With back to school preparations buzzing all around, a new episode of Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie, Amazing Gracie, which aired on August 7, 2011, struck a chord with moms who are facing nerves and worries over the first day of school drop off. Of course TV mom Amy Duncan (Leigh Allyn Baker) gave us an exaggerated look, but there was definitely some underlying truth to it.
When mama has trouble letting go:
In Amazing Gracie Amy is preparing herself for baby of the family, Charlie’s (Mia Talerico), first day of preschool – anticipating that Charlie will be “crying and screaming and grabbing onto my legs like all the kids did.” This is actually a moment this TV mom looks forward to, so when Charlie happily goes off to her classroom on that first drop off, Amy is crushed.
Upon Amy’s return home TV dad Bob (Eric Allan Kramer) is on hand to check on the first day:
Bob: “Hey honey, how’d Charlie’s first day of school go?
Bob: “Oh no. What happened, she make a scene?”
Amy: “No, she didn’t, she just walked through the door without a care in the world!”
Bob: “…What was the awful part?”
Basically Amy sees Charlie’s independence as a lack of bonding as a result of being the fourth child. Which of course could lead to nothing other than “Mommy and Charlie Day!” which Amy packs with the most fun and creative good times she can think of. After all of that bonding Charlie is sure to shed some tears at the next preschool drop off.
…Not so much.
Even with Amy prepping Charlie at the door to her classroom, “…It’s okay if you wanna cry.” Charlie proves that even with a wonderful day of bonding with mama, she’s still little miss independence, but she melted hearts everywhere when she threw mom a bone and came back with a running hug.
Surviving the first day…In reality
Obviously, a parent wants their child to start their school career off on the right foot and ideally with the happy independence that Charlie possessed. But…Maybe there’s a little part of us that wants it to not be the easiest thing for our children to leave us. At the end of the day, though, parents would definitely rather have the happy transition to school versus the crying, leg-clinging trauma Amy was clearly anticipating.
5 quick tips to surviving the preschool/kindergarten drop off:
1. Prepare your child for the big day – Be prepared to answer any questions your child has and help them to be excited about this latest milestone in their lives. Make every school related purchase a big deal, for example.
2. Take advantage of orientation days – New things are a lot less scary and intimidating if we have an idea of what to expect, so take your child to their new school and get them familiarized with the setting.
3. Don’t tell your child how much you’re going to miss them – Start your child off on the right foot and don’t make this day about you. You don’t want your child worrying about you. When in doubt, refer back to number 1.
4. Hold the tears – Don’t let your child see you cry as you send them on their merry way. Refer to tips 3 and 1.
5. Read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn together – If you read no other book in preparation for the big day, read this – especially if you have a nervous little love on your hands.
Whether you greet the first day of school with excitement and anticipation or you’re a nervous, emotional wreck (on the inside), be the rock star your kid needs you to be on that very first day of school. Enjoy your back to school preparations; wishing your family a wonderful 2011-2012 school year.
You can keep up with the lovably zany Duncans in new episodes of Good Lucky Charlie on Sundays and reruns daily on Disney Channel. Check the Disney Channel schedule for correct times.
Don’t miss out on any of our TV mom lessons and moments; hit the subscribe button following this article to receive free e-mail notifications. You can also keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter @TVMoms101, and GoogleBuzz.