Emotions already run high for the first day at a new school. There is anticipation, fear, excitement, and nervousness for not only our child but even for us parents as well.
Now here we are, first year of Kindergarten, and what started with excitement has slowly turned into apprehension. Did I mention we are only in our second week? I reached out to a few of my teacher friends for advice on how to help.
One teacher recommends making a daily schedule with pictures to help kids visually see their day:
“Have parents make a simple “daily plan” sheet. The child can cross an activity off the list as the day goes on. It helps them see the pattern of their day and control the anxiety they are experiencing.”
Another early childhood educator says it is all very normal for a child to experience anxiety about a new school:
“Change is hard for most adults and it is especially hard for children who are so young especially in preschool and kindergarten. I would suggest that the parent ask the child what is it about the class/school they don’t like or are anxious about.
Talking about the class and teacher at home helps. Go over the days events and then talk about the next day and things to look forward to. School should be fun and enjoyable especially in the early grades. Keep encouraging your child. Consistency, and encouragment and lots of love and patience are important on the parent’s part as well as making sure they are getting enough sleep.
As time goes on, the child will begin to love school and also love their teachers. They will start trusting, and letting go of their fears and see learning can be fun. The child will feel successful and confident as the year goes on and that should be a goal for every teacher.”
Ashley Saunders at Teachable Mommy , a former teacher herself, recommends actively listening to what your child has to say and even getting involved at school:
“Truly listen and make eye contact so they feel safe enough to tell you. If something has upset them, find out what it is. Possibly offering suggestions to fix the “problem.”
Get involved in the classroom. We teachers could always use an extra set of hands. The more comfortable you seem with the teacher and classroom the more comfortable your children will be.
If these feelings continue or worsen after about a month, request a meeting with the teacher and/or counselor.”
All of the teachers I reached out to stressed how normal this process is and how important it is to really talk to your child about their day. Has your little one experienced any of these same issues? What did you do to help them cope?