In parenting, many decisions are easy: Don’t run into the street. Take turns with your friends. But many of the most important decisions AREN’T easy, including when to start Kindergarten. Will she be ready? Or is it best to wait?
When it comes to tricky parenting dilemmas, there usually isn’t a “perfect” decision. Starting Kindergarten early (or late), whether to change schools and when to allow your child on a sleepover are just the start of difficult parenting dilemmas that you’ll navigate over the years to come.
There will be pros and cons to whatever choice you make. That means the process of making a decision – and changing it along the way, if needed – is at least as important as the actual decision itself.
Start by talking it through with everyone who knows your child and family well. Ask everyone their opinion, but decide not to decide – yet. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by strong suggestions. This is your choice to make, not grandma’s or the neighbors’.
Then, try my “ESP” method for making tough parenting decisions:
Bottom line is this: You’re the parent. You get to decide. And you also get to change your mind. If you start your child in Kindergarten, and after several weeks you still feel concerned that she’s not ready – no harm done. “That was fun, but also hard, wasn’t it? One day, we’ll do Kindergarten again.” You’re also modeling how to make a careful, considered, “imperfect” decision – like most of the important ones in life. Good luck!
Concerned that your little one will be too shy for Kindergarten? Read the next post in this series: Helping Your Shy Kiddo Become a Happy Kindergartner.