My four year old started preschool three weeks ago and hates it. She was so excited to go and picked out the prettiest, pinkest, sparkliest back-pack but is now, quote, “over it.” Her teacher is the loveliest lady I’ve ever met and her classroom is so cute. She only has to go two mornings a week but I have to drag her there and leave her crying. It kills me but I think I’m doing what is best for her. I let her pick out some fun snacks at the grocery store on Saturday to pack in her lunch bag — including some mermaid flavoured granola bars (not sure what mermaids taste like but apparently they are made out of sugar and food colouring.) Hopefully that helps.
We always turn up a Disney princess soundtrack on the drive in to pump her up. And funny enough, one of her favourite songs is from Pocahontas about life changing and making uncertain choices. She sings, “To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing, what’s around the river bend, waiting just around the river bend.” I’ve tried to use these song lyrics to help her understand that change can be scary but it is necessary. She usually just rolls her eyes and asks me to turn it up.
Am I doing the right thing by forcing her into preschool and bribing her to go? I thought this would be a good transition to kindergarten next year plus I’ve already paid for it. I’m tempted to let her stay home some days but I want to teach her about making commitments and sticking to them. I feel like there are already too many flakey adults in this world already. I want to raise her to be a contributing member of society, successful and not just give up on things — especially school.
I know change is hard. A lot of people fear change because they are afraid of losing something or things becoming uncertain. Author Tim Ferriss said people would rather be unhappy than uncertain. It is hard to explain this to a four-year-old. Change can be good. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is also good. Change is inevitable, whether we embrace it or dread it, it’s going to happen. We might make the most of it and learn from it. If I don’t encourage my daughter to go to preschool now, and somehow sway her to like it, I’m just going to have to do this next year when she has to go to kindergarten.
Is optimism something that is taught or are you born with it? I just hope I can teach her that this is positive change, to embrace it and to see that the sippy cup is half full.