Monday, December 3, 2012

Tips for Parents: Overcome First Day Anxiety

The first day of kindergarten can be an exciting, yet anxious/fearful time for you and your child. There are a number of things that you can do to smooth your child's transition from home to kindergarten.

A) Familiarise your child with the kindergarten
This will help ease first-day fears. If possible, arrange to visit the kindergarten prior to the first day, introduce your child to the teacher and spend some time in the kindergarten.

B) Be positive
Parents play an important role in shaping your child's attitude toward kindergarten. A balance of passion and matter-of-fact acceptance is a good approach. Honestly discuss with your child about the friends they will meet and the activities they will be able to participate in.

C) Reassure your child
Many children feel a little uncertain about starting kindergarten. Answer your child's questions honestly. Make sure your child knows you will be there to pick them up at the end of the session and ensure they know what to do if they feel worried about anything during the day. Help them to readily identify their own belongings and to be independent with personal hygiene skills such as toileting. If you are confident when discussing kindergarten with your child, they will feel reassured that everything is all right.

D) Separation Anxiety
Separating from family and saying goodbye can be difficult for some children. If your child cries or is upset when you leave them, remember, this is a normal response. You are welcome to call the kindergarten to see how they have settled. Although you might feel anxious yourself, do not leave without saying good-bye.