Every parent knows to accentuate the positive–to tell their children they’ll be making friends and having fun.
But the truth is, it’s a difficult day for a parent!
Lauren Hersey, a television sales executive from Rayland, has two children–Hunter and Lainee.
Hunter is eight years old, and Lainee is four.
Today was Lainee’s first day of kindergarten.
“She’s very mature, very empowered,” noted Lauren. “So she was hopping on the bus and saying ‘Bye, Mom!’ but I was devastated. I was so sad to see her go. I hung my head and walked down my driveway.”
Many parents say the hardest moment is seeing their child get on the school bus.
“It feels like an uncontrolled environment,” Lauren added. “And It just makes me nervous.”
Amy Baker of Wheeling, who teaches Early Childhood Education at Wheeling Park High School, is a mother of two.
She says she often drove her sons to preschool, but putting them on the bus was quite different.
“It (dropping them off at preschool) was a little emotional, but nothing was like putting them on that bus and watching them walk away and wave to me out that window.” she said.
She says it’s important not to let your kids know your fears or misgivings.
“They’re not thinking about those things,” she says. “They’re excited because they have a new pair of light-up shoes. Or they really like the new pencils they got for their pencil box.”
She says if they come home with the story of a bad experience, parents may worry, but generally the child just shakes it off.
“The next day they’re back at school and they’ve already forgotten about it.” she said.
Here’s what Amy’s son says is his favorite part of school.
“Riding the bus home!” says four-year-old Lucas.
“They will be fine,” says Lauren, referring to all children going off to school for the first time. “Just have a little faith in your kids. And trust the bus drivers and the school systems. They will keep our kids safe.”