5 Reasons Your Kindergartner Had a Bad Day

I visited my son’s kindergarten class recently.

When I walked in the room of crayon-drawings and pint-sized desks, I was so happy to be away from my reality of ‘work’ and  in this utopia of innocence and wonder. Or so I thought -until I started listening and observing the children and their interactions. It was AWKWARD! I can see why a kindergartner would want a tall glass of milk with cookies when he gets home. The emotional stress is similar to being in corporate America! There’s … 

1. Rejection. It’s a sandwich deal in the workplace…
B.S.+ REJECTION+political correctness
But there’s just no sugar-coating it in kindergarten. One child asked another, “Can I play with you?”  The answer, “No, I don’t like you.”  Ouch!

2. Favoritism.  There’s a secret society of  ‘chosen ones’ at work, but not in kindergarten. The favorites are pretty well known. We all played duck, duck, goose and the favorites kept getting picked – and picking each other – to be ‘it.’ Finally, the un-favorites caught on and just had a melt down over not having a turn.

3. Peer pressure. In the workplace, you are occasionally persuaded to indulge in happy hour – on your LUNCH break! That’s nothing compared to a shoving match in the boys’ bathroom. You know it’s not right but it’s so much fun you risk the consequences.

4. Competition. Of course, the workplace is competitive – over time. But not every five minutes! In kindergarten, everything is a competition. Who gets in line first. Who jumps the highest. Who sings the loudest. There are plenty of chances to win, but if you are having a losing day – well who wouldn’t be upset about that?

5. Emotions.  There were some pretty high-strung, whiny kids prone to meltdowns on any occasion (or every occasion) they didn’t get their way. Hhmmm – I’ve worked with some people like that so, pretty much no difference here.

Kindergarten is a creative, fun, active, collaborating environment that I enjoyed being a part of. But I think both my son and I have a reason to decompress at the end of the day.

** October is National Down’s Syndrome Month. Down syndrome is medically known as Trisomy 21. Trisomy 21 is for the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome that individuals with Down syndrome have. **


31 thoughts on “5 Reasons Your Kindergartner Had a Bad Day

  1. this is what scares me the most, not having control over what happens when he is at school. I want him to be a good and caring kid, but what can he do with kids who are not raised the same way?

    • Hello Karen! I totally understand what you’re saying. The key is to hopefully have an adult/ teacher who can use those instances as teaching moments. Unfortunately, (I know this is the crudy response) he’ll have to face this reality at some point – I just try to teach my boys how to handle themselves when these times happen… have you read my other post? … http://boymomblog.com/2012/02/14/heartbreak-playground/ … these times don’t just happen at school! It is heartbreaking though – I thought it was just me who felt that way …

      • i just read and cried. where was her mother. I know what you mean, I really wish every parent was more involved in their kid’s emotional growth. We are their role models.

  2. And of course there is reason #6 – he’s a five year old BOY! Man do they have too much energy or WHAT?? Loved this list. My oldest child is 5 and just started Kindergarten this year and we had a rough first few days! (He was one of those whiny/prone to meltdown kids until he got comfortable!) It is true and somewhat sad and scary how young they start forming cliques and ostracizing each other.

    • YES!!! And his class has a LOT of boys – wwhheeew! My 5y.o. had some issues too in the beginning – just didn’t want to sit still or stay in line in the hallways. The cliques break my heart honestly 😦

  3. Damn. That just reminded me of my childhood. The favorites were picked out, and I’m now realizing I was in that group, and we would let the other ones know. Now I’m wondering what happened to the people in my kindergarten and 1st grade classes.

    • You were a favorite?? I think I was in the middle since I was the new kid several times as my family had to move (dad was in military). It was soo awkward trying to fit in. The unpopulars probably grew up to be the sexiest, most successful introverts that you would consider leaving your spouse for 🙂 (just kidding)

      • Probably! Though I don’t have a spouse :P, not even a boyfriend. LOL

        Mind you it was only in my first elementary school; I started in a public school at the beginning of 3rd grade. We only had 10-15 students in our class, I think; at most 20. And each group of students stayed in the same core classes together. I only saw other people when I took French or music.

        With that small of a group one thing could leave you on the outskirts for months, and we would all remember it the next year if it was bad enough. I distinctly remember picking on this one boy, Cody, in 1st grade (I think) for writing his letters bigger than the rest of us. It was stupid and we were kids but looking back I wonder what he felt.

        Once I started public school I was in middle and throughout junior high and high school I was at the bottom. Though by that time I didn’t care what people thought about me because the popular kids were completely shallow.

      • it’s amazing how we remember these things! I remember a boy who used to tease the HECK outta me by calling me a name. It would have been okay if it were just him but he got others to do the same and it drove me crazy!! We were in a really small class too. There seems to be a lot of pressure that goes with being popular- I wasn’t and in retrospect – I’m glad.

      • Yep I understand completely. What little I remember of those early years, there was already a hierarchy forming. You couldn’t like the same boy as the most popular girl and god forbid if you tried to usurp someone’s place. It’s weird looking back and seeing how life changes. I’m tempted to find my old yearbook and try and find these old classmates to see how they changed.

      • lol! It is weird looking back and more weird being around it again as an adult! Thanks for the comment – it makes me wonder if this is learned behavior then but I’m guessing not?? Who knows …

      • I think it is learned. Children aren’t stupid. They see how adults interact with each other and they see know when they (or another kid) get preferential treatment if they are liked better. It would make sense that they would start imitating it.

  4. Ouch! Yes, stress in school, stress in work. I see it when groups of people are put together. I remember being in school and some mean kids. I grew up, and some mean people in the office. Kids deserve some cookies and milk, and me, I get a pot of tea when I return from work and a killer commute.

    • Winnie! The worlds of school and work are amazingly similar sometimes – or I guess the ppl 🙂 We’re all big kids huh? I hear you on the tea – although I eat the cookies 🙂 and on a really bad day – well – I don’t drink tea 🙂

  5. my eldest just started JK and, boy-oh-boy, that kid is TIRED and GRUMPY after school! he’s so tight lipped about his day, but eventually we get tid bits of info. like so-and-so said this, or was mean or so-and-so was sent to the principles office! sounds exhausting and overwhelming. he tells me each day he’d rather stay home with me… augh, heartbreak!

    • AAAwwww – that is heartbreak!! Thanks for stopping by… That would be hard for me too! My child was tight lipped at first – it was like pulling teeth to get him to talk. I hope your son starts liking it more.. field trips normally help out with that.

  6. This is a great post! My son just started Kindergarten this year and it’s very apparent that this isn’t the warm fuzzy world of his preschool!! The favorites one is the one that surprised and resonated the most – also what I worry about the most.

    • Thank you! It can be warm and fuzzy sometimes – but it can also be so awkward! I just don’t see this as much in the 3 and 4 y.o. preschool classes! Not sure why this started happening! Sometimes I sit back and watch to see how my child is responding to all of it

  7. Love this! I clicked over from BlogHer. I’m also a working mom of 2 boys near ATL. My 3-year-old told me last night that he’s decided he doesn’t like his (former) best friend, who lives around the corner. Oh, the drama!

    • wow! I hadn’t thought of cucumber slices as a treat! I tried to get my boys to eat them and it didn’t work out – but I snack on them from time to time. I need to beef up our healthy habits 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Yow! It’s no wonder kids want that funny or poignant bedtime story read to them–every night. I do not remember it being that tough when I was in that grade, but we only went half the day. Makes me glad I am an adult and I rarely wish that. 🙂

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