How you can help your child adjust to kindergarten.


A boy playing in kindergarten.

It is time for your child to go to school for the first time. You have bought them a new bag and if in the wider environment there are older children who are already at school and therefore your child may be excited and happy at the prospect. They are feeling all grown up and it is evident that there will be no issues in your child's adapting to school.

You wake them up on the first morning and quickly prepare them. Upon arriving at school, you make it to the door of the nursery and no sooner than facing their teacher for the first time, your child is squeezing your hand tightly, clinging on to your clothes and crying. Quite unexpected given their previous excitement - or maybe its not;

Why they react with this behavior:

Your child's reaction is to be expected if they have not been properly prepared. New environments and unknown children result in insecurity and overwhelming stress. Despite their teachers kindness and tenderness - if it is their first time your child comes into contact with their teacher - your child will be reluctant to be left with an unknown figure. Moreover your child may fear that they are parting ways with their parents forever. What is important in these situations is not to panic or to get angry as doing so will only make the situation worse.

So when you should begin preparation for school?

Preparation should begin about a month before their first day. Proper preparation should not be difficult or complicated. At some point in the day start a casual conversation with your child about school. Be sure to maintain a pleasant and cheerful tone, and together with a smile you can say: "It is incredible, how you've grown! In a few days you will go to school! Good for you". This will build their confidence and help them in having a positive attitude towards school.

What to avoid:

You must be careful when talking about school in the preceding days in order to avoid creating negative feelings. Negative phrases will not help at all. For example, the phrase: "You are not allowed to cry when you go to school" - it is better to avoid this. With these negative phrases, even without realizing it, you are placing negative and unpleasant images of school into your child's mind.

How to prepare your child before the first day at school:

Time is required to Completely prepare your child for school and the new regime that comes with it. Initially, it is good to start with a visit to the nursery where your child will have the opportunity to familiarize with the environment and the other children who are already there. Also meeting and talking with the teacher about the program with your child will help them feel more comfortable and will help take away the fear of being left with an unknown person.

After this first visit it is good to have a discussion with your child about how they feel about school and provide positive answers to the questions they may have. You can then repeat the process this time letting your child go to school for an hour. Gradually you can increase this time until they normally accept an fully integrate with the new program.

How to say goodbye:

A hug and a kiss together with assurance that you will return to them is the best farewell. If the child begins to cry and says he wants to leave you must not succumb. You must stand firm, leaving him in their teacher's hands - it is now up to their teacher to settle them down. The more you delayed starting school the more your child will cry in order to test your limits. You should never sigh or give any indication that you are sad as difficult as maybe for you.

Generally the more stable you are as a parent in your opinions and decisions on all issues the easier it will be to deal with the various situations that may arise. This will enable a smooth transition to school and allow them to understand the sequence of the rules in place.