My older son will attend kindergarten next fall. He can’t wait and I know he’s ready, but of course there is that part of me that wonders where the nine-pound baby we brought home from the hospital went. What happened to the last five years?
On Saturday I attended a program hosted by the school district for parents whose children will enter kindergarten next year. I came away with a packet of information including a booklet titled, “Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?”
In this guide, they broke the behaviors down by the following categories: Social, Emotional, Intellectual/Academic and Physical. The list included about forty skills a child should demonstrate. As I read the list today, I had to laugh. We expect our children to demonstrate these skills, but what about adults? I question whether the majority of adults today are demonstrating some of the basic skills required for a child in kindergarten. A few of my favorite skills included:
- Respects others
- Listens without interrupting
- Offers to help others
- Demonstrates a sense of responsibility
- Has generally good health
Happily I can say that my son, on most days, demonstrates all of the above. And for the most part, I think I do, too. But as a society, I am not so sure that kids witness these values in the adults that surround them. Sure, none of us is perfect. But if we’re going to ask if our kids are ready for kindergarten, I think we should be asking if every young adult is ready for the next stage. We might be surprised how many people don’t pass the test to be a grown-up.