Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kindergarten Rules.

George on his first day of Pre-K.
My sons first day of preschool was traumatic, for me, not him. He was fine. I was a nervous wreck. Since I was staying home, it was really the first time I had to "leave" him somewhere. I was ready for him to cry, scream and grab onto my leg, refusing to let go. So, when he shyly yet excitedly walked in, gave me a kiss, said goodbye and took his spot on the mat without looking back, I felt lost and then separation anxiety set in, my separation anxiety.

What do I do know? Is he going to be ok?

And then, in my mind, I ran through the list of "What If's". What if he pees his pants? What if he gets picked on? What if he gets pushed? What if? What if? What if?

Lucky I had my daughter with me, who was an infant at the time, because that forced me to leave the parking lot of the preschool instead of becoming a stalker, sitting in the lot for the 2 1/2 hours while he was there. Pre shool was a great experience for my son. It taught him the stark cold reality of the real world, in 3 year old terms. He learned to pay attention to other people. Clean up time, means clean up time. He learned to hold his own on the play ground. And these days, bullies start young.

So now that he has conquered pre-school and pre-k, he is moving onto the big league, elementary school. The kids are bigger, the bullies run harder and the rules are meant to help you learn, have fun and survive. When I went to kindergarten, things were different. It was just a couple of hours a day, a couple days a week. Bullies, were just kids that butt in line. Sticking my finger in my nose was the norm. And if I could sit through story time without peeing my pants, well, that was a big success.

But that's no longer the way it goes. Kids are cruel and more is expected of him now, than ever before.  But before I push him out into his first experience with elementary school, there are some things I want to him to remember.

10. Know when to be goofy. The key to being the class clown is knowing when to be funny. Put on limitless acts of goofiness and you risk becoming the class pest.

9. You may not always be the first in line and that's okay.  I know "the early bird gets the worm", but I don't think this applies on the walk down the hall to the classroom to take your assigned seat.

8. No one likes a bully, not even the bully. No bully looks back and was glad he was a bully, well, not most bullies. 

7. If someone pushes you, push them back.  Give them a taste of their own medicine, and then tell the teacher. No one likes a tattle tale, but if you push them back, you're letting them know who's boss.

6. If someone takes your ball on the playground, take it back. Same goes for your book, scissors, glue, place in line and anything else that was rightfully yours.

5. It's okay to cry. Cry all you want at home. Crying at school is an invitation to be picked on and adds fuel to the fire.

4. Don't hold it in. If you have to go, go. No better reputation to have then the kid that pees his pants.

3. Get your finger out of your nose and pay attention. I understand there is a lot to do up there, but while your finger is shoved up your nose, that's all you think about and information goes in one ear and out the other.

2. Size Matters. Half of the CEO's in the US reach 6 feet plus. Same goes for successful athletes and  politicians, lucky you are tall. Now it's what you do with that height that matters.

1. Advice from Dad, "Be the Alpha Dog". According to Urban Dictionary, the Alpha Dog, a.k.a, pimp, boss, don, hustler, baller, "is the leader of the pack that rolls several dogs deep" and "no leash can hold him back, his tail wages or no one".


  1. For us, number two affects number 7. Poor Philip is sooo much bigger than the other kids that I have to teach him restraint. Did you read the article about girls reaching puberty at 7?!?!? I think thats one of the big problems for our kids today. All boy school for my boys!

  2. With this list, I think all your kids are going to be alright! :D I love number 10, 7, and 4 especially. And advice from Dad, roll several dogs deep has me laughing out loud. :D

    And George is just so cute!

  3. Oh, my. My oldest starts kindergarten this month and I'm nervous for him.

  4. My baby starts Kindergarten next week and it's kind of scary. I think 10, 7,5, and 2 will be his big ones. All of my children are small for their age and with the 2 oldest being girls that has not been an issue. But with a boy I think size is very important and I worry about him being the little man on the playground. If he succeeds in rule 1 thought that will not matter ;)

  5. Great Rules! George will be fine. I think lunchtime/recess will be the roughest time of day, especially since the day will continue and they are probably done by that time....it will be a long day, but the kids will get use to it, at some point.

  6. LOL... been through all the firsts that come along with children. The hardest one is sending them off to college.

  7. Oh how I relate to this! I just want to give you a little encouragement. I had all of the same exact fears when Ben started at the "big bad elementary school"...it turns out kids aren't quite as cruel as I thought. There are a handful of meanies, but they definitely aren't the norm. In fact, whenever I'm in the classroom, the love and care those kids show to each other melts my heart. I guess that's my reward for being so pessimistic - that these things pleasantly surprise me. These are great tips and I hope kindergarten is fabulous for George!

  8. LOL. 6 and 7 are priceless!! I love that you are teaching him self-worth and self-confidence 'cause that's exactly what those cover. Best wishes to him in kindergarten.

  9. These are great. My guy is starting Full day Pre-K in 4 weeks. I'm nervous. These made me smile and laugh!

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  11. This cracked me up!!! Good advice! :)

    My little guy started preschool this week and so far so good! :)

  12. Great list! I've got a second grader and a littler one starting K this year. Kindergarten was a very positive experience for my son...all the kids were nice. My only advice to you? don't ever stay to watch recess. any minute I saw a kid, including mine, playing alone or chasing after someone who didn't want to be played with, it just broke my heart. I couldn't handle it.

    I needed to learn that there's a world of recess he needs to learn to navigate on his own. We teach him to stick up for himself and use his height as well, but more than anything, I just want him to be kind.


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