Where did the summer go? I am not ready for school to start, yet I am looking forward to going back to routine. Having a teenager who sleeps half the day away, is slowly coming to an end.
My daughter is starting grade 10 in less than 2 weeks. It feels like yesterday when she started Kindergarten. Nerves are running high for both parents and students of all ages, but especially a first time Kindergarten parent. Something I can completely relate to!
I have some great tips on how to prepare your child for a big new school and all the fears and changes that come with it. I can guarantee it will be a BIG transition for both your child and mom and dad. I will start with my tips and then I will let you in on how our kindergarten experience was.
Tips on how to prepare your Kindergartner
First off… open a dialog with your child. See how they feel about starting in a new place, making new friends and the changes that come with it. Explore their fears about perhaps not knowing anyone and how they will instantly make new friends.
Secondly… Take a drive. Show your child their new school. Walk around the school yard. Explore the grounds, the play structures. Show them the building and all the entry points. Do this a few times before school starts. It will help them set up a visual of their new surroundings. If you are close enough to school, bike ride over. Every single child is nervous in some way and this will help them to ease into their environment on the first day.
Third…. If you have friends going to the same school, plan a play date before. Meet up in the yard of their new school. The biggest things for children is feeling secure in their new environment. It’s an overwhelming experience for them. Having one person they know can help even if they don’t end up in the same class.
Fourth… Take your child shopping for a new backpack and lunch bag. Allow them to choose something they will like and can Identify with. Some schools ask that everything be labeled, include your child in the process. Give them a task to label some items. They are growing up and by including them, you are giving them an independence they need. They will be proud to show off the items they labeled.
Fifth… Making lunches is not what it’s cut out to be- coming from a mom with a fussy eater. Include your child. Make it fun. Have them choose some healthy snacks. Try not to make the same thing everyday as they will get sick of it. Make lists of lunch ideas. Don’t alarmed if your child comes home with all their lunch or even half not eaten. Cause it will happen. Try to stay away from the sweet treats as they will eat those and not their lunch lol.
Lastly Mom and Dad…. this is a HUGE change for you too. It’s very nerve wracking watching your child go off into this big huge building without you. The change for you is just as big as it is for your child. Be strong for your little ones. Don’t show any weakness cause your child will feed off it. Be excited for them and encourage this new chapter in their lives. Then march back to your car and feel free to let those tears flow. Every other mom has done it and likely will continue to do it as their child keeps growing. It never gets easy.
I will be very honest, our kindergarten experience was awful. It started out fine. First few days she was so excited. Then a week in it started. I drove her to school that morning as we did not have a bus. Parents were not allowed in the yard but that morning, my daughter would not let go of me. So I went into the yard with her and it all went downhill from their. Bell rang, and she was wrapped around me feet and arms. I looked at her teacher for help. She says you can come inside to bring her but you can’t stay. Trust me I did not want to stay. So everyone went in then I went it. It took 2 teachers to peel her off of me. I can still see that moment play out clear as day. She was screaming. They got her off me and I left. As I walked to my car, the tears ran down my face. I cried all the way home. I told my husband from now on, you are driving her. She did not push his buttons as easily. A few hours later, the teacher called me to reassure me she was just fine. She was the teachers helper that day and slowly she started to feel secure. Then for the next 3 weeks, she would wake up crying ” I don’t want to go to school” is all she would say. She went to school everyday and then finally after a month, she was loving it! She made new friends and was secure in her new environment.
Moms and dads just be ready if your child is nervous or anxious. It’s a normal process for them and if need be work with their teacher to help the transition. In time it will be a challenge to get them to leave school to go home. You will see!
Happy Back to school and Good Luck Moms and dads.