose that is not enough reason to keep her home. All kids have runny noses and if they could not go to school for that then the schools would basically have to close their doors since none of the students would ever be there.

i think that helping her feel better when she is not feeling well is the best you can do. Do not give her Benadryl or any other drainage drier. She needs to snot to come out. It will sit in her sinuses and fester until it's infected if it doesn't come out. Teaching her how to use a tissue is better. Even if she uses a whole box per



answers from San Antonio on

At our school email is golden...the teacher gets it (no losing notes) and they respond quickly...

If she is sick after two days...either she was exposed last week or it is a really really quick incubating bug...

Anyways....ask the teacher if kleenex are available, and how often they can get/use they use hand sanitizer to limit germ they teach to cover your cough...just ask what her policies a friendly, I just need some information type way...

Sorry your baby is kinder girl this year jas already had two boughs of fever/sore throat/sickies and we have been in school seven weeks...sending you a hug!!


answers from St. Louis on

I understand your feelings, he is a little one and he is learning and adjusting to a new place with strangers and no mommy. He will learn everything he needs to learn in no time, believe me.
I would suggest that from now on you keep an open communication with your child's teacher by e-mail or little notes (ask the teacher what works for her). Also, ask the teacher about rules, procedures or just how she manages certain things in the classroom like what happened to your little one recently.
Keep in your little ones' back pack tissues and wipes all the time and teach her when and how to use them; a small bottle of hand sanitizing soap is also a good idea. I used to do that with my older child (he also kept flushable wipes since he didn't like using paper towel, lol!)
Participate as much as you can in the classroom, activities or PTO, be an active mom and always collaborate in different ways like providing supplies for the classroom, extra crayons, paper, tissue paper, plastic sandwich bags, etc. If you are not able to participate as much as possible, keep a clear and open communication with the teacher.Something else..always, always believe in your child and always get both sides of the story.



answers from Topeka on

The tissue issue I would have a full blown conversation with the teacher.What I do is send them to school in ther back packs is travel sizes for when they need it on the bus or when ever they have neveer been told not to get them when tney need them have never heard that about wiping it once then the only thing left is to wipe your boogers in yourself that is well GROSS at least their hands are some what protecte with the kleenex.Yes the yucks have begun that is apart of being in crowded places especially school.I have good contact with their teachers i'm involved with the PTO so i'm at the school on a regular basis not just for meetings and I send notes or email messages to touch base here and there.Take a deep breath it is hard to let our children go.


answers from Kansas City on

hang in there :) i am adjusting too, i understand!

i would talk to someone about the nose-blowing, though. i understand they don't want the kids hopping up and down every few minutes - a friend of mine's daughter actually wet herself a couple weeks ago because the teacher would not let her go to the bathroom when it wasn't "bathroom" time (UGH - NOT at my son's school thank goodness, i'd have had a fit). but seriously - if the child's got snot running down her nose she NEEDS A TISSUE. they could let her have the box on her desk if nothing else. i would take it above the "teacher helper"'s head. that's ridiculous imo. (and yes, despite my ranting on here, you DO have to remember that kids - especially 4 year olds, which is super young for kindergarten - put their own spin on things, unintentionally. get the teacher's side of it before flying off the handle. but before doing anything i would have talked to someone at the school. IF it's true there's a problem. if it's NOT true then it's your job to explain it to your daughter in a way she can understand - AND teach her what to do next time. that's important.)

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