How To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten 

 Originally Written: August 26, 2010

By  Hanna Trafford

Who ever knows how a child will handle separation from the known factors on the first day of kindergarten? Some children will refuse to leave their parent and feel almost terrorized, other will run off without a thought. Either scenario is OK – keep remembering that starting kindergarten is a huge step for children and they will experience different levels of anxiety. You can make the transition easier – here are a few steps that will help:

Talk to Your Child about Kindergarten

Show enthusiasm when telling your child all you can about kindergarten and try your best to get responses. That will help you understand how your child feel about starting school – the main idea here is to make it exciting without fearing the unknown.

Create Time Away From You

That means leaving your child with a relative or a friend, or going to grandma’s for a sleepover. Find out how your child reacts to being away from you in a safe and supervised environment.

Organize Playdates

Check with the school your child is about to enter if they have a list of children who will also be starting kindergarten. Contact the parents and suggest playdates before the school starts.That will be a great help since your child will walk into the class and see familiar faces.

Take a Piece of Home to School

Check with your child if he or she would like to take something to school from home for the first day. Suggest something small – even a favourite little toy. Having a familiar items adds to your child’s sense of security.

Bridge the Orientation

Plan to spend little time in your child’s classroom on the first day. You can introduce your child to the teacher and other children, show him or her where things are in the school – like bathroom, lunchroom or where to put the coats. If teacher agrees, you can plan to get involved in some of the planned activities as well.

Respond To Anxiety

If you see that your child is quite distressed and very anxious, do not ridicule or scold him. And for sure – don’t try to bribe him. Stay cheerful and keep reminding him that you will be back to pick him up after school. Remind him of what you have talked about at home, about having fun, having new friends, etc. And do your best not to pick up some of the anxiety – remember that it is not an unusual behaviour.

Know When to Say Goodbye

Make it cheerful and brief and do not come back after you have already said goodbye. And don’t leave the room without saying goodbye either – that can cause your child to panic. So – say a quick goodbye and remind your child that you will be back – and plan not to be late for the pick up!

Hope this information was helpful to you – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always very much welcomed and appreciated

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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