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My 5 year old daughter is afraid to be a big kid?

My daughter just started kindergarten last week and when I got pick her up her teacher tells me that she wants to play and told me when she told my daughter that she's a big girl and my daughter says I'm not a big girl, I'm a baby. I had a long talk with my child about her not being in preschool anymore and now she has to go to a big kids school and how getting an education is important. Did your kids act this way when they was in kindergarten and did they get over it?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 7:57 PM on Sep. 5, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (8)
  • I'm sure she will be fine, give her a little time and don't make a big deal out of it.
    School just started ;)
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 8:40 PM on Sep. 5, 2013

  • Well, she has not choice does she?

    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 8:49 PM on Sep. 5, 2013

  • It's normal. Being a baby has its perks, and some kids find it hard to give those up. Don't worry. The big girl will win out as she finds things she gets to do that babies can't. Point them out to her when you notice them--babies can't play at the park, babies can't go on sleepovers, babies don't get to eat ice cream cones, etc.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 9:45 PM on Sep. 5, 2013

  • It makes sense to want to play! lol

    The urge to play & explore is a very human thing (and a mammal thing) and play is intimately related to learning. Differentiating between work & play isn't some kind of necessary law! Preserving & promoting a love of learning is closely related to valuing play as important--seeing it as actual work, as purposeful engagement, as learning in action.
    Adults who truly love their work are in a desirable (and enviable) position because they don't have to distinguish between work & play (with work being the thing you "have" to do but wish you didn't, the thing you WOULDN'T do if you didn't have to.)

    My kids go to a school that values & prioritizes play (heck, everyone age 5 through middle school starts the day with over an hour of totally free choice activity time) but even so when my 5yo's started school this week I wondered if they would chafe some at the imposed structure.

    So normal.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:46 PM on Sep. 5, 2013

  • But looking at your questions, I agree (with charlotsomtimes) about not making a big deal out of it.
    It sounds like you are anxious about whether or not she will "get over it" and adjust in a way that will ensure her success.
    Feeling worried about this can put you in a position of resisting her normal feelings, and creating more of an issue. (Reinforcing a negative dynamic.)
    If you see her feelings as normal and as making sense, rather than as being wrong or a problem, you are less likely to introduce tension & negativity around it.
    Just care about her experience of school (how she feels about the whole thing.)
    "Is she afraid to be a big kid?"
    I highly doubt that actually is the case. She was confronted with an adult's resistance of her feelings, when her teacher addressed her by saying "You're a big girl" (implying she shouldn't want what she wants.)
    She found a way to "answer back." That's all.
    She tried to fix that problem.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:53 PM on Sep. 5, 2013

  • I would caution you about taking the approach of "you're not in preschool anymore" (no more fun) & you "have to" go to a big kid school, education is important, etc.
    Focus on understanding her rather than trying to force a change, or "explaining" how she has to embrace this Not Fun world & life.
    Don't suggest that learning, "education" & school are joyless chores that loom before her. You might regret those suggestions!
    It sounds like you want her to shape up & cooperate. That makes sense. You want the best for her, and you probably want her to have no problems & to reflect well on you. I feel some of that with my kids. I feel tense about the prospect of any "bumpiness," particularly if it doesn't seem easily resolvable.
    But I think it's important not to let those feelings & insecurities interfere with how I relate to them & treat them.

    Think about the messages. Why set her up to EXPECT disliking things & "having" to do them?
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:02 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • I agree with girlwithC on not saying how she "has to" go to school and "has to" be a big girl, and any hint that school isn't supposed to be fun. My oldest so looked forward to starting school, and then he got a Kindergarten teacher who made a big fuss about how they weren't there "to have fun" and how school is work and hard, and all that, and before we were even to Christmas break, he hated school. We started homeschooling when he was in 5th grade (he's now in 7th) and he loves school again. Because I don't make it about how it's not fun and it's hard work and such - yes, sometimes it's not fun, and it is hard work, but I don't make a big deal of it.

    Remind her of what she can do as a big girl that she couldn't before, and praise her highly when she has a good day, gets her work done, etc. That will have a better long term effect than making it a "has to" thing.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:44 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • My son has had several of these little melt downs fighting being a big kid. To him big kids have to do more that they do not want to do, are forced to be more independent, and put in new environments.

    I remind my son that no matter how big he gets or where he is he is always going to be my baby no matter what! I remind him about the good and fun things growing up--even get silly about it and do things I did to him when he was a baby and now find irritating.

    Lots of extra love and attention and big kid prizes build security they are seeking.
    hotelmom123

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 1:12 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

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