Sure Could Use that Parenting 101 Manual

Every now and again, I will look up to the sky or look a little deeper into the mail box hoping that my copy has come. But sadly, after 5 years it still has not shown up. I am beginning to think that it will not come.

What am I looking for? Well, my parenting manual, of course. I mean there has to be one for raising kids. Everything else comes with a manual. The phone, the computer, the car, even the my watch.

So why did these kids not come with one. Is there a more important job to do correctly, than raise a small child correctly?

I could have really, really used this manual last spring when it came time to decide whether Hayden should go into kindergarten or not. Hayden was born in the middle of October so he is a young kindergartener. In our school district, to go into kindergarten, a child must be 5 by December 1st.


Hayden made this cut off so it was off to kindergarten for him. Now our school district does offer a Young 5’s program but I was so set on having him be in kindergarten that I really didn’t consider it. My main reason was that Hayden is a very smart kid and I thought that he would be bored and not challenged if he was put into any other class but kindergarten.

Now fast forward to a couple weeks ago to our first parent-teacher conference. I was expecting things to go not so well when a few weeks early, Hayden’s teacher asked Jeff, while he was helping in his class, if Hayden has trouble “focusing and paying attention at home?”

My suspicions were confirmed when his teacher told us that even though he was doing fine academically, he was really struggling socially. Is wasn’t that he wasn’t making friends or being social in that way but he was having a hard time with the basic rules of kindergarten, keep your hands to yourself, raise your hand when you want to speak, stay in line, pay attention to the teacher, etc.

After talking with his teacher more, talking with the principle of the school and learning more about the Young 5’s program, we decided to have him switch. This week was his first week in his new class and so far things are going well.

Hayden LOVES his new class and teacher. He really didn’t bat an eye when I talked to him about switching to a different class. In fact, he told me that he was ready “because I like trying new things, Mom.” And that is just the kind of kid he is. Easy going, go with the flow, type of kid.

So, great. Good. All is well. Done.

Well, not really. Since I am a Mom, I worry. I worry if any of the friends that he did make will notice? I worry about if even though this was done very early in the school year, is there a stigma attached to him? What if he matures in the next couple months and we just should have stuck with kindergarten? I worry about next year, there are options but what is the right one to do? What if this becomes more than just a lack of maturity?

I guess, there is really nothing else to do but cross those bridges when we get there and still hope for that parenting manual to show up.

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