For most parents the first days of school entails them being even more anxious than their kids. The feeling goes from anticipation, excitement and trepidation. The best way to prepare for this important day is through proper prior preparation. If you plan for the first day of kindergarten in advance, it will be a fun and memorable experience for both you and your little one.
Let’s begin by understanding why the first day at Kindergarten is such a big deal…
Before they leave school, kids are entirely dependent on parents/primary care givers for everything and this is what gives them a sense of security and belonging. This all changes when they go to school because the parent is no longer at their side and they have to be independent.
Research has shown that parent-child interactions activate the release of hormone oxytocin which not only increases bonding but also significantly lowers anxiety. This is the reason why kids experience anxiety and nervousness when they first leave for school.There needs to be a smooth transition so that kids are not affected negatively as this may have a detrimental effect on their academic performance.
A great way to ensure that your child adapts well to school is by knowing the teacher beforehand
Here are 5 steps to a smooth transition…
Talk about the new routine with your child
In the few weeks before your kid begins schools, it recommended by experts and experienced parents that start changing routines such as breakfast and bedtime so that they can align with when your little one starts school. This way they will not have a difficult time adjusting to the new routine when school starts.
Know the teacher beforehand and prepare them a cheat sheet
A great way to ensure that your child adapts well to school is by knowing the teacher beforehand. Once you are on friendly terms with the teacher, all you have to do is send them a detailed cheat sheet. This should contain key information about your kid including; name, picture, nicknames, food, likes, dislikes, interests, talents, play activities and nay other relevant information that a teacher will user to make your child feel less anxious about their new environment.
Visit the school before hand
Another effective tip is to visit the school before hand so that they at least acclimatised to the place and have an easier time on the first day. When they are overwhelmed on the first day they will have a difficult time dealing with all the emotions that come with changing environment and starting a new journey. The most important places in the school that you must visit with your kid are the classroom and washroom. Show them how to flash the toilet so that they understand and are more at ease on the first day.
Finally, choose a transitional object for your child…
This is the easiest way to help your child be less anxious on the first day at school. The transitional object should be something simple that and unnoticeable to other people such as your photo on the side pocket of their handbag. Just something they can look at and be reminded of you, it will help calm down their anxiety and nervousness.