Hello Mommies! It’s back-to-school time, and children everywhere are getting ready to return to school or start for the first time. It’s hard to predict how a child will handle separation on the first day of kindergarten. Some kids will cling to their mom in terror, while others will skip happily off without even a parting glance in mom’s direction. If your child leans toward the former behaviour, don’t be alarmed. The beginning of school and days and weeks leading up to it are perhaps hardest on kindergärtners. Their common worries include:
- “What if my teacher is mean?”
- “What if the kids don’t like me?”
- “What if I can’t do the work?”
- “What if I cry and want to go home?”
- “What if Mommy or Daddy forgets to pick me up?”
Starting Kindergarten is big step for children, and the anxiety they experience is a perfectly normal part of the developmental process. Here are some tips that would help you and your toddler to be prepared for that anticipated first day of school:
- Develop a positive attitude about your child going to school. Children are very much attuned to the attitudes of their parents. If you are worried that your child is going to have a terrible first day of school, then your attitude is going to feed your child’s insecurities. Develop confidence that your child is going to be just fine, and exude that confidence when you talk with your child about school.
- Talk about your happy school memories. Tell your child the things that you enjoyed about school. Even if school was not a pleasant experience for you, you likely had some things that you enjoyed, such as eating lunch with your friends. Talking about your happy memories gives your child something to which he can look forward.
- Bring your child along for back-to-school shopping. Buying school supplies can be an exciting time for your child and can build anticipation for the start of school. Allow your child to select her own book bag and lunch box to help her buy into the idea of school being a good thing.
- Try time away from you to make him deal with separation anxiety issues. Leave him with a close relative or family friend for some time and see how your child reacts to being without you in a safe environment.
- Answer your child’s questions. Ask your child how he feels about starting school, and then answer any questions that he might have about the experience. You might be surprised by the issues that are the most concerning to your child.
This way you can put your toddler in a excited mood to start his kindergarten experience, where he will learn to play and grow with others.