LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When we asked five-year-old Lila Coburn what she's most excited about as she goes to kindergarten this year she told us, "everything." Lila is ready, but is just a little nervous. Lila's mom, Christine Fellingham, is also excited but maybe even a little more nervous than Lila.
"I'm sure we will be a mess on that day, I'm sure we will. I just started thinking about what a big deal this is for us. Yea, I'm sure we'll be a mess," said Fellingham nervously laughing as she told us about the first day of school.
Jimmy Wathen, early Childhood Transition Specialist, says there are often times tears for the first day or two of school not only from the child but from moms and sometimes dads too.
"Parents should understand that their child is in a safe place. They need to remember their five-year-old is starting a wonderful new journey in their educational careers and anytime they need to check on their child they can give the school a call," said Wathen.
If you fear your child will have a few problems thru out the day, Wathen suggest putting a family photograph or their favorite stuffed animal in their backpack. Wathen explained that when the child has feelings of missing home or anxieties appear, the teacher will often times let the child see a glimpse of the photograph or the stuffed animal. That will usually smooth things over.
There are things you can do to try to address this problem before it happens. Make sure you really talk up school and make it sound exciting. Help them understand that school is an exciting place for learning and that they are going to have friends there. Also, drive by their school and let the child know that's going to be their school. That's where they're going to start kindergarten. Be really positive about everything.
Some of these little ones will be riding a bus for the first time or for a long time. Wathen says JCPS has some helpful information if you fall in that class.
"The JCPS web site has a link where parents can click on and it's all about riding the bus to school and what to expect for both the parent and child," said Wathen.
You also want to make sure your child knows his real name and not just a nickname. It would also be beneficial if he knows mom and dad's real name too.