Our son loved kindergarten (K-5). He loved to play with others, loved to laugh, loved to eat snacks and take naps! He did very well in K-5, but he struggled with the transition to first grade. The first weeks of school were great, but then slowly, his momentum quickly leveled to a slow pace. Finally, I asked him what was wrong and he said: “Mom, I wanna go back to K5. I want my nap! In K-5, we get extra snacks and if you good, you get extra playtime.”
As parents, our hearts leaped for joy and a sigh of relief because that was it? We figured this would pass over time. In his view, life was good in K-5: friends, playtime, snack time and nap time. After a few months, we realized he was really serious and struggled to move forward with new expectations. He was in the same school, but a different way of learning. His study time increased and he had less time for snacks and no naps!
He cried every week for the months of August through November (I will NEVER forget). He complained regularly that the teacher forgot about the nap. He wanted to believe that K-5 was the best time in life. He wanted the teacher to conform to his needs, his level of understanding and what was relatable.
Years later (I think about this now), he’s a young adult, but the idea still remains so relevant to many adults that hail “good times” but were they great times? My son did not need a nap at the time, he needed knowledge, he needed to be challenged and become flexible in new structures and expectations. He cried, and he complained, but it did not change the journey direction. Going back is not going beyond. You can’t journey forward, while stepping back.