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First Day Of Kindergarten Tips
The first day of kindergarten can be tricky for children and parents. It is a big change, but there are things you can do both before and after the big day to make the transition as easy as possible for both you and your little one.
Know your child
You know your children best, so you will know what tips are likely to work for them. Guides like this can offer some great ideas, but it is important to pick and choose what will work best for your child. Some little ones love it if you make a big deal out of their first day of kindergarten, for example, with banners at home and a video dedicated to the occasion. For others, this would be like offering a red rag to a bull, sending their anxiety skyrocketing and leaving you all feeling like you have a mountain of expectations you have to meet. Relax - there is no right or wrong way to cope with these first-day occasions. Instead, breathe and use your knowledge and experience to simply do the best that you can.
Prepare for the day
One of the best ways to ease your child into kindergarten life is by preparing them for the transition. This could mean taking them to visit beforehand and introducing them to the staff so there are fewer "new" things for them to deal with on their first day. Picture stories can also be helpful as you talk through what will happen and prepare them for the way their day will run and what they are likely to be asked to do.
Add some security features
There are things you can do to make sure your child feels as comfortable as possible on their first day. This may be allowing them to wear their favorite White T-Shirt or popping their comforting Receiving Blanket in their bag. You might also want to pack their favorite foods in their lunch box or even tuck a little note in there for them to read if you don’t think it will upset them too much.
Control your emotions
There’s no doubt that the first day at kindergarten will be an emotional occasion for everyone, but you need to hold it together in front of your little one or you risk upsetting them. If they see you upset, it could cause them to feel unsettled and think that kindergarten must be really terrifying if it even causes strong grown-ups to be upset. You don’t want to brush your child’s fears and emotions under the carpet, nor do you want to feed their anxieties. Instead, be strong. You can always fall apart when you’ve said your goodbyes.
Don’t draw it out
When you get to kindergarten, don’t be tempted to stay too long. Of course, you will want to reassure your child that everything will be okay and you will be back soon, but then say a fairly speedy goodbye and leave. Lingering for too long will make things more difficult, and if they are upset, you don’t want them to link this with persuading you to stay. Children can be cunning little creatures and you don’t want yours to learn that crying at kindergarten makes it much more likely that you will stay with them. Don’t be tempted to just sneak out, however, as this can worsen separation anxiety. Instead, try to find a happy medium that works for you all.
Understand your child’s anxieties
Before your child starts kindergarten and on their first day, don’t be afraid to identify their anxieties and talk about their worries. This will give them the opportunity to tell you what they are most worried about and give you the opportunity to allay those fears. You can also pass these concerns onto the teacher so they know where your child may need a little extra support.
Trust the teachers
You want your child to trust their teachers, and you need to trust them as well. Have faith in their experience and knowledge, and don’t allow your own concerns to rub off onto your child.
Don’t rush things
If the first day isn’t the huge success you hoped it would be, don’t panic. An unsettled first day does not mean that your little one will never settle. Just take things one day at a time and remember that each child will adjust at different rates. Your child may take a little longer to start enjoying kindergarten, but that doesn’t mean it will never happen.