My now 5 year old is approaching the end of Kindergarten. She can read when she can sit still and she loves doing “number games”, which is what we call math. She is also one of the taller kids in her class and doesn’t seem to have problems playing with others.
She hates school. Mornings are terrible and my cheerful go-getter is often sobbing, screaming, begging and bargaining. I find myself bribing her to go to Kindergarten. There have been issues with bullies, but Lil’T informs me that the two problem kids are now being nice to her.
Every time I mention to the teachers that Lil’T is afraid of school, they are surprised and talk about how happy she seems. Since I’ve been volunteering I notice that my child is quiet at school and therefore unnoticed. Of course, the days I am there she gets picked to be a ‘special helper’.
Preschool was very similar. At first she was in a big group (with mostly girls) and hung back in the shadows, too afraid to tell the teacher that her turn had been missed. We switched to a smaller group and she just bloomed. She was usually the only girl in the second group but she was a different girl than she had been in the other class. She was outgoing, funny, confident and happy. Maybe I need to put her in a boys’ school.
I think I’ll put her in kindergarten for another year. Even though she is already so tall, maybe it will be ok. I was always one of the youngest in my class, but I was also tall and got good marks. I always felt ashamed for succeeding in anything and jealous that my self-proclaimed (male) rivals were never made to feel bad for doing well. Part of me is scared that girl who is older, taller, and more advanced than her classmates won’t be treated well. Part of me is ashamed for having that fear.
Maybe things have changed. I overheard a teenager on the bus patiently telling his friend that this teenager thought girls were smarter than boys since he thought his gal friends made good decisions. Then this kid explained to his friend that the fact that this kid’s girlfriend did not want to sleep with him (yet) was not the same as her cheating on him and he was not going to break up with her. He said that he hung out with his girlfriend because he liked spending time with her as a person and would if she were making out with him or not.
Maybe I don’t need to worry so much.