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    Easing the First-Day, New-School Jitters Dr. Jim Dempsey

    August 29, 2016 Uncategorized 0 comments

    Here are some tips for helping your kids when they enter a new school, or when they’re nervous about starting a new class.

    1. Plan ahead. Think about what you will say when you leave your child and how you will keep from getting emotional in front of her. Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep before the first day, and has a good breakfast.

    2. Be calm and consistent.Remember that children pick up on your mood, so project confidence in them and in the school. Create an exit ritual during which you say a pleasant, loving, and firm goodbye. Reassure him or her that you’ll be back — and explain how long it will be until you return using concepts kids will understand (such as after lunch) because your child can’t yet understand time. Give him or her, your full attention when you say goodbye.

    3. Follow through on promises. Be on time. It’s important to make sure that you return when you have promised to. This is critical — this is how your child will develop the confidence that he or she can make it through the time apart.

    4. Don’t plant negative thoughts with questions like, “Are you worried about starting preschool and being away from mommy?” Instead, focus on the exciting aspects of starting school.

    5. Visit the preschool with your child before the first day. If there is an orientation, make sure to attend it with your child so he can meet the teacher, or arrange another time for him to do so. Make sure your child knows where the bathroom is located and any other orienting details that he needs. The more time you can spend at the school before school actually starts, the easier the transition.

    6. Find one or two other children that will be in your child’s class or school and get together with their families. Remind your child that he will see his friends there.

    7. Talk to your child about what will happen at drop-off. Kids don’t know what you know, and what they don’t know seems scary. Tell him how you can’t wait to hear about everything he is going to do.

    8. Don’t drag out the process. Take your child to the classroom, hug her, tell her that you love her, tell her what time you will back to pick her up, and then leave. Do not stay or return if your child begins to cry.  The teachers will know how to distract your child and make her feel comfortable.

     

     

    Dr. Forrest E. Watson