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Helping Your Child Adjust to School

Helping Your Child Adjust to School

 

 

Feeling nervous about the first day of school is normal.  Sudden stomach aches, body pain and colds can appear from no where.  Read our guide below to ease separation anxiety in you and your child and help them in adjusting to school.

 

How to help my child have a good first day of school

 

Help your child get to know their school surroundings before school even starts.

This is a tricky one to accomplish, but with some cajoling the school staff this can be done.  You can even start with strolling outside the school with your child.  Show them the school building, the walkway, the traffic lights and the school gates.   Make the familiar with the school environment.

 

Then, if you are able to get permission from the school staff, walk your child through the school building.  Show them the track and field, the swimming pool, the arts building and the main school building.  This is a great time to even swing a little at the school play park for some fun!

 

Help your child feel safe with their school teacher.

Young children need to feel safe with the adults around them.   Children spend up to 8 hours in these younger years away from their parents.  It is very important to help them feel safe with their class teacher.  You might be wondering, “Can I even start talking to my child’s teacher?”  The answer is “yes!”

 

Find out who the teacher will be before school even starts.  Reach out to them via email and set up a “play date” with the teacher. The more familiar your child becomes with the teacher, the better adjusted they will be during the first day of school and throughout the academic year.  Let your child take charge.  Have them make a card for their new teacher.  This will help them express any anxiety they have into art and make them feel more comfortable.

 

How to help my child have a good first day of school

 

Help your children make friends quickly.

Children are social creatures.  Apart from their teacher, feeling connected and comfortable with other children in the classroom is critical.  If it is possible, ask your school to send out the list of parents in the new year.  Try and make play dates before the school year starts.

In some cases, it is not possible to set up play dates before the school year starts.  Families are still on vacation and many might even be available.  When the school day is over, ask your teacher who your child was talking with the most in the classroom.  Reach out to their parents and set up a playdate.  Children love nothing more than their favorite Disney movie; some pizza and ice cream and they are happy!  If a play date is not possible, a quick trip to the ice cream parlor is a sure shot way to make friends.

 

Help them with an emotional “blankie.”

Some children need more time to adjust.  They will find it difficult to detach from you when you go to drop them off.  The best way to help children in this situation is to create a parting ritual and leave something of you with them like a lucky rock or your favorite hand kerchief.  Tell them that they if rub the rub, you will feel their love and you will be eagerly waiting outside at 3 to pick them up!  This kind of reassurance alone will help your child sail through the day knowing that mommy is there with throughout the day.

 

How to help my child have a good first day of school

 

Help your child recognize their worries and help them resolve it.

Just like us, children also have hidden fears and worries.  They may be worried about the mean boy in the classroom, or the scary monster if they are afraid of the teacher or worried that their best friend will be leaving town.

 

Talk to your child about their fears.  If your child is worried about the mean boy in the classroom, ask your child to describe why they are mean and what makes them scary.  If it is possible, talk to your child’s teacher about it.  Get your child to think of ways in which they can resolve the situation.

 

Create an everyday routine.

Consistent routines create a calming atmosphere for children.  Set up a daily routine for your children right from waking up to their favorite alarm clock noise.  Make them feel in control by getting them to pick out their first day outfit.  If you go shopping for school supplies, get them to come along with you and pick out the things they want – right from their own backpacks to pencils.

 

How to help my child have a good first day of school

 

Be calm.

Children can sense how you feel.  If they sense worry in you, they will be worried as well.  Even if you are worried, talk to other parents and ease those worries.  Find out as much as you can about the school, the new children and the class teacher.  This may help you ease your concerns.

 

 

 

 

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