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Have a ball, kiddo...
September 7, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
I know just three weeks ago I wrote about how I couldn't wait for school to start again. But I didn't realize how much anxiety was going to go into that waiting game for both kids and Mom.
When we registered The Girl, we saw that most of the names on her classroom sheet we didn't recognize. All of the friends that had been regulars in her first and second grade classes had gotten scattered around to all the different classes. So the past three weeks were filled with the "I don't know anyone in there," complaint. Simply reminding her how she made friends each year before was not enough to reassure her. That, and the unpacking and repacking of her backpack with all her new school supplies, I was afraid that backpack would be ruined before she got back to school.
By the time we got to the morning of her first conference, the poor girl was so high strung I thought she would hit the ceiling at the first sign of a problem. But I will always remember the gasp out of her mouth when we peeked into her new classroom for the first time... Instead of chairs for the desks, all the seats were large exercise balls. She thought this was great! Her new teacher was bright and fun, giving both The Girl and The Boy a hug upon meeting them. Plus, she already let The Girl go to the library, and suggested a new series for her to read (which she found a book for and finished it before the next day).
Now any time someone asks her about school, the first thing she says is, "We sit on bouncy balls and not chairs!" As for the friends and everything else she was so worried about, it's brushed aside with, "Yeah, I know some people in there." All that worry canceled out by a giant ball. If I'd only known it was that easy... If only it could always be that easy.
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Who knew a fitness ball could get rid of a third-grader's anxiety?!