Senioritis. Have you heard that word lately? I bet you have. This time of year, if you keep count of how many times you hear it, you’ll most likely run out of fingers and toes.
I’ve been in the daycare business for over twenty years. Within this time, I have started to see patterns. It’s almost like a sixth sense for the habits of school children. Some of it is scientific and some of it is just a good feeling you get. So, I’m here to tell you after many years of observation: Senioritis is a real thing!
Many of my readers may have experienced this within their own lives. It’s the feeling of wanting to quit or throw your hands up in the air after working hard for months. Sometimes, seeing the finish line slows people down. The body is fatigued mentally and physically. It has already put out all the energy it has. Seeing the finish line releases chemicals in the bloodstream that say “Yes! We can finally rest!!!” But…We are not quite there yet. As the old saying goes, “It matters not how you start. It’s how you finish that wins the race.
This Senioritis phenomenon affects us all, even preschoolers. Every year, around the end of April through the middle of May, I, as a preschool director, start to hear from parents. Their children are unhappy at preschool. Students who are otherwise content, well adjusted, and productive, are becoming irritable and fatigued. Parents get worried, and rightfully so. We all want our children to enjoy school and look forward to learning with their peers.
Parents, I am here to put your mind at ease. Again, I’m speaking in general terms. There are of course outliers beyond the boundaries of which I’m speaking of, but in general, many preschool children start to feel frustrated and upset in April-May for the following reason. Here we go!
- Children, just like many adults, often get a dose of Spring fever. Many will start a summer growth pattern that will give leg cramps, interrupt sleep patterns, and change eating habits. All of this can work together to throw them off of their normal cycles and routines.
- Allergies…Pollen, Ragweed, and fresh cut grass! Same time of year as the above referenced fever. Not to mention what allergies do to children’s overall behavior!!
- Social development fatigue. These students have been with a group of peers for nine months and they have experienced conflict resolution, compromise, and group activities to the fullest! It’s been amazing, but too much of a good thing can still be draining and exhausting!
- Super tired, but well-meaning parents and teachers who are also experiencing the same Senior-itis at work and home, just in an adult version…
Let’s add all of this together while taking a step back. One might see how eighteen preschool children plus two teachers in an otherwise healthy classroom could experience this hothouse effect. It’s a slow build, but it’s real and can be explosive!
Fear not! It’s normal and a good indication that your child has had a fantastic year! The student is ready for his next steps and academic challenges!
Everyone needs a break!!! This is why I am such a supporter of preschool versus daycare. Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. I, one hundred percent, believe that every good preschool year also has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Parents, please enjoy your summer and enjoy your children. My own children are twenty-one and nineteen years old. They grow up way too fast! What I would wish for all of you is that you would take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and know that you have done great and wonderful things this year! Even though Senioritis is a real thing, it’s also temporary. It’s time to rest and celebrate!
Sending Summer Vibes,