Mom of Picky Eater

Back to school nerves

My little boy started kindergarten this week.  I can hardly believe it.  He looked so cute walking to school with his new backpack with his name on it.  He was so nervous at first, saying he didn’t want to go, but then when he saw the other neighborhood kids walking to school, he got right into it.  Once there, he was a little nervous again, but by day three, he was wondering when he could stay for a full day (this first week was only half days).

I did learn a few things that I thought helped calm his nerves during this process.  I thought I’d share them and then ask you for any pointers if you have been in a similar situation before:

I let my son pick out his backpack and supplies. This allowed us to start talking about school in advance and got him involved in the process of picking out his gear.  I remember being young and getting so excited for a new pair of shoes or clothes, so I let him indulge in this feeling as well-we went to The Gap and got a few things to start him off this Fall.  I let him pick them out or at least see me picking them out for him.  I also showed him the school supplies list and together we filled is backpack in advance with the things he was required to bring for day one.  At the time, none of this seemed to calm his nerves, but when it came time to go to school, it was something familiar for that first day.

I talked to him. I saw he was nervous on the way into the building and then after that first day he was incredibly cranky about the whole experience.  I talked to him, like he was a grown-up really, not like he was a baby.  I told him that this was all new so it felt funny, but after a few days he would start to enjoy the classroom and start to look forward to seeing his new friends and teacher.  He really listened which I think helped him to understand and trust me on this one.  By day three, he seemed alot better.

Big sis got involved. My second grader is a doll.  She talked to him as well about what to expect.  He didn’t seem to want her advice, but I know that seeing her there at the school comforted him.  I saw one older sibling bringing a kindergartener to his classroom and it was very sweet.  I know in my son’s case, sometimes when I am not around, he’s less of a baby so this idea made sense to me for a number of reasons.

Snacks and lunch. My kids love to talk about snacks and lunch.  My son is a picky eater, but he loves his snacks so in the mornings, I have been getting him involved in selecting his daily snack, which if left entirely up to him would include Pirate’s Booty, chocolate milk and cookies, but I try to give him some of those comfort foods and some healthier choices like carrot sticks and apple slices.

Bed on time. Going back to school is exhausting physically and emotionally for everyone so these guys absolutely have to have a good night’s sleep.  No more summer hours.  They also should wake up with plenty of time to get ready for the day ahead and not feel rushed.  A good breakfast, in addition to a good night’s sleep, is essential.  If the child is low on energy, he’ll never be able to concentrate and thrive.

Talked to the teacher. I happened to know my son’s teacher because my daughter had her as well and I requested my son have her (lucky me).  But my son is a completely different child so this year is really like starting over with a new teacher.  Her relationship with him will be completely different than that of my daughter’s, so I made sure to get in to the classroom and talk to her about him and give her a heads up that he was a bit nervous.  I also got her email address so she could update me on his progress and tell me about the day, which then allows me to talk to him about things I know he did that day.  As a working mom, this has been helpful for me too.

What are some of the tips you have for sending your kids back to school with confidence?

8 Responses to “Back to school nerves”

  1. ray says:

    rachel you are a great mother,your son will be a great boy!

  2. Shauna says:

    Hello Rachel,

    My husband and I are going to Las Vegas in November, and we are hoping you can help us with some suggestions on places to go. We will be there for 3 1/2 days, and working with a budget. Any help would be grately appreciated.

    Also, will you go back to making the starter, entree’ and dessert? I miss your complete meals:)

  3. Doris says:

    I really wish you would post nutritional values in your big Orange Book. Especially your Grandpa Manny’s Pasta e’Fagioli.

  4. Chef says:

    I can completely relate to your son lol. It’s been 25 years but I remember the day like it was yesterday. I remember being petrified my first day of school. But after the first day it wasn’t so bad. I think you did everything you were suppose to. My son is only 5 months old but for some reason I can’t seem to stop myself from thinking of how his first day of school is going to be lol. As far as a tip for you, the only thing I can think of is… tell them to be themselves and everything else should fall into place.

  5. Alicia says:

    We have car conversations on the way to school in the morning. My kindergartener and I talk about how he won’t forget to put his name on his paper (and I have him “air write” his name, we say things that are positive statements, “I’m going to have fun with my friend ______”, we talk about the best part of yesterday was (the story on the rug). And finally, he decides if mommy should be sitting on the benches or standing at the fence when he comes walking out at the end of the day. Then my second grader gets his turn to tell me what’s on his mind. By the way, the first kid in the car with his seatbelt fastened gets to go FIRST!

  6. Michele says:

    Rachel- I just wanted to say my grand daughter is 6 and is a picky eater. We use the cook book to find a recipe. We then cook it together and we pretend we are on the “Rachel Ray Show.” I use the wooden spoon as microphone, and I interview my granddaughter as we cook. It has become a fun way to get her to eat.
    I know it works becasue she always asks me if we are going to play “Rachel Ray”.

  7. iluvmj says:

    hey everybody im obsessed with Michael Jackson
    u know he was always kinda shy so its ok
    everybody is a lil shy sometimes
    who agrees

  8. iluvmj says:

    ayy yall betta agree cuz i know all of yall were shy @ some point in ur life so i wanna c some “i agree…..”

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