A brand new year has started, and many little kids are transiting to a primary school. While progressing from kindergarten to primary school is exciting, it can be daunting for some children.
It is perfectly normal if your child shows signs of anxiety or refuses to go to school the next morning. Here are some pointers parents can use to handle the little ones’ worries.
1. Take care of the basic needs of your child
No one copes well when they are tired or hungry. By providing your kid with frequent nutritious snacks, you can avoid having to pacify a hungry/tired kid. It is important that you establish regular routines to make life more predictable for the young ones.
2. Encourage your child to talk about his/her concerns
Sit down with your child and ask him/her about the first day at school. If he/she expresses anxiety, let him/her know that it is normal to have concerns. By putting your kid in private environment with your undivided attention, it might be easier to get him/her to open up to you.
3. Stay positive
Steer your child away from worries by focusing on the positive aspects of a school. For instance, ask him/her to talk about the most fun thing that happens in school. And if the teacher said anything silly to make the class laugh. It is easy for anyone to overlook the positive side when he/she is bogged down by worries.
4. Be mindful of your own behaviour
Children often mirror their parents’ behaviour. The more confident and at ease you are, the more your child will understand there is no reason to be nervous. Be supportive yet firm. When saying goodbye in the morning, make it short and sweet. And say it cheerfully once. If your child protests and throws tantrum about going to school, remain calm, look him/her in the eye and say, “I understand that you are afraid to go to school, but you still have to go. Tell me what makes you scared and we can talk about it.”
5. Role-play and scenario-plan with your child
One way of training kids to solve problems is through scenario planning. Come up with a few possible situations, like losing the water bottle, accidentally wetting the pants and forgetting to bring a textbook. By role-playing the scenarios with your child, you are helping the little one make a plan. He/she will know what to do when the situation happens.