Time and again teachers, parents, and school directors worry and complain about how they are all not on the same page as it pertains to readiness for school. Most understand that socialization, colors, shapes, and letters are important for children to be exposed to. That said, there are other aspects of a child's social emotional development that if they are not helped and taken care of by the time they go to their first day of kindergarten, will contribute to things not going smoothly in the school age years.
I watched my daughter’s eyes swell up with tears and thought, “here it is, here is the day I have been dreading.” We spoke while I brushed her hair about an incident she had in her classroom. The students in her class have begun to point out how intelligent she is. They react to her with jokes spiced with sarcasm saying, “What’s the magic recipe for getting all the answers right?” This is not bullying. These are just kids reacting, noticing, moving through the markers of development. The ones speaking to her this way are defending themselves from embarrassment and fear of my daughter judging their mistakes or their perceived lack of knowledge compared to her. My daughter has begun to balance with how to be her authentic self: intelligent, curious, an avid reader and friend, with her need to remain in relationship with those around her.
In my family I am the parent that spends the least amount of time with the children. Given that I am a parenting expert, the irony is laughable. However, this reality offers me insight into being the second caregiver and assuming a role incongruous to the value system of our society in which mom is the primary caregiver. It is a struggle, but I also feel grateful that my children have two parents that take on the role of caring for them first and foremost.