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- It’s back-to-school season, and that means some children are going to school for the very first time. The change may be hard for them, but parents struggle with the adjustment as well.
- Mikel Jollett, writer and frontman of rock band the Airborne Toxic Event, tweeted about dropping off his son for his first day of pre-school, asking for advice from parents about how to deal with the transition.
- Some said the best thing to do is let go, while others said savoring every moment is key. They all agreed on one thing, however: Sending your child off to a new stage in their life is never easy.
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On Twitter, one dad asked for advice on how to deal with the rush of emotions that inevitably come with a child starting a new stage in their life. That parent was Mikel Jollett, a writer and the frontman of Los Angeles-based rock band the Airborne Toxic Event.
Jollett had dropped off his son for his first day of pre-school and tweeted on Wednesday, “It’s an oddly emotional day. I’m both very proud of him and the parenting my wife and I have done and very sad for reasons I can’t quite explain.”
Hundreds of parents offered a range of advice, from taking pictures to crying a lot. Some said the transition is the perfect time to learn to let go, while others said to savor every moment. They all agreed, however, that sending your child to school for the first time is never easy.
Good morning, everyone. Today is our son’s first day of Preschool.
It’s an oddly emotional day. I’m both very proud of him and the parenting my wife and I have done and very sad for reasons I can’t quite explain.
Parents: how did you deal with this?
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) September 4, 2019
Hundreds of responses poured in, kicking off a massive thread. Some parents gave advice about growth.
I learned to look forward to each new stage of their growth instead of lamenting the changes. My kids are moving into the work world now, and while I miss them, I’m still thrilled to see them adjusting well and doing what they ought to be; makes me feel like I did something right
— ☝️SoSayU ???? (@sosayu3) September 4, 2019
You grow with your child.
— AntiNarcopathyPharmD (@narceducator) September 4, 2019
Parenting is an endless process of doing your best and, in ever increasing increments, letting go. I remember this moment so well. Be proud. Let him grow. Your heart will ache and swell at the same time.
— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) September 4, 2019
Others said the freedom parents have when their children are at school is cause for celebration, not tears.
Firstborn? You cry. Every kid after that? You dance back to your car and go out for a leisurely breakfast
— McWordNerd (@McWordNerd) September 4, 2019
It’s bittersweet until you realize that he’s soon going to be making new friends, having fun, and learning all kinds of cool new shit. And then it’s awesome.
— Neal Rogers (@nealrogers) September 4, 2019
Mikel, I have two little girls of similar age. Your emotions are completely normal. You are very proud that your son is now starting school and you are nervous for all the reasons associated with starting something new. He will be fine! You did well. Enjoy the parental break!
— Radizzle (@jeffradue) September 4, 2019
Some practical advice came in as well.
A lot of photographs. So many photos. Infinite photos. Mountains of photos. Definitely one of those parenting moments that feels like it has the potential for being both a deep moment of zen and just a heartbreaking seed for future nostalgia.
— Peter Lavoie (@Peter_Lavoie) September 4, 2019
With loads of pictures, a driveby during playground time, and then a giant file folder of artwork they bring home. I really think the art helps – seeing them create things outside of us helped me feel good about their new experiences.
— America, you're in danger girl… (@OverUnderClover) September 4, 2019
One parent said that every minute counts.
Go cry in your car. Then get on with your day and look forward to picking him up and hearing all about it. Enjoy every minute because it flies by.
— ♻️????❄️ (@cafetourist) September 4, 2019
Another reminded Jollett that parents are there to help their kids along.
It’s just the shadow of parenting. We don’t own them, we’re just borrowing them for awhile. They belong to themselves, and each milestone is a bittersweet reminder of that.
— This Dog Has an Opinion (@mac9705) September 4, 2019
These parents said that sometimes, the sadness that comes with saying goodbye never quite goes away.
The feeling repeats…first day of kindergarten… first grade…but it *really* repeats when they go off to college.
Intense pride with a bit of sadness as You realize how much you're going to miss them.
They grow up so fast.
Savor every moment. ????
— John Daniel????️ (@jdaniel3636) September 4, 2019
You put in a brave front, then grab your gut when you’re out of their sight.
Off to college…that was the hardest.
— Diane/Griffin (@Chickenlegs61) September 4, 2019