As parents, we're constantly concerned about the well-being of each of our children. Well, aren't we all? We worry about what they each eat, their social lives, their physical activity and, of course, their emotional well-beings.
Our children were born only 19 months apart, and we have never really had any time to stop and figure anything out. We've had to learn it all on the fly. You can really only hope for the best and be the best parent that you know how to be.
A few years ago, we faced a major quandary. We didn't know whether or not to move our son forward to kindergarten in the public schools. We went ahead and filled out the public school application, not sure of the path to take.
Based on our son's birthday, social development and overall readiness, we strongly believed he would be better off waiting a year. The problem was that no one could give us a definitive answer on what to do. As far as other schools were concerned, our choices were narrow. Many were too expensive, and we had no desire to repeat the year at the school where we were. We were continuously told by random people to beware of the stigma of not moving him forward with his peers.
The decision was stifling, also given the fact that the public school was determined to have him attend. It was a difficult time. Not even his nursery school teacher could tell us what was best for him.
In the end, we followed our heart and put him in a private school with a small class and undivided attention that would focus on his needs, and it turned out to be the best decision we could have made.
As parents, only we know what's best for our kids. Our public kindergarten actually focuses on play and transition. It's not a tough year academically. We just felt that our son needed more time to mature, and we truly believed that an extra year would do no harm.
It was all in the interest of his emotional well-being, and it has been an up-hill battle since. He is not a straight and narrow child. We still have our issues, but now at age seven, he's a wonderful child and is working on his issues just as much as we are.
So, the lesson learned for me from this experience? We are our children's biggest advocates and their biggest supporters. We know what's best for our children, but it isn't always the path that others take. When making decisions about your child's emotional well-being, do your research, talk to people, but most of all, follow your heart and trust your own advice.
Only you know what's really right for your child.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs November 14 to December 18, 2011. A random winner will be announced by December 20, 2011.